Archive for Friday, June 30, 2006

Unfair burden

June 30, 2006


To the editor:

Without regard to the paramount issue of safety, moving the Kentucky Street homeless shelter to 31st Street would require its new neighbors to pay tens of thousands of dollars in lost home equity. The amount paid by residents neighboring the 31st Street site would far exceed the mere $50,000 the Lawrence Community Shelter is presently requesting the city to pay.

Regardless of one's views on how to address homelessness, it should be indisputable that a new neighborhood homeless shelter will significantly drop surrounding property values. Placing a disproportionate financial burden on any one part of the city to address citywide homelessness is clearly wrong.

I can say with confidence that property owners surrounding the 31st Street property have and will continue to do much for those in need. If those of us in the neighborhood of the proposed 31st Street homeless shelter location do "dodge a bullet" (phrasing used by Commissioner Rundle, June 27), we have no further duty to the homeless community than any other citizen. The fact that a small part of the community is threatening to take a good part our hard-earned "American dream" does not alter that fact.

James Bachert,



Michael McClain 11 years, 11 months ago

Sorry to say this but the only way to "dodge a bullet" is to sell out now. If the city commision gets it in their heads that this is a good idea no amount of public comment on this issue is going to change their minds.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 11 months ago

" it should be indisputable that a new neighborhood homeless shelter will significantly drop surrounding property values."

If this is truly indisputable, then there should be reduced property values in the areas around the current homeless drop-in center and the Salvation Army.

Moderateguy 11 years, 11 months ago

Well Bozo, I wouldn't own one of the houses next to the current wet shelter if I could get it for 5 bucks. If enough people feel that way, there's your reduced property value. It's always been "location, location" when it comes to real estate.

I feel pretty sure that Sue Hack would have also voted against the 50k, so a real vote would have been 3-2 against. We don't need to expand the services of a shelter that can't even do a decent job at their current level. Close the wet shelter. Don't create a "Homeless Resort on a Lake."

Build it and they will come. Close it and they will go.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 11 months ago

"Close it and they will go."

Sweep the homeless under someone else's rug, eh?

Bruce Bertsch 11 years, 11 months ago

I understand the concerns of property owners, however, since when is it the job of the city or any government , to protect the value of personal property? When you buy any property there is risk involved. Also, the owners are not losing any real dollars except for ANTICIPATED appreciation. They lose nothing unless they sell at a loss. My question would be whenther these "concerned owners" purchased to make a home, or did they purchase for anticipated appreciation?

conservative 11 years, 11 months ago

I don't live in that area, and therefore this won't affect my pocketbook. However I still think this is a terrible idea. The bike path that so many use for jogging and biking is right along the border of this property and has many secluded areas. I use the path regularily with my kids. However I can guarantee I won't if this shelter moves there.

If there needs to be a shelter (and that's a different debate all together), then I'm in agreement with the people who have stated that it should be located away from residential areas. Preferably near industrialized areas. Those won't have their values affected, and perhaps there would be work available.

Packman 11 years, 10 months ago

" I'm in agreement with the people who have stated that it should be located away from residential areas. Preferably near industrialized areas"

The problem with this, is that if you do move it to someplace remote, it probably won't be used to it's fullest capacity. The homeless will end up sleeping elsewhere - probably near downtown, where they seem wont to hang-out.

As someone who lives near downtown, I see the homeless every day. They walk by my house, often after getting their booze at one of the nearby liquor stores. They hangout at the local park, where they sometimes sleep and drink, and occasionally defecate and have sex. Placing the shelter in a location that is a burden to get to, won't be solution at all - at least for the homeless with the biggest issues (who are, after all, the ones people fear the most, right?).

I'm not convinced that 31st street is the best location, since many of the homeless, especially the lame and perpetually drunk, will not likely walk there from downtown. Many of these same probably won't spring for cab or bus fare either. So then what?

But should it move, I'm not convinced that the effect on property values should be a big factor, since the current shelter is probably already depressing values of home's in it's neighborhood. The net effect on the city will probably be a wash.

I think the biggest question is where can we locate a shelter that is convenient to use for the homeless and has the least impact on neighborhood safety? I don't think it has to be "out of sight", but the location will need to be chosen wisely.

Moderateguy 11 years, 10 months ago

Here's the deal as I see it Bozo. I know it's heartless to link people with real needs, mental problems, and or a real desire to get their life on track with the other transients who want to hang out and get drunk on our nickel. If someone came up with a workable plan to help those in need and send the rest packing, I would be in support of it. The current wet shelter does not do that. None of them are really held accountable for their actions. I'm sick of driving past the current shelter every day and seeing people who just want to water ski behind the boat the rest of us are rowing in. Time to cut the rope. Make a real plan with real accountability, and I'll listen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 10 months ago

I'd say that a homeless shelter on 31st would likely serve mostly women with children, and otherwise those who are working and can afford the bus fare there and back. The drunks will stay downtown.

MaryKatesPillStash 11 years, 10 months ago


No wonder we are one of the cruelest cities to homeless.

To all you people bitching about the drunks and the defecators:

These people are your brethren. Human beings. Living, breathing, eating, humans, just like you.

Instead of treating them like some ugly object that will lower your property value, why not treat them like people? Spend a morning, just one morning, once a month or so, making breakfast at Jubiliee Cafe. Talk to them. Learn that they are real people. Some have college degrees. Some have tragic stories that you could never imagine in your picket fence, beige house life. Many do not have family whatsoever, and are also shunned by society.

Please tell me you all at least do this before you come on here and cry about your bike trails and your safety and your property value.

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