Friday, April 3, 2015

The Stephens respond

Joseph Neal and Anna Fiser Stephens issued this statement today on the Oxford House controversy in Jackson:


Dear Community Members and Friends,

Thank you to many of you for expressing your concerns regarding our property located at 2230 East Northside Drive. As residents of Jackson, we are similarly invested in the community and have read each of your concerns. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to speak with each one of you individually at this time. We have heard each of you, and you have not been ignored.

Unfortunately, much of the information that has been spread is inaccurate:
*The property has not and will not be converted into a halfway house, nor is the property a treatment facility, or a therapeutic home. The home has been rented to Oxford House, Inc. which is “a democratically run, self-supporting and drug free home” whose renters must have jobs and follow strict guidelines.
*There are no current plans for additional Oxford Houses—to our knowledge—in the neighborhood.
*We have not received a written offer to purchase the home.
*There is no evidence that any one of the renters poses, or might pose, a threat to anyone in the community.

At first, we began purchasing a few rental properties as an investment in our local community where we might increase some of the property values and improve the neighborhoods in our small way, but we did find ourselves believing that our venture evolved into somewhat of a ministry.

We felt—as believers and locals who care about the people in our community—that it was not our place to discriminate against those who are protected and non-threatening and clearly had and have given us no reason to do so.

For those of you who are Christian believers, we know that we are called to serve and minister to others, and Jesus taught us that by example. We believe that our ministry field includes our communities, and we hope that you will consider being a reflection of the Light we are called to share, starting right here at home.

We are continuing to pray and work through this situation and the counsel received over the Easter weekend.

Please direct your questions and concerns to Oxford House (www.oxfordhouse.org), who are capable of addressing these.

Sincerely,
Neal and Anna

199 comments:

Anonymous said...

Um... Renters don't increase property values... It's actually a deterrent.

Anonymous said...

This is total bullsh$#! Christians don't endanger and profit from others misfortune. The Stephens family is more along the lines of the money changers:

John 2:13-16
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.”

The might also qualify as closely related to Judas. I suspect they will make more than 30 pieces of silver!

Despicable people! Must have been watching reruns of Jim and Tammy Faye

Anonymous said...

'As residents of Jackson, we are similarly invested in the community and have read each of your concerns.' - Bullshit, they are moving out of the community.

"*The property has not and will not be converted into a halfway house, nor is the property a treatment facility, or a therapeutic home. The home has been rented to Oxford House, Inc. which is “a democratically run, self-supporting and drug free home” whose renters must have jobs and follow strict guidelines." - Another lie, as Oxford House clearly refers to their properties as halfway houses.

"*There are no current plans for additional Oxford Houses—to our knowledge—in the neighborhood." - time will tell, but we all know this to be false.

"*We have not received a written offer to purchase the home." - Yet again, false. I personally know two people who have tried to purchase the home.

"*There is no evidence that any one of the renters poses, or might pose, a threat to anyone in the community." - besides the numerous news articles of these places bringing in violent sex offenders.

"At first, we began purchasing a few rental properties as an investment in our local community where we might increase some of the property values and improve the neighborhoods in our small way, but we did find ourselves believing that our venture evolved into somewhat of a ministry." - a ministry that they are making a killing off of.

"We felt—as believers and locals who care about the people in our community—that it was not our place to discriminate against those who are protected and non-threatening and clearly had and have given us no reason to do so." - See above comment, they are leaving the community.

"For those of you who are Christian believers, we know that we are called to serve and minister to others, and Jesus taught us that by example. We believe that our ministry field includes our communities, and we hope that you will consider being a reflection of the Light we are called to share, starting right here at home." - But not in their backyard.

And lastly, Anna should not be allowed around young girls as she is with her current employment. Everyone that grew up with her is well aware of the reasons why.

Anonymous said...

Using religion to justify a destructive act. Sounds familiar. If caring about a community is not Christian than call me Satan.

Juan said...

Please continue to direct all concerns to these two. If they're such great "Christians" on a "ministry", they'll address them personally.

Jesus didn't pass the buck to a outfit located on the other side of the country.

He didn't take money from said outfit, either.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Neal and Anna. Not buying your ministry bunk. Your lease is with the residents of the two Oxford Houses you've helped establish. Your contractual arrangement isn't with Molloy so directing us there won't suffice. We'll continue to bring a withering and unrelenting focus directly upon you and your interests here in Mississippi. Your actions will not go unanswered.

Anonymous said...

Using religion as a crutch for an obvious fraudulent greedy scam is repulsive and disguisting. Shame on them. How in the world do they know if the renters wont pose a threat? They don't know them! How do they know they won't break the rules? Will they be there? Different people will be in and out of this house constantly. It's impossible to make sure everything is all swell!. Shame on these terrible people!

Anonymous said...

Since this is done in the name of God, is it safe to say the money made will be reinvested in the name of the ministry or the community? Or will your profits go towards building a nice house to get away from the community?

Anonymous said...

"At first, we began purchasing a few rental properties as an investment in our local community where we might increase some of the property values and improve the neighborhoods in our small way, but we did find ourselves believing that our venture evolved into somewhat of a ministry." - a ministry that they are making a killing off of.


Ding ding ding!!!!

If all they are interested in is truly "ministering" then they could offer these rental homes for free to people who need a hand during a hard time.

They are completely cashing in on an extremely lucrative business venture.

I don't fault them for it, but admit what it's about. Don't try to pretend you are in it to help people. They're doing this because it's extremely profitable.

Anonymous said...

This couple would have been better off saying nothing. The language and logic they use is stomach turning. They are clearly saying they have no responsibility here, and the last sentence referring people to the Oxford House website is rich. They are washing their hands of what they are doing and the inevitable consequences that will come from it. They are just the money collectors. Oh, and using Jesus and Christians to justify their destruction of the neighborhoods. If they thought what they were doing is so great, why don't they want to live next door?

Anonymous said...

Serving and ministering usually involves a relationship. If they are spending any time at the houses then I can live with that. Just buying them for inflated rent and guaranteed leases is not a ministry. There are several qualified establishments that could offer real help to these people. Giving them a place to stay with 6 other people is not ministering.

Other than flat out cancelling the deal we weren't going to be happy. But this letter makes the whole situation worse in my opinion. Bottom line unless they can show they would be fine with one of these next door to them they are just doing this for profit. The tone of the letter seems completely defiant. Notice no apology.

They talk out of both sides of their mouth. Want to increase property values yet bring in 8 renters who so far have not been good neighbors on Forest Park. Ask anyone who lives near them. Regardless of their "protected" status "clearly" "non-threatening" ways that many people in a home will never increase property values.

This kind of response is really what makes people outside the church so disinterested.

Kingfish said...

WAPT and WLBT are working on this story today.

Anonymous said...

Such self-serving BS -- should just go ahead and say'Hey, we found a way to make a bunch of money, so screw you all'.

Anonymous said...

Hey Neal and Anna,
If you are so interested in helping the community and ministering, why don't you donate all your monthly income (minus expenses) derived from that house to charity? Also, you have plenty of room to take on some additional renters in your Newland house as well. Just let Oxford House know how many slots are available.
Sincerely,
Your loving neighbors

Anonymous said...

So sad. Oxford house isn't actually a halfway house. They have very strict standards to live there set by the members (drug addicts) to enforce the policy. Not just anyone can move in, they have meetings and interviews to decide who gets to stay there. They are required to have jobs, attend 12 step meetings, get a sponsor, etc. perhaps if the ones crying about this had a 12 step program in their life they wouldn't have to be filled with so much hate, and intolerance. North jackson is FILLED with crime and drugs and your upset people not on drugs are moving in? I'm sorry but get over yourself. Northside is far from upstanding. Oxford house is a wonderful thing and it has saved so many of my friends lives as well as the person I love most.

Anonymous said...

Neal and Anna, I would just like for you to know that I support you in your decision and not all are against you. I cannot imagine the stress that you are under having to deal with this. Stand tall and be strong.

Anonymous said...

