Archive for Friday, June 12, 2009

Overflow homeless shelter at church closing after tonight because of liability concerns

More than 40 people may be turned to the streets this weekend as homeless service leaders struggle to deal with the sudden closing of a downtown overflow homeless shelter.

June 12, 2009, 3:56 p.m. Updated June 13, 2009, 4:14 a.m.


More than 40 people may be turned to the streets this weekend as homeless service leaders struggle to deal with the sudden closing of a downtown overflow homeless shelter.

Leaders with the First Christian Church, 1000 Ky., decided earlier this week to no longer allow the church basement to be used as a temporary homeless shelter, after concerns about liability mounted. Its last night of operation was Friday.

The leader of the Lawrence Community Shelter on Friday put out a call to anyone with a vacant building to step forward to help create a new temporary, overflow shelter. But options were few and far between, Henderson said.

“We feel there are going to be some people on the street pretty quickly,” Henderson said.

Henderson said late Friday afternoon that he was working to avoid that scenario by exploring whether the city would allow him to house up to 40 more people in the Community Shelter’s existing facility. The building currently has an overnight occupancy of 31 people, but Henderson said the shelter was willing to expand the building’s fire sprinkler system if the city would allow more people to be housed. It wasn’t immediately clear if the city was amenable to that idea.

The temporary shelter has been operating in the church’s basement since June 1. It came into existence after The Salvation Army closed its longtime homeless shelter.

First Christian Church’s board of trustees this week decided it could no longer allow the church to be used as a shelter, said Paul Studebaker, chair of the church board. He said a city inspection showed the church basement had several code violations — including the lack of fire sprinklers — that made it unsuitable to house large numbers of people overnight.

Studebaker said the city did not order the church to stop the activity, but the board decided the liability concerns for the church were too great to continue.

“We do feel bad about having to do this,” Studebaker said. “We do feel like we need to be able to take care of these folks, but we also feel like we can’t put the whole city and the church at risk.”

Studebaker said the church would continue to host the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, a meal program that serves many homeless people. The church also will continue to participate in Family Promise, a non-profit organization that uses churches across the city to house up to four homeless families for a week at a time.

Tensions rising

The temporary shelter has been hosting between 30 to 40 people per night since its opening. It is equipped to handle up to 50 people per night, said Henderson.

The shelter has served as an overflow facility for the Lawrence Community Shelter, which is across the street at 10th and Kentucky. That 31-bed shelter runs at its legal capacity each night.

The closing of the temporary shelter has left homeless individuals concerned about where they’ll next sleep.

“Once I get kicked out, I guess I’m going to be sleeping outside or in somebody’s yard,” said Kevin O’Brien, who has been sleeping at the shelter for about a week. “If they don’t do something, they’ll have 50 people sleeping outside, and it will be a bigger eyesore.”

Anger also was evident among some of the homeless who were in limbo Friday. One man, who declined to give his name, said he had heard talk of staging a mass camp out in front of the Douglas County Courthouse.

“We’d be camping illegally somewhere else anyway,” he said. “I think you’ll see some civil disobedience. I think you’ll see some people just hide.”

O’Brien said city park property was often a popular choice for people to set up camp when space at the shelter has been limited in the past. The city has regulations against camping on park grounds, and have enforced those regulations before.

“I don’t think it is going to work out to have people stay outside,” O’Brien said. “There will be more police activity, and people will be getting more agitated because they are going to be competing for limited bed space.

“I wouldn’t say that people here are on edge right now,” O’Brien said of people at the shelter. “But you can sure feel the tension rising.”

Other options

Wesley Dalberg, captain for The Salvation Army’s operations in Lawrence, said his organization has no plans to reopen its shelter. The Salvation Army announced in February that it would close its shelter to pursue other housing programs.

“That decision has been made,” Dalberg said. “We don’t really have the staff to reopen. That option is pretty much gone for us.”

Dalberg said he doesn’t want to see any of the homeless suffer because of a lack of shelter, but he said he hopes the current situation forces community leaders to become more engaged in finding a permanent shelter solution.

“If it becomes more noticeable that there are more homeless people on the streets at night, that should cause all of us to work harder for a solution,” Dalberg said. “We can’t just say we don’t want these people on the streets. The solution isn’t just coming up with another ordinance saying we don’t want them there.”

