Archive for Monday, August 3, 2009

Deal pending to move Lawrence Community Shelter to former Don’s Steakhouse

The building that formerly housed Lone Steer BBQ and Don’s Steakhouse was previously proposed as a site for the Lawrence Community Shelter.

The building that formerly housed Lone Steer BBQ and Don’s Steakhouse was previously proposed as a site for the Lawrence Community Shelter.

August 3, 2009, 2:39 p.m. Updated August 3, 2009, 11:43 p.m.


Deal pending to move Lawrence Community Shelter to former Don’s Steakhouse

Plans are in the works to convert the former Don’s Steakhouse building in eastern Lawrence into a homeless shelter to replace the existing Lawrence Community Shelter in the downtown area. Enlarge video

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Plans are in the works to convert the former Don’s Steakhouse building in eastern Lawrence into a homeless shelter to replace the existing Lawrence Community Shelter in the downtown area.

Both Mayor Rob Chestnut and City Commissioner Aron Cromwell confirmed that they had been notified that a deal was pending for the Lawrence Community Shelter to purchase the building, which most recently housed Lone Steer BBQ.

Loring Henderson, executive director of the shelter, said Monday afternoon that he did not want to talk about specific sites or contract negotiations, but said he was planning a press conference for later this week to make a significant announcement.

The former steakhouse building — 2176 E. 23rd St. — would have to receive a special-use permit from the City Commission before it could be converted into a homeless shelter.

Both Chestnut and Cromwell said they believed the site offered some good possibilities.

“There’s no site that is going to be perfect, but I think this will be one site most will be able to deal with,” Cromwell said. “There will be some businesses out there that have to receive some reassurances.”

Pat Slimmer, an owner of Slimmer’s Auto Service at 2030 E. 23rd Street, said he does have concerns.

“I don’t think it is in the best interest of the community to rezone prime commercial space at the gateway of the city,” Slimmer said. “I don’t think it is the best use for that property.”

Chestnut said he was pleased that the shelter — which currently operates at 10th and Kentucky streets — was moving ahead to find a site that will make it easier to house the homeless. He said the property was large enough that it would give shelter leaders a better chance to adequately buffer the shelter from surrounding properties.

The shelter has long sought a new location and recently has struggled with overcrowding after The Salvation Army closed its shelter earlier this summer. The Community Shelter is now seeking to add a fire sprinkler and make other improvements at its current location to accommodate more people. City commissioners will consider approving those improvements at their meeting today.

The city is being asked to spend $50,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to make those improvements at the existing shelter.

The shelter’s operating permit for its existing location is set to expire in April.


thelonious 8 years, 8 months ago

Don's Steakhouse building? How about a little further east in the main building on the old Farmland site? Or even further east to some building in Eudora? I understand the attractiveness of the building (I guess), but it seems that a site closer to downtown with better access to various social services would be better. Also, if it MUST move away from downtown, why not somewhere WEST of Mass or even WEST of Iowa Street? This really comes across like warehousing of "undesirables". I simply think we can do better, with a location that makes more sense. "Any large, available empty building" is not a long-term plan.

mrbig 8 years, 8 months ago

I vote for no homeless shelter, unless you can prove that you are actively seeking employment or mentally disabled. I think that most of these people just want a free ride at the expense of taxpayers while they abuse drugs and alcohol.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

Those restaurants close to it you bet are already talking to city commissioners and lawyers.

Jaminrawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Well that will be a great "Welcome to Lawrence" scene. "Well, we're here ... is that a man urinating on the street there? Why are there so many homeless people welcoming us to Lawrence by panhandling on the curb?" Good job guys.

dougmarshall 8 years, 8 months ago

Make sure we include transportation in the budget. Are there any services out there besides food and liquor?

It parallels using Kansas as a nuclear dump site. "Get is away from me!"

Christine Pennewell Davis 8 years, 8 months ago

yeah and if that is not a good enough welcome you then get to drive bump, pothole dip central, known as 23rd st.

jaberwaky 8 years, 8 months ago

How about the former Herford house!!! It's empty . I am sure the West side of town would love the company and a liquor store just 100 feet away, probably has kitchen all set up and ready to go.

infidel 8 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

mom_of_three 8 years, 8 months ago

Okay, I am not trying to be mean, but is it a coincidence that the new location is closer to the jail?

infidel 8 years, 8 months ago

mom of three, I don't think it is just a coincidence, but a cost saving measure for the city. Less time and $$ ferrying to and from jail. yeah for the fowrad thinking on this great idea.

irnmadn88 8 years, 8 months ago

If this goes through, look out Fair Grounds...

Jeanette Kekahbah 8 years, 8 months ago

How stupid are the 'leaders' of this community and are they aiming for a world record?

  1. What a brilliant way to attract businesses for the new retail area slated for the corner of K-10 & E. 1600 Rd. Price Chopper, Dillon's & Hy-Vee CEOs would fight each other to the death to open there with this additional pool of patrons so close!

