Coronado neighbors worried about historic mansion turned transitional home

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 21:54:44-04

For decades, Coronado's historical Hansen Mansion has drawn in spectators. It was home to Leo and Helen Hansen and generations of their family for 66 years.

But now it's attracting attention for what its future holds.

The nonprofit organization GenerateHope will be utilizing it as a transitional home for sex trafficking survivors. An anonymous donor purchased the mansion and offered it to the nonprofit.

Gregg Anderson lives in the neighborhood and believes the mansion isn't a good choice for the project.

"It's a nice little town. It's not too good to have transitional housing here, that's not the point. The point is we have a huge mansion that will be unregulated and will be transitional housing," Anderson said.

He worries that the 14,000 square foot home could mean too many people living there.

But the nonprofit is in their rights to set up shop in the community. In 2013, California passed a law allowing transitional homes to be in residential neighborhoods.

Anderson says some are also worried about safety.

"Do we have a reason to be concerned that people will follow these women and young girls? Because it's out now," said Anderson.

GenerateHope says the answer to that is no. Executive Director, Dan DeSaegher, says victims of these crimes are rarely chased by their traffickers, who go on to find new victims.

DeSaegher also says overcrowding the home isn't in line with their mission. They want to give each woman their own room and space to aid in the healing process. They plan to house six to eight women, and there will be two house moms overseeing the facility.

The women who choose to live in the home will have already undergone an 18-month program.

Charles Crehore lives in Coronado and says regardless of concerns, the nonprofit has a right to be here.

"I think they are to be commended," Crehore believes. "These are people who are trying to help these women, who are going to give them housing, give them training, give them an education so they can get on with their lives."

He says while some want the city to step in and do more, it's out of their control.

"It's a state law that affects everyone in California, including here in Coronado," said Crehore.

DeSaegher will be at a community meeting Tuesday night to talk to neighbors. He understands why they have questions and hopes they'll be able to have a positive conversation.