A center dedicated to helping drug-addicted pregnant mothers is looking at making changes to its building and program.
Renaissance Recovery has been in the Deane Hill area since May 2015, now they want to offer overnight space for patients.
"Our mission is to help moms that are struggling with drug addiction,” said Brittany Hudson with Renaissance Recovery. “A lot of them are in a bad environment and it’s not safe and we want them to not have to go home and deal with drugs or whatever their home environment might be.”
There is a desperate need for detox beds in the state of Tennessee. With the rising opioid epidemic, they hope transforming their building can help in the fight against addiction.
"The vision is to take the upstairs and make it into some beds for the women who do need in-patient care because we are very limited in East Tennessee to beds,” said Hudson.
However, those plans are drawing mixed reactions from neighbors in the nearby Deane Hill neighborhood.
“To help young mothers that’s fine, but I do have concerns,” said neighbor Juanita Davis-Braswell.
She believes the changes aren’t appropriate for the space.
“It would devalue the property and the neighborhood,” said Davis-Braswell.
She also has concerns with the clientele.
“Even if they got off the bus at the IHOP, what would keep them from canvassing the neighborhood if they are drug addicts?" said Davis-Braswell.
Another neighbor WBIR 10News spoke with wasn’t worried.
“We kind of welcome it, my wife and I,” said Michael George. "I think we need to support that.”
George believes it’s a drastic change from years ago.
“It was kind of a pill mill before and I got tired of picking up the trash and so forth down there, since that’s gone we don't see any issues whatsoever, and kind of glad to help the ladies to be honest with you,” said George.
Renaissance Recovery understands there will be concerns, but say their focus all along is helping women in need.
The property changes will be up for review by the Metropolitan Planning Commission Thursday at their 1:30 p.m. meeting.
(© 2016 WBIR)