Evoking a diety or screaming racism is a sure fire way to deflect criticism. The religious right and liberal left both suck doggie dick in my most humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Have lived in Sherwood Forest for 26 years. Have sent 3 children to JA and then on to complete college. Over the years volunteered to serve JA in many different capacities. Have contributed to the JA annual fund annually and every special fund request JA has made. Empty nester still contributing to JA annual fund. Know the JA business model inside and out. JA can not survive without families with children in Northeast Jackson. JA can not. JA can not survive without new families with children moving into Northeast Jackson. JA can not survive with only students commuting from Madison and Rankin counties. Halfway houses in residential settings have economically annihilated middle class neighborhoods throughout the United States. The evidence is clear, documented and available to all. Halfway houses will kill the Northeast Jackson housing market. Houses in the future depressed Northeast Jackson housing market will be sold or rented to people who can not afford to send their children, if any, to Jackson Academy. Halfway houses in Northeast Jackson will decimate JA attendance. That is the irrefutable bottom line.

Anonymous said...

11:49 and 11:52, please state your address so we can notify Oxford house of an available location. Also think about the stress of those who have to live by these criminals? Do you have kids? Would you want them playing outside next to these people? Didn't think so. The fiser Stephens are nothing more than greedy hypocrites. Their name is ruined in this city. They can only hope to salvage it by reversing their actions.

Anonymous said...

Who enforces these "strict" oxford house rules?

Does Oxford house have a representative visit the home on a frequent basis to ensure that the rules are being followed?

Or is it just up to the individual resident addicts to police themselves?

Anonymous said...

lay off anna!

Anonymous said...

Oxford Houses are autonomous, unsupervised and self-enforced by a rolling non-permanent collection of renting addicts and alcoholics of whom some are also sex offenders.

I'm happy the solution worked out for your loved one 11:49 AM but that in no way is a satisfactory rationale for the Stephens to surreptitiously dump them into family neighborhoods unannounced.

I won't request that you 'get over yourself' because I realize that is not possible since you are unable to recognize the problem the Stephens have started.

Anonymous said...

11:49 -- If you are not from Jackson -- stay out of this discussion. Your timeline doesn't add up to being from this area, since the houses here are newer and they couldn't have "saved the life of the person you love most" unless he was saved in the last month.

I'm sure Oxford House has decided this is the place to post in defense of the two morons they're in a contractual relationship with ---- so Jackson, be ready for the "You racists, bigoted, white-privileged, Southerners" speech -- Water on a Ducks back now. Could care less what we're called.

11:52 -- How's' the weather in Maryland at Oxford House? Might want to remove your dog from this hunt.

Bottom line -- if you're such a strong friend, give us your address in whatever state you're located in, so they can put a halfway house by you. If in fact, they are your "friends" here in Jackson -- again, give us your name so we can ensure you are shunned, just as they and their extended family will be. I'm afraid Anna will have a difficult time coaching at JA, with only 12 students. Hard to make multiple teams from that......so you and your family better figure out how to multi-sports!

Anonymous said...

11:49. Can you give names of the people to be interviewed by JJ to lend credibility to this Oxford House?
I don't believe the philanthropic impulses of this couple as the money is not being circulated back to local AA and NA chapters nor towards recovery programs. It is shameful to profiteer behind the real, honest struggle of people with addiction. We all have friends and loved ones in this situation. I would not want my sister or friend to have Neal and Amy as his/her landlord.

Anonymous said...

Why are you people so freaked out? Look around you; look at the dilapidated houses/occupants on Ridgewood Road, and God forbid, what is going on in the neighborhoods to your north, and be grateful that the house is at least owned by and/or being rented to an organization that will properly maintain it and not allow the place to further blight the community. I looked at the Oxford House website. These folks have been doing this successfully for a very long time. I say give Anna and Neal a break and see how it goes. NE Jackson is filled with renters (some of whom are probably doing much worse than the Oxford House occupants will be doing.) I won't go so far as to say "kudos" to Anna and Neal, but lets at least give it a chance and see how it goes - the situation could be a whole lot worse!

Anonymous said...

There is just no ministry element here, so it's just embarrassing that the Stephens are trying to use that to exonerate their behavior. As stated above, ministry requires a relationship. And this is the first ministry I'm aware of that offers a huge profit to the ministers. How they can sleep at night, knowing what they've inflicted on those who have much less than they do, is beyond me.

Anonymous said...


Oh. I see. It's all for the Lord.

OK. That's cool. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

Oh...and please send further inquiries to Oxford.

Have a blessed day

Anonymous said...

Total BS, Neal and Ann. Saying nothing would have been much better. You say you care about the your community, but you don't. Did you truly think the neighbors would would welcome this type facility in their neighborhood as they watch their property values go down more? People aren't stupid. They know what's going on here, and you should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

WAPT is camped out in front of the new Oxford House on Northside and Trawick willing to interview anybody who drives by. Great PR for Jackson Academy.

Anonymous said...

Can y'all slow down a bit with the rate of comments? It is hard for Jimmie Gates to keep up.

Anonymous said...

Sad.

Next door daddy won't be able to let his daughters raise their windows at night to enjoy the wonderful springtime temps anymore.

Heck, nobody'll be raising their windows anymore!

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail squarely on the head 12:11 PM.

They can't make it as a commuter school.

Too many bills to pay for all that expansion and staff.

Cliff Kling knows the score.

Anonymous said...

Kumbaya compadre. Kumbaya.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Neal. You've got Mississippi Harvard Clubbers coming out publicly against you now. Dummkopf.

Anonymous said...

I was about to feel sorry for a young coue trying to make money yet making a bad decision...then, rather than admit they made a mistake, they blame Jesus...ironically on Good Friday. Shame. Shame. Shame

Anonymous said...

I dug around to find out more on Anna Stephens to determine what drives all this greed. Turns out she is the niece of Billy Van Devender. All the dots are starting to connect. He will stop at nothing to make money no matter who he has to roll over.

Anonymous said...

Neal claims he is a quick learner.

Unique DORE Program Opens New Office on Southern Miss Campus


"The Dore Program is now available on The University of Southern Mississippi campus through the Institute for Disability Studies. Pictured here, from left to right: Joe Stephens, Dore Mississippi President; Neal Stephens, Dore Director; Beth Mayeaux, Dore Director, Marketing and Sales; Julie Cooke, Southern Miss Dore Specialist; Mark Yeager, Dore Director and Dr. Jane Siders, Co-Director of the Institute for Disability Studies. (University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

Neal Stephens became one of the initial “guinea pigs” of the renowned Dore Program more than a decade ago, and today he wears that distinction with honor.

Stephens, who grew up in Magee, Miss. and later earned a degree from Harvard in economics, serves as director of the Dore Program in Mississippi. He credits the unique learning system for enhancing his academic and professional careers.

“I was one of the first Americans to complete the program back in 2002 as a high school sophomore,” said Stephens. “As I began the Dore Program, I first noticed changes on the basketball court in my ball control, dribbling and movement around the court. As I continued, I retook the ACT, which I had already taken a few times in preparation for college, and my reading score increased enough to greatly impact my composite score.”

Fast forward to the present: “I continue to be a quick learner and am able to comprehend what I read so much more easily than I did before Dore,” said Stephens."



Anonymous said...

If the Stephens are such altruistic Christians, I'm sure they will rent these houses to the needy at below market rates. Or, perhaps they will build a boarding house on their property or invite the afflicted to stay in their home. Seven men in a three bedroom house is not what single family residential neighborhoods need. This is about the MONEY, and the community be damned.

Anonymous said...

Indeed if this were "ministry" they would have sweat and flesh behind it, not just money. Do they go to the houses and provide mentorship? Do they become invested in the
Residents lives? That's Christian witness.

Yes, I am involved in inner city ministry through my downtown church. I've talked to many a man who made it out of dark places and many who never come out.

Buying houses and being paid rent by an organization is profiteering plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

12:28, I know about all the crap on Ridgewood. In fact, if they'd done these on Ridgewood itself, I'd have a lot less of a problem. Burying this right in the middle of the neighborhood and then telling us they're really doing us all a favor? Yeah, sure.

Two locations on Forest Park (one existing and one future, yes, she owns another)? Sure, it's all a ministry, which is why they're doing it through their church rather than themselves, and doing it for free rather than collecting rent from an NGO.

Anonymous said...

@12:52. Not taking up for their actions, but no one in jackson leaves their windows open at night. This isn't the 50's.

pittpanther said...

Where was the outrage when the previous Oxford homes opened in NE Jackson and Eastover? This isn't the first, just the latest.

Anonymous said...

