Bethel Village Denied Again

After 2 years and 2 denials, Panama City Rescue Mission officials are faced with a third denial in their attempt to expand Bethel Village in Springfield after a unanimous vote by city commissioners turned it down.

Residents and officials from Springfield came to the public hearing with more than their opinions about why they felt the expansion for Bethel Village was a bad idea, and though Reverend Billy Fox said he felt the information was mostly speculation and misinformation, commissioners decided unanimously that the expansion was not in the city's best interest.

One of the issues that came up was the possibility of there being issues similar to the ones faced at the downtown Panama City location of Rescue Mission. "The activities and programs of the Panama City Rescue Mission have had a serious detrimental effect on the citizens and properties that surround that campus," said Springfield's Chief of Police, Phillip Thorne. "Standard crime analysis tells me as a police chief that if I take the same people, programs and activities and move them to a new location, in this instance Bethel Village, it's expected that all of those issues that began at the Panama City site while not in the same numbers will now occur at the Springfield site."


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  • by JosephFlint Location: Bay County Fl. on Mar 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM
    Will some one please show me or tell me how the mission is looking to bring the homless from other states. I havent seen any kind of add for out of state homless to come here. All I have Seen is a lot of people saying that we would love to help so long as the homless do not come to our neighborhood. Leave them down town or move them to the ind. park. Come on people need help. Its not like the mission is asking for beds in your home.
  • by Common Sense Location: PC on Mar 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
    Steve it appears once again your are wrong in your stats. Billy Fox is just trying to help people here, he is NOT importing people. Get the real facts, The downtown problem is is not a result of the mission, it is blown out of whack because of heartless-greedy people. Just because someone got a meal at the mission and then got in trouble somewhere else does not mean its a mission problem. If anything it means we need to provide more support and help to Billy Fox. These people need a hand up, not the people of springfield stepping and spitting on them.
  • by Steve Location: Springfield on Mar 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
    I am a resident very close to bethel village and am STRONGLY opposed to the expansion. We are NOT against helping the homeless. We are against recruiting and importing other states homeless to Bay County just to justify billy fox' desire to grow "his" mission. Moving half the mission WILL move a portion of the related issues ie:astronomical crime rate around current mission location. You really should find the information for yourselves and not accept everything that comes out of billy fox' mouth as the gospel truth.
  • by Steve Location: SPRINGFIELD Naples Ave on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:00 PM
    I am one of the residents opposed to this expansion. We are not against helping the homeless, We ARE against recruiting and importing more homeless from all over the country to Bay County. The mission does not need expanding, it needs better management and less time and money spent trying to get more homeless people to come here so billy fox can justify growing "his" mission. The safety and security of my family is most important to me and anyone who denies that the rescue mission downtown is responsible for the astronomical crime rate downtown is either 1-ill informed 2-blind or 3- doesn't care about the facts because they have made up their mind. I would be very interested to see how some of you would feel about putting the rescue mission right next door to your house- or one residence over as in my case!
  • by Jake Location: PC on Mar 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM
    How sad for the children. Those most in need, through no fault of their own, are told to "move along" again. But to where? Those trying to help them are constantly blocked. And the comments, so far, are about an unrelated traffic problem that already exists. There are some cold people in Springfield. I wonder how they would feel about this decision if they were the ones with children in need?
  • by JosephFlint Location: Bay County on Mar 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM
    Sometimes people need help. Who will help unless its our neighbors? Tony if your neighbors have left the area, there only useing this issues as an excuse. No one should run from the chance to help people and the only help these people need from you and your neighbors is a place to live. Come on Mayor Walker help someone.
  • by Common Sense Location: PC on Mar 20, 2012 at 09:13 AM
    You people are idiots. Tony - Those people racing up and down the roads is YOUR local neighbors, probally your kids (or those visiting the springfield crack houses). Expanding the work that is done there will not increase the vehicle traffic that is already there. You people just need to GROW-UP. The Chief and the rest of yall needs to pull their heads out of the ground. This man offers people help at this location. He is only wanting to be able to help more people. Chief - he is not moving the PC rescue mission there, pay attention - your facts are only opinions.
  • by Tony Location: Ten Acre Rd on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:06 AM
    I am glad to see the denial. I just lost 2 wonderful neighbors because of this project and put their house up for sale. We do not need any additional issues with this type activity along with the already racing up and down Ten Acre, Naples and sourounding area, treating this area like a raceway and nothing being done about it. I guess it will take a fatality to get something done.
  • by movethemission dot wordpress dot com on Mar 19, 2012 at 09:09 PM
    Awesome! movethemission dot wordpress dot com
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