Henderson’s group previously had proposed that a temporary shelter be set up in a vacant former church building that is connected to the Douglas County Public Works offices at 13th and Massachusetts streets.

County commissioners, though, tabled discussion of that proposal earlier this month, saying they hoped the First Christian Church building could serve as the temporary site.

On Friday, County Commission Chair Nancy Thellman said she wasn’t sure whether the commission would bring that proposal back up for consideration.

“It is certainly something that could come back up,” Thellman said. “But even if it was ultimately chosen, it is not habitable right now. It would not solve the need for shelter in the near term.”

She said the building needs to have asbestos removed, bathrooms repaired and several other issues taken care of before she would be comfortable allowing the building to be used.

Henderson said the Community Shelter also is continuing to look for a new permanent home for its shelter, saying its space at 10th and Kentucky is inadequate. Henderson said he believes the shelter’s board will settle on a site within the next two weeks. But he said any potential site for a new shelter won’t be ready for operation for at least several months.


timetospeakup 8 years, 10 months ago

I have a plan - quit making homeless people so comfortable and they will try a different lifestyle.

Before everybody jumps me, yes there are homeless people with mental issues. They don't belong on the streets by day and shelter by night anyway, they belong somewhere that they can get mental help. If they refuse that help or quit taking their medication, that's their problem.

TobiasFunke 8 years, 10 months ago

The homeless lifestyle DOES look comfortable. I'm thinking about converting so the rest of you dopes can put me up in five star basements. That's rich.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 10 months ago

dammit timetospeak.. you just don't understand how hard it is to get up in the morning and go to work without getting drunk first....or for that matter to go to work at all. and the whole thing about earning money and paying for things such as your own shelter. personal responsibility is very very very very very hard! just try getting up all next week, drinking first thing and skipping work. by the time you go back to work the following monday, you'll see just how hard it is... :)

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 10 months ago

Funny, very, very funny. Let's just make jokes about being homeless. It might get you invited on Letterman. My heart goes out to the homeless. I have been there so I know what it is like. Even though it is summer it is still awful to be out in the open. You have zero privacy when you are homeless. You shower at the Community Center, use public restrooms, eat when others say you can. It can be a long wait between lunch and supper at nine. Or at least it was when I was there. I am more than happy to contribute a dollar to a homeless person when I encounter one downtown. Go to a store and see what you can buy for a dollar. It is not that much to give. If you can afford to go downtown you can afford to give this amount. Do you drop a quarter, or nothing, in th basket when it comes around at church? Same thing. Faith, love and charity, and the greatest of these is charity.

A20271 8 years, 10 months ago

I had a homeless lady come into the restaurant I work at asking if I could spare some fries for the homeless.. We didn't have any already made, and I told her that. I also didn't want to risk my job giving away free food, but I did feel bad for her. I would suggest coming in right before closing time though... restaurants tend to throw away a lot of food that they can't keep overnight.

kthxbi 8 years, 10 months ago

so homeless people=church basket. Why did I not make that connection before?

bigdave 8 years, 10 months ago

People with information about a site that the shelter could use on a temporary basis: Ya a fast moving train out of town!!!!

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 10 months ago

Loring should let them sleep in his yard. Seriously. After all, he has no problem dumping them in other peoples' neighborhoods.

If they come into your restaurant, do not give them free food or a dollar for beer money. Hand them a job application instead. Don't enable them, help them get back on their feet.

Everyone should read the book "Scratch Beginnings" by Adam Shepard. The author lived in a homeless shelter with only 25 bucks to his name. In six months, he had a job, a car and 2,500 dollars in the bank. And he did it without panhandling. Hard work and motivation go a long way. Yes, a small percentage of the homeless have mental health issues, but the remaining majority need little more than an attitude adjustment.

Jeteras 8 years, 10 months ago

Now tell the homeless that Lawrence is no longer able to provide free items unless you are working. Dont open another shelter WTF! this is the golden opportunity!!! Jesus the legal min wage is is good money when everything is FREE!!! $5.75 an hr X 30-40 hrs a week = a couple hundred bucks a week? I dont see where it is a problem. They could live in the shelter a couple of months to get back on their feet enough for rent for a place of their own!!! WTF is this system hard to figure out people!! If they dont work they dont eat or sleep on a cot sheesh. There is help wanted signs all over, even if there isnt you have all day to hit every busniess in Lawrence!!!