I am glad there are still people left in this world like Anna and Neil. We stand behind you 100%. I hope you don't back down from these idiots.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Mr. Stephens learned the most important lesson Harvard teaches, "How to Leach Off Rich Relatives." Probably got a minor in "Marrying Money."

Anonymous said...

Here's a published stance attributed to their attorney, Polin. "Oxford, Polin said, is under no obligation to disclose who lives at a residence, what their backgrounds are and how the home is run. In fact, he said, that would violate basic civil rights." Interesting for a discussion.

Anonymous said...

Some stats from the Oxford House 2014 Annual Report online at www.oxfordhouse.org, p.5:
"Prior Jail: 76%
Average Jail Time: 11 Mos.
Average Length of Stay in an Oxford House: 9.1 Mos."

Mr. and Mrs. Stephens:
When you were developing your Christian "ministry" to the Sherwood/Audubon neighborhood, did it occur to you that it is not Christian to intentionally expose us and our neighbors to the close day and night proximity of convicted criminals?

And not to given any notice of your intentions?

And to take money from OH for your "ministry" while you live far away from the consequences of your actions?

Anonymous said...

You stand behind Anna and Neal unannounced making unilateral decisions for thousands of homeowners to place addicts and sex offenders into family neighborhoods? How rich.

Anonymous said...

2:41 -- You are such a paragon of liberal integrity. Stand up -- Stand strong -- you tell us all how terrible we are --- and when we purchase that house down the street from you, or your good friends and put in the pedophiles, drunks, drug addicts, etc. I KNOW you'll EMBRACE THEM FULLY AND COMPLETELY.

You people are clueless. You have been no where, done nothing, and have no experience outside your echo chamber that you live in with these people, to understand the total and complete FIRESTORM they you have created.

Go somewhere besides the beach or skiing for vacation and learn how the real world is......and by the way -- next year -- HAPPY 29th birthday!!!

Call us all when you have lived some life and have some experiences.

Anonymous said...

2:41, I'm willing to bet you don't have children. Also, if you stand behind Anna and Neil 100%, why don't you post under your own name?

Anonymous said...

@2:41pm ...says nobody...ever..

Anonymous said...

2:33 -- NO ONE knew until the Stephens debacle occurred, and more importantly, we all KNOW now !! We are investigating both the Bridges and the Jones family now.

Anonymous said...

Where is the oxford home in Eastover?

Anonymous said...

Hey 2:41 (Mrs Fiser, Robin, or Gray) the world does not need more scamming conartists who try and get rich at the expense of others hard earned wealth or safety...And then blame it on religion. The world has plenty of those people already. Also please state your address so we can move some criminals near you, or possibly even in with you. They have twin beds so they may even be able to fit it in your room. Yay! Roomies!

Anonymous said...

If it's a ministry, tell us where you're donating the rent your collecting, you privileged hypocrites.

Anonymous said...

2:28

Still do in Madison... don't have any 'missions' next door.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Cousin Earl, we needed that.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Oxford House in Eastover pittpanther? Identify it.

Anonymous said...

1:14, you are correct about the family connection to Billy VanDevender; however, it's Neal Stephens, not Anna Fiser Stephens, who is the family connection.

Billy VanDevender's wife, Mollie Magee VanDevender, is the sister of Neal Stephens' mother, Angela Magee Stephens. Angela and her husband Joe Stephens are Neal's parents.

Do a Google search on "Anna Fiser Stephens" and you will find a link to an old issue of VIP Jackson magazine that has a spread on the Fiser-Stephens courtship, engagement, and wedding. It was a fun read.

Anonymous said...

Dear Neal and Anna:
Your presumptuous "ministry" for drug and alcohol addicts is nothing more than a cover for your real activity: placement of a half-way house for convicted criminals (over 3/4 of the residents) near those of us who, unlike you, have had to work hard to make a living for our families. Do not preach to me this Good Friday. Instead, figure out how you plan to compensate those whom you have damaged.

Anonymous said...

Where was the outrage when the previous Oxford homes opened in NE Jackson and Eastover? This isn't the first, just the latest.

Where are the others?

Anonymous said...

The Eaves Family thanks you from the bottom of their hearts.

Anonymous said...

I wish that all these posters who are apoplectic would identify their local churches. If the comments are representative of their congregations I would prefer to a avoid those congregations.

And many of you criticizing any money going to the Stephens, I suppose expect your pastors and church staffs to serve for free. Certainly we would not want them to receive filthy lucre while providing a ministry.

Anonymous said...

What a lame response… they keep proving that a Harvard education doesn't correlate with intelligence. They have to be complete morons to have thought that anyone would buy that crap.

I sure hope Delbert is quietly leading a counterattack that will rectify the situation… plenty of resources on his block.

JA will take a huge hit for staying quiet on this…. implied approval. But, having dealt with them over the years I've learned that their leaders are pretenders with absolutely no stones.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Oxford House website last night and rambled through it. It's going to be difficult to fight them on the zoning level. They've fought this time and time again and won. There are about 4 or 5 of these homes on the Gulf Coast and at least one in Hattiesburg. What's amazing to me is that no special fire permits or housing permits are required for all of this - it's considered discrimination!

I googled the company and did find an interesting article:

http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/oxford-house-kcs-recovering-addicts-say-theyre-being-asked-to-submit-to-an-unexpected-higher-power/Content?oid=5083192&storyPage=7

It's an interesting read. Makes one wonder if something like this could happen to "our" Oxford Houses. I'm all for reaching out and helping those in need, but to do so at the expense of a neighborhood's sense of security, peace, and property values is not what I would call a ministry. These people are delusional if they think their press release is going to assuage anyone's anger over this.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like Mr. Stephens learned the most important lesson Harvard teaches, "How to Leach Off Rich Relatives." Probably got a minor in "Marrying Money."April 3, 2015 at 3:07 PM

That bears repeating. And does Harvard maybe offer a seminar course entitled: 'Acquiescing to an Arranged Marriage & Choosing a Videographer Who'll Make Your "Proposal" Look CONVINCING' ?

And is there a summer reading list for the children of nouveau riche Fundamentalists which includes titles like, 'It Was Either THAT or Be DISINHERITED: How I Stayed in the Will!' ?

I ask, because most of us seem to have missed-out on some quick, easy, and LUCRATIVE life-strategies. Maybe if we could take better courses and read better books, we could skip the extraneous stuff like hard work and competence.

Anonymous said...

This is really heartwarming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH_LHLlXFPg

Anonymous said...

1. AA cannot take money from anyone outside of AA and even then it is small amounts. The organization NCADD will gladly accept donations.

2. A Boarding House by any name is still a Boarding House. It is a "for profit business".

3. We need legislative relief. If this is what Washington thinks is smart for the cities, then we need new representation in Washington. Destroying local zoning is not an answer. Really can't think of much that Washington does well anymore. I don't believe Woodlea or Woodhaven would care for this intrusion either.

4. The Century of the City will be dead for families if this trend continues. In third world countries a family sleeps upstairs while bodyguards protect them on the ground floor. We did have a civilization that formed around and to protect families. When civilization puts children and their needs low on its list, it cannot flourish.

Anonymous said...

Do the Stephens have any children? I'm guessing no. Maybe they wouldn't be doing this to their neighbors if they understood how harmful this could be to families and children.

Anonymous said...

The comment about pastors and staff receiving a salary - there is oversight with elders and deacons (or other committees) in churches. It is a body of believers that sets salary and reviews it yearly in a church. I don't see the Stephens putting themselves under any accountability or financial transparency in their letter to the community.

Anonymous said...

@5:26 Do tell. Sounds like there's a lot more to all of this.
And, no, they don't have children, which is one of the many reasons they are ignorant about what this will do to families and the neighborhood. No one with children would knowingly move on a street, or behind a street, where a transient population of majority of formerly incarcerated people are being group housed. I don't even see how this is good for the "tenants" other than they get free room and board from our government. Can't be a lot of fun living there.

Anonymous said...

in relation to 7:58pm I meant to write "I don't see the Stephens putting themselves under any LOCAL accountability or financial transparency in their letter to the community."

Their comment at the end of the letter to "direct questions and concerns to Oxford House" is like a pastor saying he can't answer his local congregant's question without first calling the bishop in another state. And then sitting back silent and demanding the congregant sort the issue with the bishop miles away via phone or email in his presence - because a living person face to face is not the way to go.

No one would stand for ANY Christian ministry run this way devoid of honest, authentic, personal relationship.