  2. With the inevitable 'shopping' shelter residents will be doing, I'm sure there'll be NO problems with all the crossing back & forth on foot across 4 lanes of traffic. Since so many vehicles are still zipping by at 55-65mph in this spot, there won't be any serious or even fatal accidents at all.

  3. Since panhandling is a little tricky on K-10, we'll now have a steady parade of vagrants - some of whom are dangerously mentally ill - flowing between downtown & the verymost southeastern corner of the city.

  4. Nothing says "WELCOME TO LAWRENCE" like a county jail to your left & a steakhouse-homeless shelter to your right for everyone driving here on hwy 10. Johnson County residents will be more eager than ever to come spend time & money in a town that greets them with the best we have to offer! What a quaint, charming place that Lawrence is!

  5. Mary's Lake /Prairie Park Nature Preserve are real selling points for this location - so close, so many children, so much free time!

Can't help wondering what lead levels these people would test at because incompetency this extreme must be acquired.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 8 months ago

Seems like a good location to me. It's away from residential areas and pedestrian traffic. I agree with MrBig's suggestion that the shelter should only be made available to the disabled and those who are serious about getting back on their feet.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

Mean, mean people on here. I don't think one of you actually means what you are writing. You are just feeling cranky today.

Jeanette Kekahbah 8 years, 8 months ago

All that superb dumpster diving behind Set Em Up Jacks...

puddleglum 8 years, 8 months ago

This is a great idea. Downtown is packed with panhandlers and dirty people-ship 'em out east. maybe further east, like the farmland site. have 'em clean up the place for crying out loud.

Jeanette Kekahbah 8 years, 8 months ago

I mean every word, sarcastic or otherwise. Will GET cranky if this ridiculous notion becomes a reality.

bd 8 years, 8 months ago

I like the one way bus ticket out of town plan !

headdoctor 8 years, 8 months ago

Just because the shelter is relocated doesn't mean the homeless and panhandlers will relocate with it. Especially during reasonable weather.

Jeanette Kekahbah 8 years, 8 months ago

Chi, thank you, glad to know the Chinese haven't lowered all our IQs to single digits yet.

Intentional & not, answer is both! Pulling my hair out a strand at a time doesn't make for a good read...only other option I had. That'd kind of hurt & not make me feel better and I'm not required to emulate city officials, the decision - as opposed to the decider - was a no-brainer!

MeAndFannieLou 8 years, 8 months ago

Why does there have to be one shelter? Why can't we have small halfway houses throughout the town, you know, split these folks up, so they are not around only other homeless folks all the time, reinforcing each other's unsuccessful behavior patterns.

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 8 months ago

Looks like DECCA's locating at the old India School could have been a good decision.

Hawaiian Ice 8 years, 8 months ago

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Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

You mean the homeless should do a jig and a shuffle like the darkies used to do to make the white folks happy. I am the same person now that I was when I was homeless. I am not better, not more moral, so I am assuming that all of you posters think of me as a worthless no good. I think I am worth just as much as anyone else. I think the homeless still out there are deserving of compassion and respect. How many times do you forgive, Peter asked Jesus, seven times seven. No, answered Jesus, seventy times seventy. In other words as many times as it takes.

puddleglum 8 years, 8 months ago

how many comments that make no sense?

irish sums it up herself-"In other words as many times as it takes."

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

mom_of_three (Anonymous) says…

Okay, I am not trying to be mean, but is it a coincidence that the new location is closer to the jail?

---I'm surprised Merrill isn't on here: "it makes dollars and sense," "its green."
that close to the jail, maybe the bums can work at the jail, kind of a "scared straight program" for bums?

the entire concept for the drunken/druggy shelter is deeply flawed.

don't give shelter to people who continue in their self-destruction, because if you do, you're aiding that self-destruction.

indeed, warm weather, three fourths of the year, they'll still be downtown causing trouble, intimidating people, hitting on people they think are easy marks. using babies as sympathy ploys (see recent LTE).

now, as to the location of this, WTH? that'll do wonders for tres mexicanos new business and the chinese restaurant.
more crime will be concentrated in southeast lawrence. homes aren't that far from there. I agree about the near and ready access to kids at the prairie park school, nature center and Mary's lake.

it is difficult to conceive of any good location in lawrence given the current philosophy of the shelter. yes, this would increase foot traffic between there and downtown, and put more bums on to the T.

another flaw in the current philosophy of the drunken/druggy shelter is that out-of-towners have equal access to services against those with local ties and local history.
thus, if our community puts in a larger shelter, we will attract more out-of-towners.

Chestnut and Cromwell, please wake up!