Oh yea you have to have ambition,, I forgot,,,, DUH these people dont want to work,,,,,, my bad

im out!

rattlesnakeboys 8 years, 10 months ago

I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. Benjamin Franklin

rattlesnakeboys 8 years, 10 months ago

I am for doing good to the poor, but...I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed...that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

Benjamin Franklin

Kyle Reed 8 years, 10 months ago

They could use the old masonic temple building downtown that Doug Compton has has boarded up!

Charlie Sabotage 8 years, 10 months ago

'so homeless people=church basket. Why did I not make that connection before? ' ' obviously not! not at this church at least

blindrabbit 8 years, 10 months ago

Wonder how many are staying with the Enoch's and Henderson's out on West 15th? Or does "not in my neighborhood" apply to them there! .

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm surprised they didn't check this stuff earlier.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

Once again I will offer anyone who talks about crap about being homeless. Without having been homeless a deal. If you want to be able to understand what its like to be homeless. I will fly you to a town of my choice in jan. With only the cloths on your back. There would be no id, money cell phone nothing. I will fly you back in 30 days, and then lets find out what you think of the homeless problem. Of course you would sign a waver releasing me of any liabilities for any type of injuries, or death that maybe caused by persons trying this experiment.

Kat Christian 8 years, 10 months ago

just housing the homeless is not helping them. Does anyone understand this concept? That's just putting a bandaid on the problem. These people need intense guidance to help them get back on their feet. The problem is it won't or can't happen overnight and no one, no organization wants to take the time to do that. Its easy to just shove them into a shelter or drop them a dollar, but to spend the time to mentor a homeless person would be to commiting. If in our society we would reach out in this way I think the problem of homelessness would dimish some. Perhaps not all can be rehabilitated, perhaps a few really need to be commited to a mental institution, perhaps some need to be put into a drug/alcohol rehab program, perhaps some need schooling to learn how to read, or just need a break - a job. I wish I could do it, but I'm just one person, I help in small ways, but I don't enable. You can't keep people out of this town, even if they are homeless, its a free country and there is no law against being homeless. However, for this town to better the situation of homeless, then we need a plan to help them, not enable them into another shelter. I say they work for the priviledge of having a bed to sleep in, by proving they've done one thing a day to improve their life.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

How many of you are students with grants, or government backed student loans. Are you not receiving a hand up. I can't see a difference helping someone at the bottom, or some snot nosed kid trying to educate themselves.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

There are organizations out there that have great success ending the cycle of homeless. T.M.A.P in Topeka, also the same version in Boston. They run a 82% rate of getting homeless long term housing, and employment. Of course these things cost money. Nothing in the amount of 30 some billion to have a government owned company.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 10 months ago

i'm sure Irish and journeyman have extra space in their homes to house a few people. perhaps you even have a yard and a tent they could use. do this, prove this, and then maybe others will follow suit. put up or shut up. and Irish, $1 from 1 person sucks. but if they are able to beg 100 people into giving them money then they are living better than 95% of the world.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

Hmm I believe I do donate more than just money to the homeless. I also donate my time. Which time is more valuable than money for myself. Maybe you could donate your time AreUNorml. You might gain some understanding, and compassion. Just a guess, but I would say your about in your Junior year. Now feel the need to exert ideas you have. Only you express them on things you have no clue of what your talking about. I'll bet after most nights out you have said a lot of things you wished you hadn't said. After you get some real life experience you won't have those issues.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 8 years, 10 months ago

Journeymanstation, nobody has a problem with giving them a hand UP, people are just tired of giving them handOUTS. Like I said earlier, giving them beer money and french fries is useless. Give them a job application instead. The Lawrence Coummunity Shelter had fewer than 10 percent of its residents get out of homelessness last year. It is just a place to sit around and get drunk. Compare that to your T.M.A.P. stats. The Lawrence shelter is more about enabling rather than motivating people to take care of themselves, that's why you see the negative comments. As far as your offer to send somebody out of town goes, it's already been done with successful results. Read "Scratch Beginnings" by Adam Shephard. Don't get mad at us because we're tired of the homeless problem. We want to see these people stop depending on handouts and start taking care of themselves. You are living proof that it can be done. You had the determination to make your life better and you did it.

