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Members of the Dwellings community in shock after stabbing

Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 18:26:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Antwann Brown called The Dwellings in Tallahassee his home. It's a low-cost, low barrier housing opportunity.

Representatives for the community say they checked for red flags as they always do before allowing a tenant to move-in.

Second Chances. That's the mantra of CESC, Inc. and its non-profit, tiny-home community in Tallahassee, the Dwellings, which provides sustainable housing for people who are financially, socially, or institutionally disadvantaged.

Before 41-year-old Antwann Brown moved into the Dwellings in March of this year he went through their intensive vetting process, which includes an in-depth interview and a criminal history check.

"We do a Florida background check that we do through FDLE that will give us a report on all convictions that have been made on that particular individual and we also check the national sex offender database to make sure there is not a sexual offense that happened in another state," said Monique Ellsworth, CEO of CESC Inc.

She says they are looking for recent convictions, any signs that a prospective tenant might bring things like drug sales, or violent crime into the community.

Brown did have some drug convictions dating back to 1997 but no history of violent crime and the Dwelling reps say he was a quiet tenant, which made the stabbing that much more surprising to his neighbors.

"There is shock in the community but a lot of heartfelt prayers going towards the survivors of yesterday's tragic event," said Ellsworth.

A community now hoping for healing as it provides those second chances.

Dwelling representatives say their priority is keeping their tenants safe and secure. They held a town hall meeting Wednesday evening to discuss the incident and assure the community that they are there for them.