Bridgett Walthall 8 years, 8 months ago

This is stupid. What a horrible idea. Too close to the fairgrounds. Too close to neighborhoods that are already lower income. WAY too close to Kennedy Elementary, and its playground (which isn't even fenced off, btw). Argh, how annoying. And it sounds like they've already made their decision - how do we not even get a say about this??

muddfoot55 8 years, 8 months ago

Please......NO ONE wants the shelter in their neighborhood. Period. Just say it plain. It doesn't matter where they relocate, someone is going to be unhappy.

Don Steak House is near DECCA. Health Care Access is on 19th on the way back to downtown along with SRS. It makes sense.

Munsoned 8 years, 8 months ago

I can't wait to see one of them riding the steer on the roof and/or air humping it from the rear on my morning commute into this city. BTW, I drive WAY faster than 55/65 headed into town......

Travis Alexander 8 years, 8 months ago

Bums walking downtown is one thing. Walking from Southeast Lawrence to downtown and back will put them through all sorts of neighborhoods and alley ways. I live in that area. Now I will have to watch my property more closely and be concerned about the neighborhood kids safety. East Lawrence is scary enough, this will surely help huh.

MeAndFannieLou 8 years, 8 months ago

I was hungry and you said "get a job!" I was thirsty and you said "get a job!" I was a stranger and you said "ew! get away from me!" I was naked and you had me arrested. I was sick and in prison and you said "well you should have made better choices."

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

Everyone one has criticized, or made stupid comments to dehumanize the homeless. What a bunch of fascist idiots here in Kansas. That bumper sticker is true as bigoted as you think. Even in classes of society. What I saw a comment about the mentally ill. Are you going to do as Germany did in the 1930's. I haven't seen that posted. Instead you say send them to another town city ect.. They already have there homeless population. To be real blunt. If you want the truth about where your at. Your on Indian lands. They weren't paid for, or funded as written in treaties to the tribes. I believe a 150 odd years of not paying the mortgage is considered defaulting. ( Obama promised to fund the land payments) So truly everyone other than Native Americans are nothing, but squatters. So for everyone that believes the homeless have no right to be here. None of you do so move on east until you hit the sea, and start swimming.

devobrun 8 years, 8 months ago

fallingwhilereading... Mr. Squatter to you. Yep, we're the Squatters that gave you air conditioning today. And antibiotics. And orange juice. And......

Yep, we're evil people. We killed the bison, wolf, and purified the water.

Our ways are the ways of the rational and that is a threat to the ways of the native and the homeless. Sorry you don't like it.

Sorry the homeless don't understand it either.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

Really purified water. Their is a supreme court ruling from the last session saying Kansas will fix the water usage issues on the Kickapoo Nations reservation. They have enough water to even put out a house fire. It has been diverted to irrigate farmlands. The water that does come threw is to polluted to drink. In fact KU will be doing some of the work up there. This has been a continues problem with the states, and tribes. Since the 1980's their have been 120 filling for tribes, and water issues. Purified water you must be kidding. Read before you write devo.

Jeanette Kekahbah 8 years, 8 months ago

Irish, I have immense respect for anyone who has been homeless & overcame what were very formidable obstacles in establishing (or re-establishing) a safer, more stable life.

No one is worthless in my book. I am not unkind to homeless and/or mentally ill people. Quite the opposite, in fact, in every encounter I've had I've been respectful.and when possible, helpful.

There but for the grace of God, go I.

Irish, that location is a terrible choice and the people who need the shelter should have it closer to other services. When asked I do give what little I have in my pocket but downtown (or 23rd St Taco Bell late at night) is where people are to ask.

And there are some shelter residents that are dangerous - not all. Some homeowners/dwellers are dangerous, too. I'm cautious by nature with all people - life experience taught me I have to be.

No offense meant toward anyone but the nimrods who won't do what's right for those in need.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

As for the tribes being better off without the United States. I believe they would be. Lets see forced marches, willful genocide, usurping traditional lands, and straight up theft. I think I would say I have no argument about the tribes being better off. Its the same with the homeless you don't want to deal with people here so move them off somewhere else. I refer to the Indians removal act. I would say this has got to be one of the most redneck states I have been to. ( the only state I haven't been to is main)

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

At least the place should have a kitchen.

I still say the failed retail outlet aka tanger mall has far more potential.. Then again so did the failed retail outlet aka Riverfront Plaza.

Don't expect to NOT see the same homeless faces downtown where their bread and butter is found daily.

If this makes life a little easier for Mr. Henderson so be it. This man is quite a person...hats off.

bigt 8 years, 8 months ago

Thats great move so now they can be run over and get the kids in the developments around. We need a grocery store more than we need a homeless shelter. Man this town is messed up

honestone 8 years, 8 months ago

What a brilliant move! Now if we can get all of the social service agencies to move too then the homeless don't have to traverse the whole east side. No matter where you put Henderson's shelter there will be problems. A wet shelter is one of the most stupidest ideas I have ever heard. It's kinda like a shoplifters retreat in a Walmart. Cromwell...I thought you would be smarter.

