A building that once served as a day care will now help former prisoners re-enter society.

On Tuesday, the Erie Zoning Board rezoned the former "Alive Early Learning Academy" on East 11th Street as a group home for inmates.  It will now house the "Total Change” re-entry program.

"We just want to give people a second chance,” said Curtis Jones Sr.  “We want the community to be a positive place and we believe with the “Total Change” re-entry program, we can bring a positive change to the community."

According to Jones, it's a three-phase program aimed at preventing recidivism by helping former prisoners re-enter society.

"We're trying to remove hurdles, such as transportation, such as job training,” said Jones.  “We're trying to remove hurdles that they can go through and come out and be productive citizens within the community."

But not everyone is on board with those plans.

Pastor James Keeton of the Saint James AME Church says the location of the inmate home is raising some concern.

"Our opposition is it's in such close proximity to the school and to the neighborhood arts center that the sisters run, and to the activities we have at the church,” said Pastor Keeton.  "Our opposition is not against the program, but the placement of the program.”

There is a stipulation that the group home must follow.  They will not be allowed to help anyone convicted of violent crimes or sexual offenses.

"I agree with that 100 percent,” said Jones.  “We realize that they also need a second chance, but we're not in the position to address that right now."

Jones hopes to start the program in the next three to six months.