We would tell people not to go to those type of churches.

Anonymous said...

Facts:
-Stephens want to make serious $ and ministry aspect is garbage
-Little to no oversight of tenants in a neighborhood full of children
-Anna Fiser Stephens joked about putting the Oxford House in the current location
-Neil Stephens gets excited about this kind of attention
-The Stephens really don't care about what people think of them. Which in reality is not common.
-JA should fire Mrs. Stephens bc JA is a for profit entity and this will hurt the bottom line
-They have now been formally offered more money than they have in the project and have not responded
-They are building their personal home in Bridgewater and could give a damn about Jackson
-If they really were doing it for Christ there would be a ministry aspect to it and why not charge the going rent rate instead of 2.5-3 times the rate
-They are not far enough into this not to back out and move on.
-Told multiple people they were flipping the house when everyone knows this is not true
-The Stephens are smug, arrogant and could give a damn about the people this effects. There are multiple ways out yet they have chose the screw you route.
-Have associated themselves with an entity that likes to deal with the gray parts of the law
-The Stephens should find one of the MANY houses in Jackson where people don't care about having a group home that is not monitored. Try the county! Taxes are cheaper and your bills are lower so you can profit even more!

I wish someone would copy all of the remarks that have been made and send them to them. They should feel like shit bc they are shit. Regardless if you are their friend or not ask yourself "how would you feel if this was next door to your home?" People want to get on pedestals and talk about how they are doing good for others when they are liars. Property values will suffer. People are angry...and the Stephens don't give a shit as long as they make their money. From my little knowledge of what the Bible says...I don't think greed is good.

Anonymous said...

i just wrote an essay on my disbelief and anger... I deleted it because words don't even express my feelings. You grew up here Anna... What are you doing?

Anonymous said...

Straight from the Oxford House website:

Q. How many residents have served jail time?

78% of Oxford House residents have served jail time. The average length of jail time is about one year, with a range of few days to more than ten years. This is understandable since as many as 80% of the current jail/prison population are alcoholics and drug addicts. Oxford Houses seem to stop the recycling in and out of jail or treatment facilities.


What they will not tell you is the following: https://www.211texas.org/zf/profile/service/id/1376985

and if you go down the list you find the following:


General Information
Description of Service An organization’s inclusion in the list below is not an endorsement of their services. We include for-profit transitional living services because we recognize they fill a need that is not currently met by government and nonprofit entities.

The list below includes transitional living, sober homes, and boarding houses in the Austin area.

Oxford House - Collingsworth
1005 Collingsworth
Austin, TX 78753
512-992-0041
Accepts: Males
Families: No
Ex-offenders: Yes
Sex offenders: Yes

Oxford House - Tech Ridge
12342 Copperfield Dr.
Austin, TX 78753
512-215-0184
Accepts: Males
Families: No
Ex-offenders: Yes
Sex offenders: No

Oxford House - Copperfield
11914 Oakbrook Dr.
Austin, TX 78753
512 215-0245
Accepts: Females
Families: No
Ex-offenders: Yes
Sex offenders: Yes

Oxford House - Colmenero
3508 Colmenero Dr.
Austin TX, 78753
(512) 531-9873
Accepts: Males
Families: No
Ex-offenders: Yes
Sex offenders: No

Oxford House - Northcrest
305 Younger Ct
Austin, TX 78753
512-305-3191
Accepts: Males
Families: No
Ex-offenders: Yes
Sex offenders: No

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this information has been posted here or elsewhere, but below is a link to all current Oxford House locations in Mississippi:

http://www.oxfordhouse.org/directory_listing.php

pittpanther said...

Oxford House West Jackson
5918 Clinton Blvd Gender: M
Jackson, MS 39209-2809 Total Occupancy: 7
769-572-7958 Charter: 6/1/2013
Vacancies

Oxford House Winterview
1348 Winterview Dr. Gender: W
Jackson, MS 39211-3234 Total Occupancy: 6
769-572-5302 Charter: 12/15/2013
Vacancies

Oxford House Bon Ami
1365 E Northside Dr Gender: M
Jackson, MS 39211-5602 Total Occupancy: 6
769-572-4650 Charter: 3/1/2014
Vacancies

Oxford House Medallion
5914 Medallion Drive Gender: W
Jackson, MS 39211 Total Occupancy: 6
769-572-4663 Charter: 6/1/2014
Vacancies

Oxford House Forest Park
4404 Forest Park Dr. Gender: M
Jackson, MS 39211 Total Occupancy: 7
228-249-9468 Charter: 11/1/2014
Vacancies

Oxford House East Northside
2230 E Northside Dr. Gender: M
Jackson, MS 39211 Total Occupancy: 7
228-249-9468 Charter: 4/1/2015
Vacancies

Anonymous said...

Very well said 8:44. Sadly everything you said is "right on".

Anonymous said...

Oxford Houses in NE Jackson (info from Oxford House website):

Oxford House "Bon Ami"
1365 E Northside Dr Jackson, MS 39211-5602 Gender: M Beds/vacancies: 6/2
769-572-4650

Oxford House "Medallion"
5914 Medallion Drive
Jackson, MS 39211
Gender: W Beds/vacancies: 6/4
769-572-4663

Oxford House "Forest Park"
4404 Forest Park Dr.
Jackson, MS 39211
Gender: M Beds/vacancies: 7/3
228-249-9468


Oxford House "East Northside"
2230 E. Northside Dr.
Jackson, MS 39211
Gender: M Beds/vacancies: 7/7
228-249-9468

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they named one of them "Bon Ami"

Anonymous said...

Would these neighbors care if Sherwood Forest had a halfway house for white-collar criminals like Dickie Scruggs, Paul Minor, and Chris Epps?

Anonymous said...

14 eyes and 14 hands 20 feet from my child's window every night?

It'd be hard to get a good night's sleep.

Anonymous said...

Bon Ami?? Really?? They are calling one of their houses Bon Ami? LOL!! This couple is not only sneaky and greedy, they are just plain stupid.

FYI my grandma had a consult w one of Dr Fiser's partners next week. We cancelled it and made one somewhere else. I don't want any of our money going I to the Fiser's pockets if this is what they do w it.

Anonymous said...

Bon ami is owned by a couple who lives in Madison. They haven't received much attention yet but I'm sure it's coming. Pittpanther none of the homes are in eastover. A lot of you don't know much yet continue to post.

Anonymous said...

We've been told that Anna Stephens LLC owns 1608 St. Mary (a duplex, I believe, though I've yet to drive by) in our beleaguered Belhaven neighborhood. As if we need further challenges to work against: our crumbling water system, our crumbling streets, the increased crime, etc. I hope I'm wrong, but this feels like the final nail in the neighborhood's coffin if/when Anna sets up Oxford House in Belhaven. I've long since given up on our home "investment" as a moneymaker if/when we sell: The question that I now fear--more so in light of this development--is just how much money we would have to come up with in order to sell our home. For the record--I can't argue with you all that say Jackson is a lost cause, that we should give up and relocate. We just can't afford to do so; thus, we have little choice but to make the best of our situation. Anna's little venture makes our other neighborhood issues look minor right now.

Anonymous said...

The claim of ministry and defense of that claim is disturbing to have come on this Easter weekend.

Here's a quote from the time of Martin Luther when the Catholic Church was corrupt, priests were living in splendor and magnificent cathedrals were built while people starved.

When asked why the ministers were riding such fine horses these days, a priest who supported Martin Luther's reformation replied, " Because the great lords have made fools of the asses so there are only fine horses left to ride".

We seem to be in a time again where the definitions of ministry and church have again been corrupted.

Mary was not a princess. She was the wife of a carpenter not a King. Jesus wasn't born in a castle but in a stable. Jesus didn't ride fine horses and was clear about it being wrong to use the temple for profit. He didn't ask people to pay to hear the Word of the Lord. Jesus delivered His message by word, deed, and example and his disciples did the same.

And, The Bible is very clear that it isn't easy for a rich man to get into the Kingdom of Heaven or has the passage about a camel getting through the eye of a needle being easier been eliminated through revisions now?

Nor are there any exceptions given to " bearing false witness".

Anonymous said...

The Stephens have obviously spent a lot of time acquiring intelligence at the expense of developing intellect. Intelligence is built by gaining information from textbooks, teachers, schools and universities such as Harvard. The intellect is developed through individual effort by exercising the faculty of questioning, thinking and reasoning. It is important to understand the difference. Any amount of intelligence gained cannot per se build your intellect.