Isaias Shannon 8 years, 8 months ago

Agreed - East Lawrence is an amazing, vibrant family neighborhood. Get your facts straight!

gccs14r 8 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the intent is a Soylent Green outlet. Might taste a bit gamey, though.

Boeing 8 years, 8 months ago

So, none2. We've got a lot of people on here hating the west side and the idea of getting a new rec area. If you turn one of our parks into the homelesses personal watering hole (god knows it won't just be showers...), can we get a new rec center and/or park then?

Dateable_Shelter_Dude 8 years, 8 months ago

Did you mean to sign up as fallingwhilereading or failing while writing because it is very hard for us to pay much attention to what you attempt to say when you write no better than many third grade children. I am sure that is the white man's fault also. You are possibly here getting a college education funded by the government, possibly being passed along through with a degree of some sort, yet for some reason you cannot write comments on a thread that use respectable grammar and spelling.

As for Obama's promises, right now things aren't looking too good. I would not hold your breath if I were you. Better focus on that spelling, the job market is tough out there.

You do plan on getting a job, or is this matter of great concern because you plan to make this your future home? Is that why you have chosen to target this thread about the homeless shelter with your cause for the Kansas Indian Nations? No offense to the other many respectful responsible Indian members on our threads not posting like this on this thread, but you make it sound like there is an underground system from the reservation straight to the Lawrence shelters and if this is messed up, what will your people do ?!?!?!

There. Did I make that as ridiculous and twisted as he did?

Tom McCune 8 years, 8 months ago

We did not steal this land from the Indians! We bought it fair and square from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803. The French stole it from the Spanish who stole it from the Indians.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

ljreader it really isn't your land. To become a territory the United States had to make treaties with the tribes for Kansas to become a State. Kansas , and the united states didn't fallow threw with the treaties, and payments. Its not your yard. Like I said before you don't pay the mortgage for a 150 years. You have then defaulted, and should move. You should get up, and laeve yourself. To think you have more rights to this area than the homeless your wrong.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm trying to cook, and work. As well as waste my time with you dateable.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

No my tribe takes no funding from the government. We use your stupid Grandparents gambling your inheritance away. Anyway this area Lawrence, and douglas county were Delaware, and Kanza territory. As for Obmas promise. We can give money to companies who run themselves into the ground, and not pay a debt owed for 150 years. With the interest at 1.29 percent compounded. Its some 33 trillion, and going up. So The gdp for the US is 3 trillion. How do you pay. You can't know you see why I say You have no right to this area.

Susan Mangan 8 years, 8 months ago

Falling - What, exactly, does your screen name originate from? Or can we guess that you'll be a resident of the wet shelter, from your name?

Here's thre deal with the white man stealing your land...brace yourself for a cold dose of reality...

Whoever wins the war makes the rules! And I know this is shocking to the losers, but they don't always like it. Go back in time, defeat the so-called squatters, and then you can tell me what to do with the land we won. Southerners aren't thrilled about the outcome of the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression, as many still call it), either, but they lost the war, so tough.

If you had won, you'd get to make the rules. But you didn't. So get over yourselves.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 8 months ago

I thought so A truly uneducated idiot voice. Treaties are treaties. The US hasn't won yet. They as a government hold a lot of cards. They can keep the tribes from being recognized at the U.N., but only for so long. Even Obama admits to owing the tribal nations during his campaign. So voice wrong is wrong, and if you want to believe. You can do as you want, and not have reproductions. History has shown thats not true.

devobrun 8 years, 8 months ago

fallingwhilereading: "As for the tribes being better off without the United States. I believe they would be."

Except they wouldn't have purified water because they never did, and they don't now. Even with KU "up there".

I'm an engineer-american ,fallingwhilereading. Thus, I don't abide supreme court rulings, or wait for somebody else to fix my needs.

Natives wait for nature, or the supreme court, to provide. Engineers just go and get it. You need water? Go get it. Build a big dam pond.

You need food? Grow it. You need shelter? Build it. You need clothing? Make that too.

You wanna live homeless in Don's Steakhouse? Go for it. Don't blame anyone else besides yourself if you don't like it.

kansasmutt 8 years, 8 months ago

Just when i thought Lawrence had done evrything crazy and couldnt come up with a more stupider idea, this idea comes up. W O W what a bunch of loons.I bet your leaders live west of Mass st and even more west of there. I think the idea of west 6th or maybe out on Wakarusa Drive by the police station is a great location. Lots of good wealthy folks to help feed and cloth them and lots of trails to walk day and nite. West side gets my vote.

GardenMomma 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder just how the homeless will get to the shelter so far out to the east. I don't suppose the T goes that far. They will surely not walk that far, not if they can sleep somewhere downtown or on the river bank.

I like the idea of a dedicated spot away from downtown and residential areas but no, I don't have any suggestions (yet).

