Archive for Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Opposition arises to planned location for temporary shelter

Facility would use a vacant church sanctuary connected to public works office

Plans for a new temporary homeless shelter near 13th and Massachusetts are facing their first major opposition.

May 27, 2009


A proposal to locate a temporary homeless shelter near 13th and Massachusetts streets is beginning to face opposition.

Employees in the Douglas County Public Works Department are voicing safety concerns about the plan, which would use a vacant church sanctuary that is connected to the offices of the county’s public works building at 1242 Mass.

“This is a public building they want to use,” said Linda Brey, an employee of the public works department. “I don’t really think a homeless shelter in a public building mixes well. We are concerned about our safety and the safety of the public that comes in here.”

In April, leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter applied for a special-use permit that would allow the former church site to house up to 50 people who will no longer have a place to go once The Salvation Army closes its shelter on June 1.

The Community Shelter is out of space at its location at 10th and Kentucky streets. Loring Henderson, executive director of the Community Shelter, said the plan is for the shelter to keep its downtown location open but to temporarily operate an overflow shelter at 13th and Massachusetts until a permanent home for a larger shelter can be found. The temporary shelter could be open for up to two years, he said.

The temporary shelter would operate differently from the current downtown shelter. Henderson said the temporary shelter would be open only from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., and anybody who has been drinking alcohol will not be allowed in.

“There won’t be all the coming and going that there is at this facility,” Henderson said. “It will not be a drop-in center. My aim is to minimize the visibility of this facility as much as possible.”

But not everyone is so sure.

In addition to public works employees, the leader of the recently renovated Castle Tea Room — which is diagonally across the street from the proposed site — said he thought the location was a poor choice.

Andre Bollaert, executive director of the Castle Tea Room, said the shelter would be near several areas where children play, including South Park and St. John’s Catholic School. The shelter also would be along the main route that many students take to Central Junior High.

County employees said they fear the area will become a hotbed for loitering and the type of disturbances that often happen at the shelter’s current location.

“I can’t see the county conducting business when you have people urinating in the parking lot,” said Rita Fulks, another employee at the public works department. “I don’t have any issues with them putting people in this building, but don’t leave us here.”

The proposal to locate the shelter at the site hasn’t yet been finalized. Both the Douglas County Commission and the Lawrence City Commission must approve the plan before it can happen.

County commissioners, who are involved because the county owns the building, are scheduled to discuss the subject at their meeting next Wednesday night.

“I’m doing my best to keep an open mind about a really difficult topic,” Douglas County Commission Chairwoman Nancy Thellman said when asked about the feasibility of the site.

The City Commission, which is responsible for issuing the land-use permit, likely won’t hear the issue until early July, after the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission makes a recommendation on the issue.

City commissioners, however, on Tuesday did agree to set aside $78,789 in federal stimulus funding that the city has received to be used on the project. The money would be used to put a fire sprinkler system in the building, upgrade bathrooms and make other renovations to the site, if it wins the necessary approvals.

City commissioners said the fact they’re setting aside the money does not mean they’ve decided to approve the land-use permit for the project.

“It will still have to go through the normal process,” Mayor Rob Chestnut said.

The project has garnered some support. Some members of the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association have said they believe the site is workable, and the principal for nearby St. John’s Catholic School said the facility could work as a temporary location.

“Obviously, security is a huge issue, and there is an interest in making sure it is run properly,” said Pat Newton, principal at St. John’s. “But we understand a community has to come together and work together on issues like this.”

Henderson said he’s committed to making sure the location is only a temporary site. He said he continues to look for a permanent site for an expanded shelter. He said the board is currently focusing on three locations, but he declined to identify any of the potential sites.

“But we’ve decided that we have to decide,” Henderson said.

Henderson said he didn’t have a firm timeline for making a decision, but city commissioners have said they are hopeful a permanent site will be presented to them within the next four months.


George_Braziller 8 years, 12 months ago

Ewww, Ick. Homeless people. Rita doesn't want to get any "cooties". She should be the poster child for how ignorant people are about the issue of homelessness. I've known people with Master's degrees who were homeless not by choice but by fate and those who were more neatly groomed than others who had a permanent roof over their head.

“I can’t see the county conducting business when you have people urinating in the parking lot,” said Rita Fulks, another employee at the public works department. “I don’t have any issues with them putting people in this building, but don’t leave us here.”

skinny 8 years, 12 months ago

Ya, just what we need, a homeless shelter on Mass. St.

You know it is bad enough all the cities around Lawrence including Kansas City send us all their homeless people. That and the fact most of them are convicted felons.

I see the Lawrence Police Department at the Drop in Center daily as it is now. How about we just close all the homeless shelters in this town and let them fend for themselves like the rest of us? Like in get a job or be without! I think the city of Lawrence has better things to spend our hard earned taxes dollars on!