You need a powerful intellect to put the knowledge, intelligence gained, to practical use in life. That explains why among millions of doctors graduating from medical schools only a few have discovered life-saving procedures, cures and remedies. It is their intellect that renders their performance outstanding.

Besides hindering success and progress, intelligence without intellect can destroy peace and happiness in the world.

It has no doubt destroyed the peace and happiness in our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

The March 2014 VIP magazine shows these two. It seems they came from wealth.

Also, the 10:31 comment pertaining to her current employer, what she is employed as, and a reference to her past need to be heeded. She is around young girls in her current position.....hope we don't have a "situation" here like a past coaching couple from Ridgeland.

Anonymous said...

One thing is certain 7:48 AM, if recent experience is an indicator the two little Hitlers Neal and Anna don't care about what hundreds of other homeowners care and have no intention of seeking your input.

Anonymous said...

This is a natural fit with northeast Jackson moms who swap sex for drugs at JCC....it provides a local rehab element to such trysts when they crop up.

And for those worried about NE Jackson home values please just drive up Old Canton Road at 6 PM and see your future. Home values plummeted in Northpoint. Lake Trace is a crack den. East of Old Canton will be a war zone.

Escape while you can.

Anonymous said...

Oh....one may want to point out that Anna did not wear a white wedding dress.....oops check out the May 2014 VIP magazine.

According to the size of their wedding I would would say they like to flaunt money.

Anonymous said...

As individual damaged by the willful acts of the Stephenses I believe we have private rights of action for our losses that have already begun to impact us. I've started researching the Applicable laws on Westlaw. All of this was foreseeable. I will not rest until fully compensated unless they want to let us help them find a way out of what they have done to us.

Anonymous said...

9:56 am It's CCJ not JCC.

Those women needed rehab but not a place like Oxford House.

I've more a than few friends in Northpointe and while it's not as pricey as it was, it's not a "new", trendy neighborhood anymore. However, there's a lot of remodeling going on and the patio homes especially are very pricey.

The homes near businesses on Old Canton are not doing well, but geez, blame that on the Jackson city government when it was whiter than snow for not protecting their residential neighborhoods and not limiting business development wisely.

Anonymous said...

I live four houses from this property and we have already dealt first hand with someone straight out of drug rehab. His name is George Bell and directly after returning from a lengthy drug rehab he murdered his girlfriend at his mother's house. Her house where this murder took place sits about five houses from the Stephens' property at 2230 E. Northside Drive. Now we will have SEVEN of these high risk individuals - most having a criminal record living down the street. So, please do not say I don't have a right to be scared out of my mind for my family and my children. The Stephens do not have ANY control over who lives in that house. One week it could be seven different people from the next week. It could be sex offenders - we will NEVER KNOW! We as home owners don't have any rights - the rights are all given to the people who rent from Neil and Anna Stephens. I personally want to go on notice to Neil and Anna Stephens that they will be held accountable for ANYTHING
that happens in this neighborhood directly related to their "renters".

Anonymous said...

@7:48, Yes they own Apt 10 at 1608 St Mary, as well as another house on Forrest Park. So, they have at least 4 to rent to Oxford House already. According to others in the area, they have looked at houses and are apparently planning to buy up to 10. I hope the Fondren and Belhaven homeowners are aware of this and are preparing. There are many properties in their price range in those neighborhoods. There has been so much effort to revitalize both, it would be tragic if one couple's greed and selfishness undoes all the good done before.

Anonymous said...

@10:09 The reason Oxford House targets "nicer" neighborhoods is so the landlord can protect the value of "their" investment by the investment of the residents of the surrounding good neighborhood. Ironic right.

If only measured by by business terms, Oxford House is a good business model for landlords. However, communities are more complex than that.

Anonymous said...

Laura Van Devender Stansell is the self appointed spokesperson for her cousin, Neal Stephens. The emails she has send our group in Sherwood Forrest are insulting. I am very surprised she is coming to the defense of the halfway house where 7 male addicts will live, because she and her 3 small daughters are just within walking distance of the halfway house. I guess blood is truly thicker...or is it greed?

Anonymous said...

Let’s take the addiction or criminal elements of Oxford House residents out of the equation. If you were to tell me that you were going to put seven unrelated grown men in a three bedroom house, I would be against it.

In any other circumstance, this concept would be called a fraternity house or a reality show on MTV. Neither of which do I want in my neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

1) "the next week. It could be sex offenders - we will NEVER KNOW! "

Isn't it the law that sex offenders have to register with the police AND notify neighbors when they move into a residence? I know it is in some places I have lived.

2) Nashville has a law preventing more that six unrelated adults from living in one residence, and has been is effect since the Civil War. I don't know if Oxford House dumps any sex offenders or addicts in Nashville but that law has been challenged and upheld for decades.

Anonymous said...

Owners of rental homes have complete control as to who they allow to lease their home. As an owner of 12 rental homes in Rankin County, all of which are in coveted subdivisions; we do felony, misdemeanor and sex offender checks on anyone over the age of 18 that lives in the home, along with credit checks. Lawn maintenance is included. We also require a minimum of 2 years employment with the same employer, which is verified. The mere mention of "missionary" work is a sorry excuse for greed. If you sell your home to an invester or home flipper, you will get an Oxford House or worse everytime. It's time to organize a strong HOA. You abide by THEIR rules and there are never problems.

Anonymous said...

2 satellite dishes on this house, one on the side and one in the backyard. dark curtains all around. Have a big weekend.

Anonymous said...

11:53 - Not following the law is what got these people sentenced to prison and halfway houses to begin with.

Anonymous said...

well said 9:03, well said....

Anonymous said...

To those of you who stayed in an Oxford House and benefited, understand that all of us want that end result for anyone trying to escape from addiction. Most, if not all of us, have been affected by or personally experienced the devastation not getting treatment can cause.

We are not judging the people seeking help, but we are concerned about the program and how this was inflicted on an unsuspecting middle class neighborhood.

The Oxford House website says the homes are self run - that the men elect officers "like a fraternity" and govern themselves (well, I think we know how well that's been working based on recent news). The owner is just in a business transaction and has no accountability or responsibility for the residents.

The site also says residents can move in with as little as a 5 day detox program. I can't imagine how any one struggling with addiction could self-govern in independent living with only 5 days of treatment.

I think most, if not all of us love someone who has been affected by addiction or mental disorders (the OH FAQs mentions their study that showed that 50% of their sample of residents had psychiatric issues, and 25% of the sample had severe psychiatric issues). And we all want to help those trying to recover to find support and regain independence. Grouping strangers in houses with no counseling or medical/psychological oversight and no trained caregiver seems like a relatively overly optimistic way to help individuals, at best.

Couldn't this be done much better by using remodeled apartment or condominium complexes that could also offer services that could really help the residents such as onsite AA meetings, medication oversight, a chapel, some leisure activities like a pool/exercise facility, and a resident manager who could assist when renters needed something they could not manage in their individual self-governed units. For the amount these people are paying, this should be do-able and a better environment for those seeking recovery.

From an investment view, it's a great opportunity to get 2 to 3 x the going rent, but at what cost to the residents who are left to figure out sober living on their own and what cost to the neighborhood?

Robert Wise said...

Believe me the Stephens should not be able to damage individual homeowners in their enjoyment and values in their properties without answering to us in law, regardless of whatever duties the City may have to them. They should not be allowed to get away with harming us as I believe in my opinion they have and are.

Anonymous said...

This has the makings of a "Law and Order" episode.

Anonymous said...

If the residents have been in prison, I doubt it was for their first offense unless someone died as a result or they are one of the sex offenders.

I think the Stephens should reconsider quickly or their social life will get very, very chilly.

Pappy Odaniel said...

The most destructive force on the planet are these elitist liberals. They are always there to take advantage of the downtrodden and destitute. Christian endeavor my ass...stacking up recalcitrant sex offenders and drug addicts in residential neighborhoods that are barely clinging to viability for your personal gain is sick. There's no conscience among these people...they're just smarter than the rest of us and we should be ashamed of ourselves for not behaving in a Christian manner in reverence of them gracing our community with their benevolent talent for using government programs to further the diversity of Northeast Jackson...clearly, relative to the rest of Jackson, Northeast Jackson was a vice desert, wholly underserved by drug dealers, sex offenders and petty criminals

Anonymous said...