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

I appreciate the comment from connected. I am not now the least bit worried about the Open Shelter that is about a block from where I live. I don't think the homeless are a danger to children. According to what I have read, children are more likely to be abused by family members than strangers. And, I am not going to teach my grandchildren that the homeless are monsters who will attack you if you give them half a chance. This is how prejudice and racism is handed down from generation to generation. As one big joke. On everyone else but you.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

Did anyone really think it was going west from it's current location?

GardenMomma 8 years, 8 months ago

No, but that's practically out of town.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

Maybe the intent is a Soylent Green outlet. Might taste a bit gamey, though.

---Oh, I didn't know Obama's healthcare "end of life" counselors would be part of the drunken/druggy shelter.

this definitely changes the equation.

LJReader, that was funny right thar!

you know, when people stop at the light at 19th and haskell, the homeless could come out and scare drivers, supposedly cleaning their windshields, thus working better than a roundabout at that location for diverting traffic elsewhere.

you forgot one necessary business we'd have to get in there at your HHH: a condom store, for all the homeless public sex. plus the store could double with some land in back for them to use the condoms on. thus, that problem would be concentrated in one place.

I like having that "haven" alongside the Crotchtown Tavern.

and I still say we put in a video constantly recording activity in that parking lot. we could then sell the videos. just from CTT today we'd make money.

imagine when it become's LJReader's HHH, the videos would sell faster than lug nuts.

Fallingwhilereading besides being historically illiterate is promoting the giant massive myth of prewhite american indian eutopia.
truth is, before Columbus, indian peoples warred against each other, enslaved each other, scalped each other, displaced each other on the land, raped and stole women from defeated tribes, and sometimes completely whiped out their opponents.

FWR simply is regurgitating antiwhite pablum. the black equivalent is "black rage" and I've heard this called "red rage."

doesn't help anybody, especially doesn't help FWR.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

in the past year: far more police calls, and far more ambulance calls, for Club 2-1-4 (the drunken/druggy shelter) than Club 8-2-5.

if club 2-1-4 were a private residence it would have been shut down years ago as a nuissance house.

devobrun 8 years, 8 months ago

GardenMomma: "I wonder just how the homeless will get to the shelter so far out to the east"

They got here from Kansas City somehow. I've talked to some of them and the word is out that Lawrence is the place to be. Food, shelter, can come in high. All you really have to do is check your weapon at the door. And don't pick any fights while you're in there.

We provide one of the best homeless crash houses in the region. No religion, too.

The main problem is the limited number of spaces, so many have to sleep outside under a metal roof, if you don't get in.

More space means more Kansas City homeless will come to Larryville. We can all feel better and justify our indulgence because we provide only the best for our homeless. Redemption is great stuff.

Maybe fallingwhilereading can call some of his buddies to come in from the rez and get some water. Don't need a supreme court ruling or anything.

A few years ago I took some junior high students to LCC. We cleaned the shower, cleaned the tables, policed the area outside, and picked up butts.

When we were done, a seventh grader asked: "Dr. B, how come these people don't pick up their own trash?"

I told him they were waiting for a supreme court ruling.

honestone 8 years, 8 months ago

To fallingwhilereading - I am sorry that you feel so angry. The plight of the old west indians was ashame and if I could yell at my great, great grandfathers I would's just me and you. I didn't take anything from you...get over it.

West side have got to be out of your mind. "They" would never let it occur. Especially a west side "wet" shelter. Merril had an Ok idea except Henderson isn't looking to buy Tanger's.. It is our own white elephant that we can be proud of for years to come.

I can't wait to see the bums and drunks lounging around Don's as the JoCo moms and dads bring little Mary and their money to college. I guess K State is the next best thing

pace 8 years, 8 months ago

I think the building will make a good shelter site. It looks like it might have space for supportive services. I also liked 13th. and Mass site, I thought Douglas County Public works objections were short sighted. They are easily located many places. It is very difficult to locate a homeless shelter.

devobrun 8 years, 8 months ago

The bigger the shelter, the more homeless there will be.

What will be the rate limiter to growth of homeless? Resources. Add more resources, get more homeless.

If this is the goal, then you will have it by going to Don's Steak house.

Just be honest when the consequences of additional homeless occurs.

More food needed @LINK? More space in the jail?

But what of the positives, then. More music along Mass. me out townsfolk. I know there are more benefits by adding homeless in Lawrence.

What are the positives of more space and more homeless?

Better schools? Interesting conversations?

Since I don't do guilt, I can't find a reason in me for a bigger shelter. Maybe you do.

greenworld 8 years, 8 months ago

So how in the world are the 80-90% homeless going to get all the way over there being most all of them hang out downtown and you will never pull them away from that area. I say just let them live on the streets or the river beds or under the bridge. That makes better sense to me. OR better yet any possibililty of using the basement of city or the public library. One point in time Plymouth Church took in any homeless and let them stay there in their basement. They will never close their doors to any homeless or gays.

bb837988 8 years, 8 months ago

No one wants a homeless shelter in their neighborhood for various reasons. While Don's Steakhouse is not immediately around residences, they are across the street and a few blocks to the west and north.