Come on City of Lawrence and Douglas County Commissioners! Wake up, what are you guys thinking???

ridinthefence 8 years, 12 months ago

George, Somehow I have missed the "neatly groomed" ones.... Where are they? Convicted felons, mentally ill, addicts and alcoholics. I dont think we need "a source for this fact" Beo unless you are blind and an idiot.

kugrad 8 years, 12 months ago

If the homeless shelter were for homeless families, I would be in favor of it. If the shelter were for the same sort of homeless folks that are drunk on the steps of the churches across from the present location and drunk in south park sleeping on the benches and under the bandstand steps, then I would oppose it. Homeless shelters that are not for families should be located a long, long walk from the liquor stores and not all concentrated in the downtown area. I don't regard the homeless as any more dangerous than anyone else, but to deny the rampant alcoholism among the crowd at the current location would be absurd, as it is in plain site any day of the week. No need to facilitate that lifestyle. The city should focus its efforts to address homelessness with some focused priorties: Families first, those with mental health issues & temporary homelessness, finally the alcoholic not wanting or seeking any type of treatment. Just my opinion; I'm no expert on homlessness but I'm not a stranger to it either. I deal with homeless families regularly and think they need prioritized help.

mommyoffour 8 years, 12 months ago

Ok, this is just a question but why are people trying to keep the homeless shelter in the downtown area. I also agree with the homeless family shelter or for single homeless people that do not abuse drugs or alcohol. I also think that if you were getting help from the shelter that you would be working towards being able to get your own home as soon as possible. I think some people take advantage of a helping hand. It should be a temporary stay. Believe me I understand needing help but I also would not want to keep having to ask for help and would want to eventually be able to do it on my own.

skinny 8 years, 12 months ago

I work with these goofball homeless people from the Drop in Center and the Salvation Army on a daily basis. Believe me, you do not want to house them on Mass Street. They’ll be hanging out there 24/7 like they do now at the Drop in Center and Salvation Army. I for one would not like the children from Central Junior High School having to walk past or deal with these losers on a daily basis. Not only that it’d be a liability issue for the City and County if one of the children were ever abducted or injured. If you remember several years ago that happened downtown by the river. The child was abducted and killed by one of our fine out of state homeless folks! I’d be the first one to vote from a family Shelter (women and children). I just don’t want anything more to do with the current Drop in Center or Salvation Army folks.

mommyoffour 8 years, 12 months ago

Good Point skinny, I do remember the little boy by the river. That was a really sad thing. Those are the chances that we should not take. When I let my daughter go downtown, I always warn her. One time we were at the Salvation Army signing up for the youth basketball team and two of the homeless guys were saying some really frightening things to and about her. She was only 9 or 10 at the time. I always made sure that I stayed at all the practices and walked her in and out of the building.

50YearResident 8 years, 12 months ago

Lets face it, nobody wants a homeless shelter in their area. It doesn't matter where it is located, it's a danger to the community. It is time to quit catering to people that either will not or can not coexist in a normal sociaty. Quit pampering dropouts of the working class people.

mommyoffour 8 years, 12 months ago

It is really hard because some are just good people dealt a bad hand that want to get back on their feet, then some of the others are lazy, drunks, drug addicts, criminals just taking advantage of people. I will be the first to admit, its a hard thing to do to come up with a good solution to this problem.

ridinthefence 8 years, 12 months ago

A good working solution to the problem is STOP catering to them! They arent being helped if they are sitting out front of the shelter sipping on a big cold one! Yes, I am talking about "the location that takes the drunks" not the salvation army... unfortunately they all congregate daily either at one site or the other... explain the difference. And YES I remember the child that was dismembered by the homeless man, who could forget???

kerplunkr 8 years, 12 months ago

I suppose this is just me thinking out loud, but why not set up a program where households can take in a homeless person (almost like a foster home) and in return, the homeowners receive a tax credit (or deduction) from the federal and/or state government?

This would have to be highly regulated and may be more trouble than what it's worth, but it could potentially be a win-win. Hopefully the flaws wouldn't outweigh the good that could be done.

Haiku_Cuckoo 8 years, 12 months ago

Don't fool yourself into thinking that the homeless are good people who are simply down on their luck. Support the women's transitional shelter instead, not the Lawrence Community drunks. Here are some recent Lawrence news items for you:

Lawrence police issued a citation to a 51-year-old transient man who allegedly exposed a part of his body and performed an illegal act on a porch in plain view of a 75-year-old Lawrence woman. The incident occurred between 7:05 a.m. and 7:29 a.m. June 27 at a central Lawrence residence. –– Officers were dispatched Thursday to the 1200 block of Massachusetts Street near the small children's pool in South Park. A 25-year-old transient was arrested without incident for attacking a mother with a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old child. The woman, who had been struck in the face, did not require medical treatment. –– A 51-year-old transient man was arrested Wednesday on a charge of aggravated sexual battery and battery when a Lawrence police officer in the 600 block of Kentucky Street observed two subjects in a physical altercation in the gazebo area of Buford M. Watson Jr. Park. The officer saw the man, who had his pants down around his thighs, restraining a 35-year-old woman. He pushed the woman away when he saw police. –– On the afternoon of Nov. 3 Lawrence police were called to the South Park Recreation area where a transient man and woman were seen lying on the floor of the men's public restroom without their clothes. They were found by a 34-year-old Lawrence man who was in the park with his children. The transients were cited for indecent exposure. –– Lawrence police arrest a transient accused of robbing a downtown coffee shop overnight.