blindrabbit 8 years, 10 months ago

The very successful Topeka concept was "run up the pole" several years ago; but it quickly became apparent that the "powers to be" in Lawrence were really not interested in solving the problem. As I recall the Commission at that time paid only "lip service" to the idea. Maybe they did not want to be shown by Topeka again ( remember the public Library story) I'm all for helping the truly needy get their feet back on the ground, and providing ongoing help for those who don't have other possibilities, but to continue the "Lawrence Experiment" is both ineffective and counterproductive.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

True , and I'm doing things most people will never be able to do, or go. So I never said to give the panhandlers money. Donate your time. Give a homeless person the means of getting washed up, clean cloths, ect.. Then what do you do about the mentally ill homeless. The ones' that will never be able to gain gainful employment. You may say ssi. Well can you get a severely mentally ill person to all there apt. Without knowing where they are. How long does it take to get disability in Kansas? It takes an average of 1,020 days. Then you have drug addicts, and alcoholics. The systems of alcoholism, and drug addicts mirror mental health almost exactly. The choice of not using for them isn't a choice without the right help. Since everyone thinks they now what to do with the homeless, but just complains about them. Lets hear some real ideas. Then lets take the ones that have potential, and take them to the city. You will then find out how the city isn't friendly, or helpful to the homeless. So they are closing the temp. shelter. So the homeless will be forced to sleep out side. Thats called illegal camping. So the homeless will be ticketed. They will not be able to pay the fine, and will be put in douglas county jail. Lets see that will be court cost, and the cost of keeping about 50 people in the jail. Guess who pays that. The tax payers of this city, and county.

Bobo Fleming 8 years, 10 months ago

Why be homeless in Kansas. Why not Santa Monica or Miami?

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

So do you always dump problems on other people senegal. What are the homeless going to walk there? Other cities have rounded up there homeless, and sent them to other cities. The cities that have done that have been sued by the recipient city.

Kyle Reed 8 years, 10 months ago

He didn't say for the city to ship them off. He's asking a rhetorical question of why wouldn't you want to live somewhere warmer if you're faced with living outside.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

If your faced with being homeless I wouldn't think you would have the money to get there. I'm sure the people would pay their rent, or their note.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh I missed that AreUNorml. I have had 3 different homeless person stay with me over the past 3 years. Your turn.

sinister9128 8 years, 10 months ago

Wow, there are a lot of just mean, ignorant people on here. I was homeless back in 1999 for about a month when I was in Missouri. I stayed at a Salvation Army shelter and it was FAR from a hand out. While staying at Salvation Army you were required to have a job within a week of moving in. From that job you paid 10% of your pay to the shelter every week as rent and were not allowed to have all of your money on your person, it went into a safe. Every resident woke up at 7am regardless if they had to work or not, you had chores that you had to have done daily before lights out, which was at 10pm. In NO WAY was the shelter encouraging people to stay there. Each week while I was there I was required to talk with a counselor who made checks to see what your plan was (IE: If you don't have a job, where are you looking, are you making arrangements to go back to your life, etc). Every night before bedtime EVERY resident was required to take a breath-a-lizer test to ensure they were not only not drunk, but had not been drinking. If they registered any alcohol content on their breath-a-lizer, they were thrown out, plain and simple. It was NOT a picnic or a free ride or anything along those lines. It was help when I needed it the most and NO ONE else was willing or able to help.

Yes, there are a fair share of homeless who milk the system, but it's not every single homeless person by any means. I really hope every person who's made a snide, rude or just plain ignorant comment on here never has to experience what I did, but I hope you also realize some people don't have any easy lot in life. Sometimes bad things happen in your life that you DO NOT have an emergency plan set for and no support system (ie: family, friends, etc) and when it happened to me, I was incredibly thankful that I had a place to go that was looking out for me and gave me the help I needed to get back on my feet. Instead of being cynical why not try looking at in the sense that what if it was you or someone you loved? Would you want prefer them to be sleeping outside with no shelter or would you like to know they are safe, warm and sleeping with a roof over their heads? And lastly, if you can't offer a productive or possible solution, don't bother to post because all you're doing is truly showing everyone how ignorant and cruel people can be.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

How far can you walk Akreed? How much does your education cost us tax payers Akreed?

Kyle Reed 8 years, 10 months ago

Oh, what, they won't get there quick enough? You, journeyblahblahblah, are an enabler. There is nothing anybody would say to change your mind because you will always have an excuse ready made for those that simply won't get off their a** and make something of themselves. "Oh it's too hard, oh it's too far, oh this, oh that"...please. You say everything except the obvious. "Oh your attitude sucks and your current situation reflects that.

