WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The future of two Wichita sober living homes was tested Thursday. The IVY Home Foundation opened up the homes, one for men and one for women, earlier in the year. The goal is to give people a fresh start in a nice neighborhood.

“The backlash makes me really sad,” said Ivery Kaufman, founder of IVY Home Foundation.

Since opening, Kaufman says some neighbors have been upset.

“They’re concerned about the greater number of traffic and who the people are that might be living here because they have children or they’ve built a quiet community,” Kaufman said.

The Wichita Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) held a hearing Thursday to consider rezoning the homes to allow up to 12 residents in each home.

“It sounds extreme, but that’s the right number of people for a good community, where people support each other and provide resources to one another,” Kaufman explained.

Several neighbors took the podium and voiced concerns.

“It’s been two months and two weeks, and we’ve seen two police cars, calls already,” one neighbor said.

“With increased traffic with that many people in that house that those children are going to be at risk of not being seen,” another resident said.

The commission heard testimonies and debated for over an hour. Ultimately, the commission passed the rezoning for both homes. The women’s vote passed by a slim margin. The item now moves to the city council.

“Because you were homeless once or because you were addicted to drugs once, that does not mean you were dangerous. It was a circumstance,” Kaufman said.