There was some considerable uproar this summer when the former Harpers Joy, which was a home for mentally handicapped residents, was set to be sold to a nonprofit and turned into a facility to help the homeless.
The residents in Harpers Joy’s neighborhood were upset with the change and voiced their heavy opposition to the project. After a few weeks, Hand in Hand of Glynn, Inc., decided not to pursue the purchase.
While we all do need to work together to help eradicate the homeless problem in Brunswick, turning Harpers Joy into a complex for the chronically homeless was a problematic solution. Those against the initiative pointed out reasonable points that Harpers Joy wasn’t close to services that the homeless rely on.
After Hand in Hand pulled out, Harpers Joy faded into the background for a few months until Wednesday’s city commission meeting.
It was announced during the meeting that Harpers Joy had been sold, and its new owner planned to turn the three-story facility into 24 apartments.
In order to do that, the commission had to approve a conditional-use permit to enable the new owners to begin work on the conversion.
The Neighborhood Planning Association that was so opposed to the Hand in Hand plan gave the new owners a standing ovation for their initiative.
We echo the thoughts of commissioner Johnny Cason, who said at the meeting that “We’re pleased you are doing this. It turned out to be a positive conclusion here.”
We have often lamented in this space the need for more housing in the area. Turning Harpers Joy into a place that will offer 24 apartments is a big boon for the area. It helps continue the momentum of drawing more people to downtown’s sphere not just to visit, but to live.
We commend the new owners for seeing the need and adding more living space to the area. And while we celebrate this new facility, we have not forgotten about the people Hand in Hand are trying to help.
As a community, we need to do more to provide assistance and support for those who have no where to go. There are a lot of nonprofits in the area doing tremendous work with the homeless. If you feel compelled, we encourage you to reach out to one of them and see how you can help.