5:44 I think their plan is to move to Bridgewater, rake in piles of money and not care what anyone thinks about them or their piles of money.
Then they will sell their established cash flowing business for bigger piles of money, and just be "that young couple" you see around town. They are counting on people forgetting.
Or maybe they will move, and keep making their piles of money of of the place they left behind and wrecked.

Anonymous said...

Let's set some ground rules.
Singular: Stephens
Singular possessive: Stephens's
Plural: Stephenses
Plural possessive: Stephenses'

Robert Wise said...

6:46 Thanks. Good rules of pleading.

Anonymous said...

$500 per month per person.

Anonymous said...

From the letter:
"At first, we began purchasing a few rental properties as an investment in our local community where we might increase some of the property values and improve the neighborhoods in our small way, but we did find ourselves believing that our venture evolved into somewhat of a ministry. We felt—as believers and locals who care about the people in our community—that it was not our place to discriminate against those who are protected and non-threatening and clearly had and have given us no reason to do so."

Their "venture" was buying 3 houses. They never rented to regular renters, only Oxford House. So how did they decide they should not discriminate? Who came to them that made them ponder that decision. I'm pretty sure Oxford House did not seek out a couple with 3 recent rental purchases and persuade them to rent to their groups. The Stephens had to have had the plan and already approached OH about renting from them. How the heck do they know they are "non-threatening" - they directed everyone to contact OH as they will have nothing else to do with the property but cash the checks. They will not know, nor with the people living next door, who is the resident of the week. But, oh, this is their "ministry".

It's a great way to make a lot of money - note they are renting to OH, not the tenants, so they have no risk and no responsibility. Just a lot of money coming in at the expense of the teachers, bank tellers, UPS drivers, and others who worked their tales of to have a decent home to live/retire in and hoped to at least recoup the investment they made in their community.

Anonymous said...

April 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM has brought forth
a wonderful idea.

Who wants to live where they are not wanted?
Those in recovery need to be embraced, nurtured,
and encouraged. That is not going to happen
in this neighborhood. As anonymous says above,
it would be awesome to let them have their own
community.

Neighborhoods are not equipped to meet the
needs of people in recovery unless the residents
of the neighborhood are all in recovery.

I wrote a comment that was not selected to be
included in this dialogue. It gave thorough statistics and the bottom line of what a recovering addicts life is like. The bottom line is this...
Recovery is not assured. It is not pretty.
Not everyone will stay clean and/or sober.
That is a fact. Do your research.
There will be constant turnover of the residents
in the house. Those in recovery will feel strange
living there. The couple who started this has
been unfair to the residents of the house and the neighborhood. They will feel ostracized and they will be ostracized. Not a good way to start out.

KaptKangaroo said...

Geesh. Unfortunately, you don't get to choose your neighbors - if you don't like it, change it.

Anonymous said...

These folks are buying property and putting it to use.

Nobody wants to live in Jackson.....nobody with any sense for future investments in real property.

Zoning? Problematic indeed.

But the real damage was done long ago.

Poor schools. Bad service. High taxes. Bad neighbors. And now really bad neighbors.

Death nail in a very old coffin.

Anonymous said...

#8:41 Exactly. How can it be good for these people who are struggling to find their place in society to be thrust into a community that is not ready or able to support them? They need a place that encourages their progress and embraces their success. It's unfair to them, more than anyone, to charge an exorbitant rent to live in an area that is not completely welcoming. And I am totally understanding why the community is not welcoming - no information provided on the various residents and their history and the reality that many of these residents have criminal backgrounds. Yes, we want anyone trying to reclaim their life to be successful, but the statistics are the cold,hard facts - and expecting people to ignore the facts is ludicrous. There are ways to embrace those trying to improve their lives without ravaging the lives of those who trudged on to be sure they can live out their future without burdening society to support them. Slashing their property values is unfair. I 100% think we need to help those struggling but not when that hurts those that always took the hard road of doing the right thing and now face major financial consequences from things they have no way to control. Not cool.

Anonymous said...

9:50. Gee thanks jerk. Really helpful.

Anonymous said...


The couple who started this 8:41 don't care about anything but homage to themselves.

mankind said...

posting "Anonymous" yea ironic Nor Easters. Own your vehement wind. "Never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." Donne 1660

Anonymous said...

6:46 - why don't we simplify for everyone and just call them the Two Thieves - stole our property values, stole our safety, and stole our hope.

Robert Wise said...

I am already living differently in my house now that Anna Fiser and Neal have established a den of criminals one door from me: blinds drawn, security alarm on. Anna and Neal, I know you feel better after the big crap you took on us.

Anonymous said...

Pappy O'Daniel

Hate to break it to you but these folks are neither liberals nor Democrats.

Getting forgetful Pappy? You ought to know these folks.

This ain't about politics, this here's about making mo' money just like your boy does!

These folks are just better at it!



Anonymous said...

Are there any neighborhood covenants that limit the number of adults that can live in a rental house? Can two adults who wish to share rent live in a rental house in the neighborhood? Three? Ten? What if no one knew these men were recovering addicts? I hate to break it to you, northeast Jackson, but you already have recovering addicts living among you, some who served jail time. This sounds more like anger at a couple who didn't seek your approval ahead of time than a fear that recovering addicts are going to break into your homes and violate your daughters.

Anonymous said...

9:50 I like this coffin. Sorry you are so bitter. Why do you obsess on the coffin I love living in. Jealous?? Don't like your surroundings? PissED you off to have to come to the coffin? LMAO.

Anonymous said...

Thank you @ 10:01, I concur. Without "The Coffin", all of these parasitic suburbs wouldn't even exist. That being said, it is difficult to comprehend why their dwellers would ruminate upon the shortcomings of the city to which their fortunes are inexorably tied. I for one love Jackson, with all her flaws, and most of all I love her people, including all parts of the MSA. If these posters who have fled the city proper think they aren't directly affected by the issues being confronted in Jackson, they are dead wrong. In fact they are likely facing most if them in their own neighborhoods and are just blissfully ignorant of the facts.

Anonymous said...

Right, only the clairvoyant and wise live in Jackson. Certain Jacksonians, like 10:59 AM, are "blissfully" supreme.

Anonymous said...

The emphasis needs to move to the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. They are the ones pushing Oxford House. In their most recent planning they consulted with Lori Holtzclaw, the regional outreach manager for Oxford House. They are lining up to ask the legislature for $1,800,000 in rental subsidies. This is 150 units for 24 months at $500 per month.

This is all public information on the MDH website. Make your statewide elected officials aware of how the subsidies are being used.

Anonymous said...

Technical Assistance Collaborative, Inc. out of Boston made the recommendations to MDH to pursue Oxford House in Mississippi.

http://www.tacinc.org/technical-assistance-consultation/recent-clients-projects/ms-dmh/

Bars On The Windows said...

Joe Stevens and his entire family, including his father before him, have gotten filthy rich off such gambits. Usually they involve children under direction and supervision of he court or DPW, under the alleged oversight of the Attorney General and Welfare Department.

This is just another scam in a long line of scams. Look into the history of the children's facility in Magee, MS, going back forty years.

Anonymous said...

Stay on point, people. This is not about suburbs vs. Jackson. Now is not the time for that utter nonsense.

Anonymous said...

1:18

Wrong. It's exactly on point.

Crazy Mary built Madison with strict zoning. This will not ever happen in Northbay....or anywhere within the city of Madison.

Jackson is a cesspool not because of the good people who continue to love her....but because of the hateful people who run the city.

Stokes hates white people. He said as much.

All you well intentioned r people who think city hall cares about JCC or CCJ or Eastover....you are delusional. You will soon be thrust up against the lowest common denominator.

Cities die. They can be "gentrified" but they have to die first.

Jackson is in its death throes....nobody likes it...it's just a natural by product of how our society operates.

Nobody downtown is going to help evict these law breakers any time soon.

Madison would do it immediately.

Anonymous said...

Sorry "Bars on the Windows", these are Stephens, not the Stevens from Magee.

Senator Will Longwitz said...

I have called a meeting with the MS Department of Mental Health to discuss their involvement in funding the Oxford Houses. If anyone has specific information they feel I need to know going into that meeting, please email me at will@willlongwitz.com. I am in contact with many of you already.
I will be reporting on what I learn in that meeting on this Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/longwitz

-Will Longwitz

Anonymous said...

