Homeless Housing Defies Denton City Rules

Man offers home to homeless, breaking rules

By Sara Story
|  Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011  |  Updated 7:58 PM CDT
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Homeless Housing Defies Denton City Rules

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Alfred Sanchez charged $40 in rent per month. Sanchez charged $40 per week. NBC 5 regrets the error.

A Denton man has opened his home to the homeless, but this act of kindness is against city rules. Now, city guidelines are being debated and neighbors are concerned.

Alfred Sanchez rents one of the Denton homes he owns to homeless men like John Porter. 

"It's a big load off. You don't have to worry about what is going to happen to you every day," Porter said.

Sanchez rents the home to working homeless men for just $40 per week.

"I thought, 'It's time to give to society a little bit of what I've gotten,'" Sanchez said. 

However, his plan to help others is running into road blocks with the city and neighbors.

"People do not feel like this is fair for it to be next door to them and right on their street," Carolyn Phillips said.

Phillips is in charge of the Southeast Denton Neighborhood Association. She said she recognizes the need to help people like Porter, but says Sanchez's house is not the right place.

Up to eight men live in the home at one time, and a Denton ordinance states that there can not be more than four unrelated people living under one roof.

"Transitional housing is something the city has taken a stand about," Phillips said.

"I am breaking the city code," Sanchez said, "I can be fined."

The city gave Sanchez until Nov. 1 to come up with a plan. He may move men to another house, but would rather the city to change its regulations.

"I believe we are all called to help one another," Sanchez said.

He will meet with the Southeast Denton Neighborhood Association on Monday night. He hopes they will take his side before he goes back to Denton City Council.

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