On a side note I paid for my own education by WORKING journey. You certainly didn't contribute to it. Maybe you can relay that to all your homeless friends. It's apparently not something they are familiar with.

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

Good I am glad you paid for all of your education. Some of the homeless really can not work. If you say the homeless are my friends. I would say I count a few as friends. I enable people? I really believe most people enable someone in their lives. Weather meaning to, or not. The real pisser would be if I was enabling someone for my own gains. I wouldn't do that so. Your comments are truly meaningless. I'm not out to gain anything by standing up for the rights, and needs of persons who cannot do for themselves. So you paid for your own education. What have you done for your neighbors, community, country, fellow man?

Kyle Reed 8 years, 10 months ago

I owe you no explaination of anything I've done for anybody. I'm not the one on this forum preaching and issuing challanges to everyone else.

Stop patting yourself on the back and open up your own shelter if you feel that strongly. Until then quit spouting your holier than thou attitude because you do volunteer work and let 3 people live with you over the last 3 years. Nobody is impressed.

lllwll 8 years, 10 months ago

The attitude of Kevin O'Brien is, give it to me or else. Bus them out of town!

Cassie Powell 8 years, 10 months ago

Homeless in Lawrence, KS does not have to continue...

Bert Nash has several different programs for the mental / drug/ and just hard time peope. I fell into the Hard Times category.

Eckan also has several programs, Help with jobs/transportation/clothing for work.

Pelathe has emergancy housing for up to 24 months.

If you are certified homeless by Bert Nash or Eckan (takes about 2 weeks) you can get into the emergany housing via pelathe and get your application with the housing authority moved to the top.

The Lawrence Douglas County Housing Authority provides deposits for housing/utilities so once you are on the waiting list for the emergancy housing and find a place that will wait you can usually move right in.

My family and I moved into housing using this route in 37 days.

As for jobs , hello people we have goodwill/ independance Inc./ cottonwood / Heartland works /Workforce Center, It may seem a concept to some, but a couple of those places excel at finding places for the mentally handicapped. ( We have a down syndrome and brain injury placed by independance inc, where I work)

For "normal" people help wanted signs are everywhere... If you are not trained/qualified, again Eckan/ Housing Authority/ Heartland Works all have programs available to help you to get that training!

I have no problem giving a hand UP to those that are willing to help themselves (they can even pop a tent in my yard if I see them trying to help themselves).

Some say that there is no commitment, thats BS. My outreach worker attended my mothers funeral, I had been out of the program for 2.5 years. Thats not commitment???

People need to help themselves, and I would bet that all the Apparent A**holes on here would become alot friendlier toward this situation, if the freeloaders ( Majority of Lawrence's homeless people ) were actualy TRYING TO DO SOMETHING WITH THEIR LIVES BESIDES BEG US. LIKE HELP THEMSELVES.

skinny 8 years, 10 months ago

Well GOOD! Maybe the 70% of the homeless population here that aren't from Lawrence will move on.

When they do move on you'll see a big drop in the crime rate around the downtown area that is for sure!

journeymanstation 8 years, 10 months ago

Why not ship everyone else off. Who really has the rights to be here. This was never land to be used as a state city, or county. Why wouldn't all of you leave if you think someone has no rights to live here. This land was given under treaty to the Potowatomie. For their lands in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. So if you want to get right down to should be able to living here. I am guessing none of you do. I would bet the tribes would have a better idea how to treat their indigent better than most of you. As far as I'm concerned you have been trust passing on tribal land this whole time. When did you ask permission to use these lands?

Christine Anderson 8 years, 10 months ago

Journeyman, good point on the land truly belonging to Native Americans. Yeah, we did steal it. No, I'm not being sarcastic, just agreeing with you. Glad to hear your life has improved. Godspeed to you.

skinny 8 years, 10 months ago

journeymanstation nobody said anything about anybody not being here. I am just tired of my tax dollars going to help people who won't help themselves. That and every time I go downtown I get asked for money. I have never had this problem in other cities I have lived and cannot believe the people of Lawrence tolerate this kind of behavior! One shelter is enough in this town. If you cater to them all they will come out of the woodwork and travel from far and wide to get here. Enough is enough. No more, at least not with my tax dollars.