What's to stop the Colonial property owners from developing the former country club site into a residential area where they are "landlords" partnered with Oxford House?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Senator for your leadership. Does Rep Denny have any public comments to make about this subject affecting his constituents or comments about joining that meeting? Doubtful, as he probably doesn't even have email or a computer since he's 80+ years old. Time for new representation in the State House for NE Jxn. Dinosaur Denny can't hide forever.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SENATOR!!!

Anonymous said...

12:13 - your starting to connect the dots to this scam. I don't believe in coincidence.

TAC Inc = Boston = Harvard = Neal Stephens

This scam is getting very very interesting.

Anonymous said...

4:36, could it be a coincidence that Neal Stephens' uncle (by marriage), Billy Van Devender, has had business dealings in Boston, in particular owning Blue Heron Farm, a $20 million estate on Martha's Vineyard that has served as a summer home for President Obama?



Anonymous said...

sorry to inform you 3:01 but Neil Stephens is from Magee and is the grandson of the founder and past owner of Millcreek. As stated he and his family are not democrat or liberal.(This includes the VanDevender's who rent their $20,000,000.00 second home on Martha's vineyard to the Obama's. As like so many of these conservative Republican's its all about the money.

Anonymous said...

Time for new representation in the State House for NE Jxn. Dinosaur Denny can't hide forever.

Denny is unopposed in 2015.

Recognizing Entrepreneurship said...

http://www.usm.edu/news/article/unique-dore-program-opens-new-office-southern-miss-campus

Anonymous said...

6:37 - what we need is a Concept Map - wonderful tools for showing intertwined and complex relationships. They really simplify all the players and who is doing who. Grand Juries love them. Starting one now.

Anonymous said...

There are criminals in every neighborhood. Most people just don't know it.

Robert Wise said...

12:54 am
That's just the problem. Oxford Houses are known locations and the fact that over 3/4 of their residents have criminal histories is published in their annual report. So as a nearby neighbor It was always foreseeable that I may see a drop in my property value as a direct result of the of the Stepheses' lease of the house to OH.

Anonymous said...

This starts with the Feds who give a hugh grant to the State who spent the money just like the Feds want. State leaders do not even know what is going on,

Anonymous said...

There are criminals in every neighborhood. Most people just don't know it.

So what is your point dimbulb?

Anonymous said...

As this neighborhood falls in value, JA should look at relocating.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:54 - well, at least they're "self-reliant" ...and not government sponsored en masse.

Anonymous said...

8:10:

I love Hugh Grant movies...

Anonymous said...

11:11, when you start working on a Concept Map, you might want to take a look at the Institute for Disability Studies, referenced in the link that was posted about the DORE program.

"The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) is Mississippi's Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service. Housed at The University of Southern Mississippi, IDS strives to meet its federal mission to enhance the quality of life across the life span for citizens with disabilities and their families, regardless of culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. Quality of life is enhanced through leadership activities that promote policies of inclusion at home, school, work, and recreational settings. Through supportive efforts to facilitate the availability of an array of individual and family supports that are community-based and culturally competent, IDS promotes the independence, productivity, and community integration and inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Supportive efforts include interdisciplinary preservice training; community service activities that involve outreach training, technical assistance, and model service demonstration; and dissemination of state-of-the-art practices based on applied research."

IDS is heavily involved in housing initiatives.

https://www.usm.edu/disability-studies/housing-overview

Neal Stephens > DORE > IDS > Housing Initiatives > Neal Stephens?

Welcome to Stephenstown said...

There are criminals in every neighborhood.

Most people don't know it.

The criminals of unknown identities, offenses and locations are already accepted de facto amongst the unsuspecting and unwitting people.

Most people are guilty because of their innocence.

The neighborhood is populated with elitist unindicted co-criminals.

Oxford House residents are better than garden variety criminals, even if they are sex offenders, because they are post-criminal and reforming.

A revolving door importation of Oxford House former criminals, including the 1/5th who will not reform, regardless their offense is merely a logical sociological advancement of an acceptance already offered the lesser general criminal element.

The neighborhood IS the problem.

The intolerant neighborhood criminals already accept criminals to live with them.

It is the neighborhood that must intellectually sober up.

It is the neighborhood that must be brought to heel regardless the cost.

It is the criminal residents of the neighborhood who must be violated and economically damaged before they can experience sobriety and rebirth.

Neal and Anna are transcendent and omnipotent. The neighborhood must subjugate itself to their will.

Drink the Kool-aid.

Anonymous said...

9:52 surely, that's SNL sarcasm?

Anonymous said...

"As this neighborhood falls in value, JA should look at relocating. "

They can ask JSU how to relocate to Madison without attracting attention :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Senator Longwitz! Your support will not go unnoticed by those of us directly affected by this, you can bet on that. Thank you, again. Hoping the rest of our elected leaders will step up in similar fashion.

Anonymous said...

Seven men in a three bedroom house. That is not a single family. Put 10 of those houses in a neighborhood. Then a developer comes along to request rezoning for apartments based on the change in the use and character of the neighborhood. That's how you destroy a single family neighborhood.

Robert said...

What I find funny is this senator posting on JJ. What could he possibly do? Recovering addicts are protected under the Americans with disabilities act. He is just posting here because he wants votes in the upcoming election. There is NOTHING he can do about this.

Robert Wise said...

12:20
Robert who. Not me, Robert Wise. We met with MDH. I am very grateful to Will Longwitz for leading the meeting and starting an essential dialogue and information gathering source. Will is very important for our inquiries. Thank you Will.

Anonymous said...

@12:20

That's not entirely true. If the Legislature declines to appropriate funds to MDMH or prohibits the use of appropriated funds for Oxford House or related rental subsidies, this whole thing goes away without having to get anywhere near the ADA.

Robert P. Wise said...

I meant MDMH.
Again, thank you Will as we short through this. Robert Wise

Anonymous said...

The least the Stephenses could do is sign their flop house up for CSpire fiber. Oh wait, that would require a deposit of $10… too much to ask from slum lords who will only pocket $3500/month.

Anonymous said...

Anyone remember learning about "blockbusting"? If not google the term. This whole Oxford House racket seems like 21st century blockbusting to me. I emailed Sen Longwicz and asked him to look into the anti-blockbusting legislation from the 1960s and see if there wasn't anything in there they could use to combat this.

Anonymous said...

Manna's response is pure heresy!

Robert said...

Seeing as Oxford House tenants pay their own bills, not sure how the Stephenses could sign up for CSpire fiber. Maybe you should talk to the tenants?

Anonymous said...

Has ANYONE heard from Rep Bill Denny? Is he still MIA?

Election time is just around the corner. Maybe time for someone MORE engaged in their district.

He was not at the MDMH meeting today. Why not and where was he? This is the single most important issue he has ever had in his district.

Anonymous said...

2:04 - Someone said there were two satellite dishes installed first two days... should leave room for five more to be installed pretty soon?

Anonymous said...

9:52 - WTF?!? Did Glenn Beck break out his chalkboard and do a special on the Stephenses or something? You are totally nuts. Might eventually end up in one of these Oxford Houses.

Anonymous said...

This is a Fair Housing Act issue, not an ADA issue....
Fair Housing Act protects certain groups when looking for a place to live. ADA protects certain groups when dealing with more commercial/workplace issues....

Anonymous said...

It's time for new representation in the state house for NE Jxn. Dinosaur Denny is ruling like a prince: "let them eat cake." He is out of touch and needs to go. Heck, I'd even vote for Dorsey over this old fossil. Maybe a write-in candidate will run. Elected officials are SUPPOSE to do what's in the best interest of their constituents. By not even showing up at that meeting, Dinosaur show his true colors…or should I say fossils.

Robert P. Wise said...

6:00
The ADA provides the definition for the Fair Housing Act (by FHA reference) to "disabled persons" as including persons recovering from addictions.
I read a wonderful book some years back by guy coincidently named Thomas Payne but called "The Death of Common Sense" about the overregulation of America, how we have given everyone a right, so we now all have conflicting rights, pitting us against each other. The ADA was a prime example. Now we find the FHA imposes similar conflicts with the backing of Federal preemption. Long term we ultimately all need to talk with Thad and Roger about what to do about the FHA.

