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Watered Gardens Officials Assure Residents The Facility Is Still - KOAM TV 7

Watered Gardens Officials Assure Residents The Facility Is Still Safe

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    The stabbing at Watered Gardens has led to some safety concerns.
Both people involved in Saturday's incident were residents of Watered Gardens.
Paula Crawford has been a resident of Watered Gardens since September 8th, and despite the incident on Saturday, 
Crawford: "There is no issue of safety here, we all come from a different walk of life, and attitudes and anger issues are going to arise."
And those are issues Executive Director James Whitford says they try to keep in check on several fronts.
Whitford: "We've got cameras all around the building and inside almost every room of the building as well, we do breathalyzers as people check into our shelter."
Officials with the Joplin Police Department tell us they've responded to 369 service calls here at Watered Gardens as opposed to only 3 at Souls Harbor, but officials with Watered Gardens tell us that's because their staff has a closer connection with the police department and that makes residents like Paula Crawford feel safer.
Crawford: "The Watered Gardens is here to help us, and no matter what happens here it is a safe environment for anyone to be here."
Whitford says despite the dangerous situation, part of the watered gardens mission, was put into action.
Whitford: "One of the things we do immediately with people who walk through our doors is to help them recognize their own value and their own worth, that they have an ability to be a partner in the work that we're doing and so i think there's some sense of that that may have played out even that evening as one of the students in our long term program applied pressure to a would that very well may have been life saving."
When it comes to those checking into Watered Gardens, Paula has just one piece of advice...
Crawford: "It is a Christian mission, and as long as you follow the rules and you do as you need to, then there is no issue here."
    Officials with Watered Gardens have begun having residents check in any knives they may be carrying before they get access to the facility.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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