Plans for new facility at a local church draw mixed reaction from Cambridge residents
A plan to build a three-story addition to the Preston Church of the Nazarene has drawn mixed reaction from Cambridge residents.
The group behind the proposed Freedom Centre say the facility would be used to offer transitional housing for veterans and a community kitchen to provide one meal per week for those who need it.
Supporters held a meeting at the church on Saturday to field questions from concerned citizens
Tim Riley is a veteran and non-voting member of the Freedom Centre. He says the addition would make a big difference in the community.
“That would be tremendous and [helpful],” Riley said. “It provides the structure and the step up to help you learn how to deal with things better.”
Any tenants would need to be referred and required to pay rent.
“It is not a homeless shelter,” church pastor Jennifer Turner urged residents. “This is transitional services for veterans and first responders.”
Some meeting attendees said they felt the presentation left too many questions.
“They don’t know the ins and outs of holding a meeting,” Jane Turchin said. “They’re going to make mistakes and mistakes were taken as lies, and I don’t feel that that’s what it was at all.”
Residents, like Matt Gerth, are looking for more concrete information before giving their support.
“We really want a clear outline of where this is going to go and how this is going to be facilitated. Not for just now and when we start digging into the ground, but for 20 years from now,” Gerth said. “How is it going to be managed and up kept?”
The City of Cambridge approved conceptual drawings for the project but has yet to issue permits to build.
The group is still deciding what exact services will be offered and hopes to have a decision by December.
They are planning to provide updates throughout the process.