Anonymous said...

What was said at the MDMH meeting? Anyone know??

Anonymous said...

How many times y'all going to do that roman helmet rhumba about Denny? He's running unopposed. Filing deadline long gone by now. Y'all screwed up. You had your chance to give Dorsey the job but those MSGOP establishment condoms you wear on your heads for fun stop you from thinking.

Anonymous said...

In China, Robert Wise would be called Wise Robert, but this is definitely not a misnomer. The Stephens should be on notice that an angry neighborhood is doing their homework. If presented with a tennis ball with a present inside, Anna should not look for an engagement ring but a subpoena. She will have been served.

Anonymous said...

Amen Robert - there are MANY of us working this issue at ALL levels.

This is NOT a zoning issue folks - that is the red herring - OH wants you to go down that path. They want you to be diverted from the real issue which is FEDERAL TAXPAYER MONEY and NO BID CONTRACTS.

Didn't we just have an issue with that at MDOC?

Anonymous said...

9:13 is correct. The filing deadline was Feb 27th.

Up until last week no one cared who held the seat - that has changed.

Anonymous said...

Some of this ENRAGES me, so I make sure you know I'm SERIOUS by strategic use of ALL CAPS.

Anonymous said...

ONLY comments ALLOWED by the author GET APPROVED. How equally balanced & FAIR this process must be.

Anonymous said...

The treatment industry is a shame, 5 to 8 percent success rate at best. Recovered addicts have less than a snowballs chance in hell of staying sober. Put 7 addicts under one roof with no supervision and you will have a meth house in no time.

Anonymous said...

"ONLY comments ALLOWED by the author GET APPROVED. How equally balanced & FAIR this process must be. "

Always has been, always will be.

For probably the 1000th time - you don't like it? Leave and go start your own blog and run it any way you like. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that an organization started in 1935 by the name of Alcoholics Anonymous works so well and DOES NOT SETUP unlicensed, unregulated, and unsupervised houses in single family neighborhoods? Answer - because they are not a money making scheme to use US TAXPAYER dollars. AA requires a personal commitment on the part of the substance abuser. The treatment model has worked EXTREMELY well for those TRULY committed to getting better. Oxford House is nothing but a money making operation.

Anonymous said...

People need to stop saying that they are not doing this for the right reason. No one truly knows their intentions, but if you personally knew the Stephens you would know that they are great people who love and want to serve the Lord. God calls us to love those that are not easiest to love, and by them opening this house they are showing love to these people. We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and just because these people who will be moving into this house sins are more apparent than other people doesn't mean that they are any worse. Take this as an opportunity to love your neighbor even though its hard. This is what God calls us to do.

Anonymous said...

" "ONLY comments ALLOWED by the author GET APPROVED. How equally balanced & FAIR this process must be. "

Always has been, always will be. (Read with a redneck accent.)

For probably the 1000th time - you don't like it? Leave and go start your own blog and run it any way you like. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

^Oh, you didn't like that comment? How ironic...ha. Also, I believe you've misunderstood how it was written. But that's irrelevant now, seeing how you chose to respond. Also, I'm so proud of your clever comment about the door hitting me on the way out.

Anonymous said...

I personally know some of these bitchy moms commenting in this thread as hypocritical adulterers. So a good 80% of these comments posted are fork-tongued, asymmetric spews of illogical hatred. Pretty soon someone should post their names, addresses, & places of employment..........

Anonymous said...

2:16 - God does not call us to "help" one neighbor (and whether these homes actually help these addicts is up for serious debate) by hurting thousands of others. And to pocket a LOT of money in the process.

Anonymous said...

@2:16

Not everyone who knows the Stepehns thinks highly of them. I know the them on a personal level and professional level. I have for years. I don't trust them as far as I can throw them, never have.

Anonymous said...

"by hurting thousands of others." Riiiiiiight. Go ahead & provide the quantified evidence that this particular issue will do just that. Or next time don't make such an outlandish stretch.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:16 When will the Landlord start hosting bible study or other program related services at the house?

When I see a personal commitment (other than receiving a financial windfall) will I believe that this is in any way related to a ministry.

Anonymous said...

@2:16 I fail to see how buying property as an investment and leasing it out at several times the current rent is serving/helping others. They aren't giving them a place to live, they are leasing it. What am I missing? Are they going to mentor/serve the people in the houses they bought and lease to Oxford House?

Anonymous said...

" "by hurting thousands of others." Riiiiiiight. Go ahead & provide the quantified evidence that this particular issue will do just that. Or next time don't make such an outlandish stretch." April 7, 2015 at 3:22 PM

It is not an outlandish remark. Your "commentary", on the other hand, is an attempt to intimidate - a lame attempt. You might get away with it in Magee, or wherever you're from. But not here.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:16 The landlord has made a unilateral decision that impacts the entire neighborhood. Why should their judgement go unquestioned?

Does the landlord show their love for their neighbors by casting them aside and referring their communal concerns to an attorney in Delaware?

The landlords lack of regard for the questions from the community at large is emblematic of the decline in citizenship and collective conscience in our society.

Anonymous said...

We'll said by 3:01.
Anna's decision show poor judgement and a lack of concern for others. It is based on GREED.
"A good name is desired over great riches."

Anonymous said...

SOME OF THE COMMENTERS HERE ACT LIKE THEY HAVEN'T BEEN INSPIRED BY THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL!

REMEMBER: THOU SHALT NOT ENVY, NOR ENGAGE IN TEARING DOWN THOSE MORE SUCCESSFUL.

Anonymous said...

"It is not an outlandish remark. Your "commentary", on the other hand, is an attempt to intimidate - a lame attempt. You might get away with it in Magee, or wherever you're from. But not here."
April 7, 2015 at 4:48 PM

...hurting thousands...thousands?! Seems outlandish. Haha, thanks for putting quotation marks around "commentary." :) I believe you've misperceived my "commentary" as intimidating. Try rereading it, as it doesn't have to be intimidating, other than finding someone calling out your comment as outlandish unless otherwise quantified, then yes, I suppose intimidating. But not a (lame) tactic. Also, is it not ironic how you chose to respond to what you perceived as a lame intimidation attempt? If that's what happens in Magee, wherever that is & whatever that has to do with it, then there is certainly more evidence here that, that is where you are from before me. :) But why should that matter? It's neither here nor there. ;)

Anonymous said...

George Bell savagely murdered his girlfriend in Robbie Bell's house on Trawick. He was in rehab for 30 days and came home to mommy. End of story. Does something like this really have to happen again? Are the Stephens' even familiar with this horrific incident?

Robert Wise said...

Who are these two 29 year olds to suddenly invade our two neighborhoods by stealth and dictate to those of us who have been here for years what the terms shall be as to our safety, security, investment and futures for our neighborhood children? Anna and Neal Stephens, in the name of Christ our Lord, I will not be dictated to by you.

Anonymous said...

12:36 - this is 2:44. I am not the person who posted at 4:48. You see, many people share my view. Probably thousands. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

I know Anna and Neal personally and I have for years they rented that house so they could help people. They don't take the money for themselves.

Chad R. said...

I think it is hilarious that you all post these comments anonymously. Shows a lot of conviction and guts. Sober living houses/complexes are in some of the more affluent neighborhoods across this country. Rehab and sober living saved my life! It's 2015 people deserve second and even third chances at life if that's what it takes. Get with the program and stop looking at addicton as some type of character flaw. It could happen to you or any one of your family members.. It could be actively happening right now. Look inward and realize everyone makes mistakes even you. It is what you do to fight back and fix them that counts. That is exactly what Oxford house is giving these people the opportunity to do.
-Chad R.

Chad R. said...

I think it is hilarious that you all post these comments anonymously. Shows a lot of conviction and guts. Sober living houses/complexes are in some of the more affluent neighborhoods across this country. Rehab and sober living saved my life! It's 2015 people deserve second and even third chances at life if that's what it takes. Get with the program and stop looking at addicton as some type of character flaw. It could happen to you or any one of your family members.. It could be actively happening right now. Look inward and realize everyone makes mistakes even you. It is what you do to fight back and fix them that counts. That is exactly what Oxford house is giving these people the opportunity to do.
-Chad R.

Anonymous said...

Well put, Chad. Thank you. Some of us have had our views to be greatly changed since April.
Alan A

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Loading...

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?

Archives

Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.