Tom McCune 8 years, 10 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 Spain who stole it from the Indians.

begin60 8 years, 10 months ago

This story could do a better, clearer job about explaining what liability concerns are involved with the overflow shelter. You do mention the fire sprinkler system, I guess, but maybe contextualize this more? Personally, I think homelessness is obviously more of a structural than individual problem. I tend to respect the opinions of people who have suffered way more than those of arm-chair individualists. It's so easy to sit back and tell others to take responsibility when you have little idea about what their true challenges are.

WHY 8 years, 10 months ago

Maybe we could turn this into a reality show. Most money begged in an hour. Most vodka drank from a shoe. Fastest shelter from a trashbag and cardboard box. The winner will get free tent and a can of beans and the losers have to leave town.

ridinthefence 8 years, 10 months ago

journey dude... do you not see that if people want help, truly want the help, they can get it. There are all kinds of agencies that will help. Therefore most of your people that want help are getting help at these agencies and working at getting that help. Therefore most people at the shelters are transients and you will never convince me that an individual who spends their days smashing car windows to get some cigs and some change, beating each other up over a bottle whiskey, huffing glue in a dumpster, are crying out for rehabilitation. Dont believe it for a minute. Opening a shelter that takes in people of this nature only provides them a bed and some food so they can get up and do it all again. Ya you might call that enabling! As far as the mentally ill go, the closings of the state operated mental institutions have thrown them on the streets. And this is sad.

Shardwurm 8 years, 10 months ago

"There would be no id, money cell phone nothing. I will fly you back in 30 days, and then lets find out what you think of the homeless problem."

Within 10 days I'd have a job and wouldn't want to come back in all likelihood.

Angie Dick 8 years, 10 months ago

I think this is a sad issue. Most people are just a paycheck away from becoming homeless, Some people don't have family to help out. Yes some of the homeless (make that choice.) But Some of them can be hardworkers and just get laid off, can't find a job. A tornado could blow ur house down. what would u do? u'd be homeless. Or house could catch fire. u'd be homeless. It could take the insurance company God know's how long to give a check. then how would u cash it, if u lost everything? U'd have to pay to get another Id, SS card, Ect. Then How would u be able to get money out of ur bank acct. No Id. no checks, no credit or debit card? Then once u did all that, u'd still have to fork out money for a place to stay while ur house was being repaired! I don't know how to solve the problem with the homeless But I think if they are trying, they need alil more credit. other than just all homeless people are dope heads or drunks, cause I don't think that is alway's the case! I couldn't begin to image sleeping in a shelter or on the streets, I'd never make it. But some people have to do that. Either way u look at it, it's not good! I think the city should look into Walmart or the red cross to donate tents or campers for the quialifed and let them stay at the lake (during the summer) have a lil camp ground for the ones in need that take the time to fill out the paper work and follow the rules ect. They would have water,and elect. Just a thought!

handlon 8 years, 10 months ago

To friend73,

I completely disagree. Most people are NOT just a paycheck away from being homeless. Many may be a paycheck away from a major change in their lifestyle, myself included. If I lost my job tomorrow, I certainly wouldn't just give up and decide to live on the streets. I'm a hard working citizen that has been gainfully employed for the past 35 years by the simple fact that like most of us, we are responsible adults who are NOT afraid of hard work. If I lost my job, my home, etc, I would reevaluate my choices, probably find an inexpensive apartment for my family and go out and find whatever job I had to take to keep an income. Two jobs if I needed to, no big deal! The problem as I see it and echoed here many times by other threads is that many of the homeless could (and probably should) go out and find a job, but are just too lazy to push themselves to do so. I'm not saying it would be easy, but it's not easy for any of us in these difficult times. Life is not always a picnic, but comparatively to 3/4 of the rest of the world, we've got it incredibly good here in our country despite the rough economic times of the moment.

In closing, I must be clear that that we MUST help the individuals that TRULY need help, but the homeless that could function as contributing members of our society and are just too lazy to do so should kick themselves in the ass and take responsibility for their own plight.


KLATTU 8 years, 10 months ago

I love it. Pro homeless guy, Kevin O'Brien threatens "Give us food, money, and shelter, or we'll come be annoying in YOUR neighborhood. We'll sleep in your yard!"