Will this be a 24 hour shelter? If not, what will happen when the shelter is closed? The surrounding area doesn't have a lot to offer. Hang out at Lake Mary or the park at 19th and Haskell?

It would be a change to see something deemed "less valuable" end up on the west side of town. Close a school - east side. Need a new jail - east side. The old Hereford House location is larger than Don's Steakhouse and is close to a bus route. Or there is plenty of room at the old Outlet Mall.

I don't have enough knowledge about homelessness to know what is the best solution. My question is the move to East 23rd in their best interests or is it just an attempt to move them to a location away from downtown without an easy way to get downtown?

Jaminrawk 8 years, 8 months ago

This is absolutley disgusting of the city comissioners (most of whom live in west lawrence) to do. Good bye neighborhood safety, good bye nature walks through the trees around Mary's Lake. People use that area to jog, walk, run, bike and generally get out with their families. So now what does the city do? They move the homeless population into the area. Great idea guys. The fact is, if any of our commisioners lived in the area this wouldn't even be a story. All they care about is moving the homeless out of their areas. Instead, they will simply be spreading them out. They are still going to be downtown because that is where the people are. But now, the geniuses have decided to throw them onto the stretch of highway entering Lawrence that was a pretty nicely developing area. Now people coming down K-10 get to see our homeless population. Our commissioners are merely looking out for their best interests and not anyone elses once again. I will not vote for any of them to be re-elected if this happens.

pace 8 years, 8 months ago

I think they can put up a big fence or they can detour the two traffic lanes on that side of the highway,making 10 a two laner at that point. This enables people who don't want to see suffering to be more Phariseeian. Or we can do what Cuba with our non embassy sign and have poles with big black flags flying so noone can see. Now one radical idea is put up a sign saying "Don't Look Poor People ahead" if they look maybe we could blind them in one eye.

honestone 8 years, 8 months ago

Build it and they will come and come and come and come! I have been reading the storys on and there are some very compelling "homeless family" stories. I believe that the people on the posts here have compassion for the truely needy but this wet shelter is a farce and the commissions attempt to get it away from downtown is problematic. NO ONE wants this wet shelter in their neighborhood with the problems it brings. Just drive by the current shelter and tell me that this is what you want in your neighborhood. A dry shelter wouldn't be as bad but would you buy a house there if you knew the shelter was there??? Wherever you put this shelter the property around the shelter will fall like a rock. I say we should build West Lawrence their rec center with the stipulation that the shelter is placed next door.

kla4one 8 years, 8 months ago

"I say we should build West Lawrence their rec center with the stipulation that the shelter is placed next door."
LOL, if only.

Commissioners have a no win situation here. No one seems to want to deal with the homeless in this town. Lawrence's homeless "problem" is a lot less difficult than some problems elsewhere --I'd rather live next door to a homeless shelter than a meth lab. At least the commissioners are trying to work out a solution. It seems like an ok spot to me, except it is a bit far from most social services.

Jean1183 8 years, 8 months ago

This is the most ridiculous idea yet, and I hope our commissioners have enough brains to see that.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 8 months ago

Interesting location. Perfect actually. The homeless that are worthy of the resources will have to make the trip out there daily and that will get old enough to where they will either make it or break it. These are of course the invisible homeless. The ones you never see or if you did, wouldnt know it. They will benefit greatly because the drunks wont be making the trip.

The highly visible and obnoxious panhandlers will still be on Mass. Still be in the park ,river and library.You will see no difference or reductions, they will only change meeting spots. Since there wil be no day shelter nearby, they will become even more visible as they congregate in public right of ways and spaces. Members of this forum are absolutely blind to the fact that "homeless" and "bums" are completely seperate groups and generally dont mingle or mix.

The homeless will find quiet sleep iin the new place.

The bums will have Mass all to themselves.

PublicDefender1 8 years, 8 months ago

Lovely, lovely Lawrence. We are so worried about the services they might need, the eyesores these people create, our precious neighborhoods… Let’s see… we bulldozed their tents, shut down the Salvation Army center, and locked our churches. We find their dead bodies in our parks. We pretend not to see their camping knapsacks and backpacks or the looks in their children’s eyes. (“Why look junior, Lawrence is so eclectic! We have everyone here!”) We pass the most regressive of sales taxes so that they can pay for two Buster Keaton bus systems that take forever to get to nowhere. This is a liberal WANNABE town. In a wannabe state. My God, we at least euthanize the animals. How much are we going to pretend that we can continue to disserve these people in what is one of the wealthier areas of the state? We are so enlightened ‘far above the golden valley, glorious to view’……We are so assured of our place in heaven because we have done so much for ‘the least of these….’ The real questions beyond the responses listed here is whether or not we should send them to Pilate …or to Herod?

jogger 8 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence Open shelter ( the ONLY shelter? serving families also?) needs a dedicated building with in-house services including employment and childcare. A large community services building with separate sleeping areas for families and singles, and a safe area for those who should not be in the mix (recently released from the jail, possibly intoxicated, etc.)

