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Blount Co. ministry ordered to close because of proximity to school

11:11 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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Blount County leaders have ordered a ministry that helps people addicted to drugs and alcohol to close its doors because of its location.

The Blount County Board of Zoning and Appeals says True Purpose Ministries must stop operating. Residents of the area were concerned because the facility was within two miles of Prospect Elementary School.

Ministry officials say they thought they were in a commercial area, but the board says the halfway house is in a residential area.

"I can understand the community, I really can. A lot of them said they didn't want it in their backyard and I understand that completely. I understand the fears that they have. But I was just hoping for an opportunity for them to get to know me and know the ministry," said Jeremy Graham, the executive director of True Purpose.

"I feel like we need to come together and maybe find other options for where they should be. There should be room where they can find a place to help people because that's so important there be help," said Blount County resident John Geli.

True Purpose Ministries does not have a new location set up, but Graham says they will start looking.

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