Hey Kev, tensions are rising all over. Be careful who's yard you decide to sleep in.

black_butterfly 8 years, 10 months ago

Wolflover- Your post was EXCELLENT. They need to make copies of your posts and add contact numbers (so they won't have that excuse) and distribute the information to the homeless for a resource. Volunteers could read it to those who lack reading skills. I do feel for the homeless however God helps those who help themselves so why should Lawrence be any different? I have worked two jobs most of my adult life. Where there is a will there is a way, I pray for the homeless that they will be motivated to do what ever they need to do to change their lives. Lawrence has many more resources than other cities of the same population. Lawrence does make it easy so why don't these folks take advantage of the many programs while they are still in operation. I home that many see your post and share it with others.

honestone 8 years, 10 months ago

“If it becomes more noticeable that there are more homeless people on the streets at night, that should cause all of us to work harder for a solution,” Dalberg said. “We can’t just say we don’t want these people on the streets. The solution isn’t just coming up with another ordinance saying we don’t want them there.” So why can't we come up with another ordinance that would rid our town of the bulk of the cronic homeless and then we could just concentrate on those that are willing to help themselves?

Next you have to find a place to "put them". I cannot think of a neighborhood that would be happy to have Henderson and his committee select their neighborhood for property value decline. Once they select a place the battle will be on. It's not that people don't want to help but as indicated by no homeless facilities in West Lawrence or Alvamar...a homeless sheler in your neighborhood brings down values and the neighbors get to deal with the bums peeing in their yards. Finally..."“Once I get kicked out, I guess I’m going to be sleeping outside or in somebody’s yard,” said Kevin O’Brien, who has been sleeping at the shelter for about a week. “If they don’t do something, they’ll have 50 people sleeping outside, and it will be a bigger eyesore.”

This points directly at the issues here! Why do you feel that we as a community are required to "give you" a place to sleep???? I bust my butt at two jobs making sure that I have a place to sleep. Why are you special??? However I do like the idea camping in front of city hall. Then it will force the Chamber/City/DLA to create the "Bum Camp" wayyyy out in western Douglas County where the special people can have their free home and leave the citizens of this town in peace.

Cassie Powell 8 years, 10 months ago

Douglas County Lake Offers free camping for 14 continuous days. you then move out for 2 and can come back for another 14 days. This rule can be broken if you show the officer that comes out you are working with Bert Nash (785843-9192) or Eckan (785-841-3357) and have been certified homeless... Also on the other side of Clinton lake There are 2 "Mini camps" Rockhaven is something like $3.00 bucks a night, and if you are working with Bert Nash they will cover the 6 bucks for 2 nights until you can go back to Douglas County... Bloomington is a little higher at $7.00 bucks a night, but you get shower and beach access...

For those of you complaining of ride there or back, I still know several people from my days out there, and could hook you up with a weekly ride into town for supplies ( Although if you are working with Bert Nash your outreach worker will come visit once a week)

So why does a place need to be sought, there are places.. Also, Sheri out at Clinton lake is looking for someone to do 16 hours a week office work in exchange for free campsite with water and electric all year long...

Again, I and more than likely most of this board are willing to help, as soon as we see people helping themselves.

honestone 8 years, 10 months ago

Wolfover1969...I would like to shake your hand!!!!! A real solution for anyone that REALLY wants to change their life. Lawrence needs more people like you.

George_Braziller 8 years, 10 months ago

No. Getting rid of Tremors/Last Call cut the crime rate in the downtown area. Never had a problem with the homeless population pissing on or passed out in my front yard or finding a butcher knife on my porch on a Sunday morning when I reached for the paper. Thank God that place is gone.

skinny (Anonymous) says… Well GOOD! Maybe the 70% of the homeless population here that aren't from Lawrence will move on. When they do move on you'll see a big drop in the crime rate around the downtown area that is for sure!

Angie Dick 8 years, 10 months ago

handlon. I am sorry u disagree with my post. I was just trying to state that it's not alway's that easy for everyone. Not saying that life is easy, U do what u gotta do. But Sometimes people are not able to obtain jobs and try to factor in medical bills ect. Anyone of us could be homeless at any given time! It doesn't matter if u work ur butt off everyday, have savings or what ever. It still could happen. Let's hope to God it doesn't happen to any one else. I wasn't saying oo give the homeless ur last dollar (so they use it for their selfish needs) I was just saying that in some situations, people have to deal with being homeless. NOT BY CHOICE, I am sure!

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