Where that should be should not matter, transportation to the central bus hub is an essential element. Something like this takes a collaborative effort. Lawrence is an easy place to become homeless. Jobs are not great, rentals are not great, student populations compete for lower cost housing options and the market responds.

That said, economic development in Lawrence also depends on protection of viable commercial sites, effective use of existing space, and stabilization of human capital.

Most homeless people want a home. The only reason to seek a shelter is to work towards that goal. Freeloading and hanging out is a lifestyle, not homelessness. Shelter residents need safety as much as any lawrencian.

This is not a good site, but it has some advantages. Let's hear a solid list of goal requirements and see a solid set of real options, not a last resort.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 8 months ago

Will they replace the giant cow statue with a giant homeless person statue?

average 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm going with geekin_topekan on this one. A lot of the porch-sitting fight-starting regulars (many of whom don't actually stay at the shelter, just hang around it) won't bother going to east 23rd. This, if we're lucky, will allow the people who need shelter but have at least some motivation to separate themselves from the troubles.

Beelzebub 8 years, 8 months ago

How about a homeless shelter for people who've had some bad luck, are homeless, but are trying to get back on their feet, get a job, and find a place to live. Give the bums a one way bus ticket to a large urban center far far away.

David Albertson 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder how much a one-way ticket to Afghanistan would cost?

gphawk89 8 years, 8 months ago

The last time I was at Don's I had a nice graduation dinner with my dad and a nice chat with Roy Williams, who was sitting at the table next to us. Sounds like the old place has changed a bit since then.

Beelzebub 8 years, 8 months ago

Yes...what happened to Don's Steak House?

snoozey 8 years, 8 months ago

I love the idea - I live on the other end of town. It might help clean up the downtown area a bit too. I'm not sure how it will sit with the whiny hypocrites who support the concept of providing homeless shelters here, but nobody really cares for their opinions anyway outside their self-indulgent clique. What about the Eagles building just east? Lot of potential there I'd think.

mr_fixit 8 years, 8 months ago

When not allowed in the shelter for being drunk or high, it's a good thing the walk back to downtown doesn't go through residential neighborhoods...oh wait...

BigPrune 8 years, 8 months ago

I have a concern regarding the right of way. As it is now, the homeless will be able to camp out on the right of way, just like they can camp out on the right of ways in residential neighborhoods barring the downtown that the City made illegal a few years back. I had a homeless person sleeping on a sidewalk in front of my house and there wasn't anything I could legally do to have them removed. It was a public right of way.

H_Lecter 8 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps the property behind (former) Don's Steak House could be sold to some of the labs that conduct human drug trials.

Perhaps Lone Steer BBQ & bunkhouse could reopen w/a new slogan, "Freshest meat in town."

Paul R Getto 8 years, 8 months ago

"I've heard that there might be a quote in the Bible about being “my brother's keeper.” ======= The bible is applied selectively, best I can tell. There are also prohibitions against gossip and slander. Following these rules would shut down internet 'discussion' groups pretty quickly. I'm reading a book called "The Year of Living Biblically," in which a guy tries to live a year by all the bible's 700+ rules. He admits the hardest to follow is to not think or speak ill of others. We all struggle with this, I suspect.
Defining any group by the behavior of some of its members is, IMHO, wrong. Most homeless deserve a helping hand, as ET, the great ESSENE TEACHER said to his followers.

Bladerunner 8 years, 8 months ago

blue73harley (Anonymous) says…

IAnd the liquour store owner at 23rd and Harper just yelled, “CHA-Ching!!!”. LOL!

Awesome. I wonder if its close proximity to the jail will be a factor?

Beelzebub 8 years, 8 months ago

"Awesome. I wonder if its close proximity to the jail will be a factor?"

Absolutely. This is progress, and it's about time the homeless helpers got on board! That part of town has a lot of opportunity that has been ignored: the fairground...a good place to sneak into for late night fun; liquor store can always use a boost; Mary's lake and prairie park for swimming and other activities; lots of new home construction out there means opportunity to mow lawns for extra cash; the "impromptu" car wash at 23rd and Harper. As soon as the place is open I plan to quit shopping downtown and patronize ;) those businesses on E. 23rd more often.

Lenette Hamm 8 years, 8 months ago

mrbig is on the right track. Why the city/county continues to allow use by those who clearly are not interested in rehabilitation is beyond me... maybe they should revisit the Topeka Rescue Mission's model and adopt it in Lawrence!!

devobrun 8 years, 8 months ago

LCC admits people who are high.

You must check your weapons at the door and if you are in a fight, especially within the shelter, out you go.

Otherwise, if you fit into the space, your in.

With the new added room, LCC will not be turning away people for a while. However, word will get to KC and other urban centers and the deadbeats will start showing up.

Honestly, KC has no place as safe and lenient as LCC.

The current rate limiter at LCC is space.
More space, more people. More panhandlers. More problems downtown.

San Francisco here we come!

PapaB 8 years, 8 months ago

"bd (Anonymous) says…

I like the one way bus ticket out of town plan !"

That's how a lot of them got here!

PapaB 8 years, 8 months ago

Moving them is the "green" alternative...

...Soylent Green, that is.

PapaB 8 years, 8 months ago

OK, I am here to offer up a solution:

We get a bus and equip it with speakers on the outside. Then we write a catchy song about other places where they treat the homeless really well. We play the song over the speakers while driving around downtown. The homeless will then move to the greener pastures we've sold them on through song.

We could even include the one-way bus tickets, too, but everyone knows they hitch rides on the train.

Master_Chief 8 years, 8 months ago

Put them to work cleaning up the Farmland site.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

Jamin says: This is absolutley disgusting of the city comissioners (most of whom live in west lawrence) to do. Good bye neighborhood safety, good bye nature walks ...

---this is why we need to have alderman or city commissioner districts instead of electing them all at large. lets only elect the mayor at large, otherwise you have the citycommissioner from east lawrence, the city commissioner from north lawrence, etc.

we really need this!

they'll leave the bovine statue on the roof.

word is they're going to have the shelter residents work in a business that's coming back, will also operate in that space: Bum Steer BBQ.

Devo is absolutely correct. build it, they will come! the entire concept is flawed. shelter should only be provided to people with local connections/history, people who aren't drunk/on drugs, people who are making choices to get their lives headed in the right direction.
otherwise, you increase your problem, and you help people to destroy themselves.
yes, the Bible says those things, it also says that if someone will not work, he should not eat.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 8 months ago

I really don't think the homeless are going to be wandering around. The homeless are from Lawrence, some have lived here for some time. Like the woman who was convinced that no Catholic is homeless, urban myths have staying power. This argument is useless. There are people in Lawrence who are kind, caring, generous, and compassionate, who do what they can to help those in trouble. The homeless need professional help. The argument that if you like the homeless so much invite them to your home is just plain stupid. If you have a car you can say that someplace is not very far. It is if you have no transportation. SRS is on 19th and Delaware quite a distance from Dons. The soup kitchens are about a mile further than that.

Bossa_Nova 8 years, 8 months ago

dear mr. fallingwhilereading,

i understand your frustration. the fact that non-natives have come to live here despite the desires of those who were already here has obviously angered you and i am sure you dwell upon it to the point of making you even more angry.

nevertheless, my advice to you is dont let it consume you with anger and hatred. there is little you or anyone can do about it. please understand, this is the society we all live in, we are all here and nobody is going to leave. and please also understand that that vast majority of us who are not native americans had nothing to do with what happened 150 years ago the same as you and the other native americans had nothing to do with what happened 150 years ago either. so do yourself a favor and get past it. i dont mean that in a demeaning way, i mean it as good advice.

i would also like to mention that i agree with someone else's post; there was no native american utopia prior to the arrival of those from across the pond. there was just as much killing, rape, aggression, slavery and oppression between the native tribes. the only difference is when the guys from across the pond showed up, they were much more organized, they had advanced military technology and they were initially unknowingly carrying diseases that reduced the native population to very small numbers. and what they did was no different than what all the other organized groups of people had done throughout the history of mankind.

i apologize for being so blunt, but for your own sake and peace of mind, i suggest you do what you can to get past it and focus your energy on something more positive.

justapersonhercares 8 years, 8 months ago

So many of you seem to forget that the homeless are just people, like the rest of us. So, sad to me. Have none of you in your lifetime ever been down on your luck?! You talk about them like they are some kind of disease of something. Yeah some of them need help with drugs, etc... But that doesn't mean they don't need are help. Have a heart! We need a new shelter,I will agree that I am not sure if the old Don's is the best place for a new one, but we as a community should care about those who are not as lucky as the rest of us who have homes (with computers in them, where can type horrible things about them.).

Bossa_Nova 8 years, 8 months ago

marion, i was thinking the exact same thing, but you beat me to it

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

seems likely the naked man who tried to jump the 17-year-old on her bike by the 8th street boat ramp was one of the river bums.

Salvation army has the right idea, intensive involvement with a small number of people/families help them get work, apartments, take care of their business and get their lives turned around.

just to make it very clear: it is the concept of the "wet shelter" that is deeply flawed, attracts out-of-towners, and supports people in their self-destruction.
it has concentrated a very dangerous and destructive population downtown.

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