Police arrested a homeless man on suspicion of aggravated arson Tuesday morning after an early-morning fire that severely damaged a mobile home. Emergency dispatchers sent firefighters and police officers to the fire in eastern Eudora at 12:45 a.m. Tuesday. The suspect, a 41-year-old resident of Lawrence Community Shelter, 214 W. 10th St., was booked into Douglas County Jail. He has not been formally charged in court.

Lawrence police arrested a 37-year-old transient man after he accosted a resident with what appeared to be a handgun. Sgt. Damon Thomas said that the transient and the Lawrence resident had an argument in the 900 block of Massachusetts Street. The man then lifted up his shirt to display what appeared to be a gun in the small of his back. Thomas said the transient fled to the Lawrence Community Shelter, 214 W. 10th St., where he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault. He was booked into jail at 7:29 p.m. Tuesday night.

Haiku_Cuckoo 8 years, 12 months ago

I think the "Final Solution" suggestion is a bit harsh, and I hope you were joking when you said it. Realistically, the homeless should be given shelter in exchange for public service, not just a place to sleep off thier buzz. They can pick up litter and empty trash cans in public parks, clean public buildings, do productive things to make them feel useful to society. Allowing them to simply drink and loiter is one of the cruelest things you can do for them. It offers no help for their problem.

hornhunter 8 years, 12 months ago

Schools out for the summer, set up tents on the High School football field and let them work on the projects near by. Bronze can feed them, then after a long days work they can shower at the school and discuss the day with him before bed.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 12 months ago

Have no fear the LPD are very much aware of who the homeless are and their whereabouts.

According to what I hear the lions share of the homeless population are locals. It would do no good for others from Kansas City or Topeka to come here. There is more for them in the bigger cities plus it's easier for them to blend.

I saw a creative thinker on the Country Club Plaza one afternoon. His sign read " Down Payment for A Cheeseburger Please". This person was not necessarily bothering anyone and some were donating down payments.

Lawrence is not unique by any stretch. All communities of any size have a homeless problem to deal with.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 12 months ago

Not a word about if this is an "open" shelter? I am sure the city and county will ask that question.

And I will bring this up, do you know how many homeless are already in South Park during the summer?

geekin_topekan 8 years, 12 months ago

Haiku's examples are a drop in the hat compared to KU's record (KUPD archives are available on line). If you dont feel like looking them up than look at the higher profile cases of recent. How many homeless have sodomized a dog that we know of? How many have murdered innocent people with their automobiles and basically gotten away with it? How many have brutally assaulted their ex's genitals in a fit of rage, causing permanant disfigurment and injury? How many "enable" younger members of their population to drink themselves into a .364 bac?(My personal record was .540!No lie!!Ask my doctor,WOke up with a catheter.Thats another story tho)

My point is, why are these instances disregarded by this forum while others are held up in an almost celebratory manner? "Because the homeless dont pay taxes" or "Because the homeless don't contribute anything" blahblahblah. I can hear it now. Those who do pay taxes and "contribute" do the exact same things and worse.

Summerguuuurl, do you really totally type they way you totally talk?That is like, totally wild.Oh my god.

kgg2000 8 years, 12 months ago

Here are the choices regardless of WHY they're homeless: 1) Let them sleep wherever they "drop," although the PD won't allow that. 2) Provide some type of food/shelter, which the majority of them have no appreciation or gratitude for receiving. ( I'm one of them . . . I know this to be true.) 3) House them in jail for any number of offenses that that are real or imaginary Then they'll possibly take responsibility for themselves . . . or leave town. Or both.

Kat Christian 8 years, 12 months ago

I imagine most of the homeless people are losers, but if you could weed through them I'm sure you'd find a few who really want that chance to change their status in life. Have an opportunity for a job training, a job and a home of their own. Let's face it society makes that difficult to achieve as it is. When you're down it is very difficult to get back up on your feet, because for the most society will beat you down again and if you are not a strong willed person or have lost your will that only serves to compound the situation. In a perfect world we'd have an organization that would and could see a homeless individual through the steps it would take to rehabilitat into society, but we don't have or won't put funds towards this process. So the powers that be discuss ways to put bandaids on the situation of homeless people just to appease the townspeople, but it isn't working anymore. It's a disaster waiting to happen where someone, somebody, perhaps another child get hurt. I agree we first need a program to help homeless families with children. How to weed out the potential homeless person who really wants to change is something for social experts to figure out. If only we had the money or only if we have the volunteer enthusiasm to make it happen.

beawolf 8 years, 12 months ago

Round up all the homeless and execute them in public. Apparently nobody gives a damn so just exterminate them and be rid of the problem.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 12 months ago

It amazes me how a woman who is a clerk in an office can elevate her status to the point she has. I don't believe for one moment there is any danger to students or anyone else. This is nothing more than common prejudice, looking at people from the standpoint of the group they belong to. Are the people against the homeless the Darwinians? Survival of the fittest? Well, so far the homeless are alive and some are able to reproduce and make others of their kind, which would make them a successful species that has created a specialized niche for itself.

pace 8 years, 12 months ago

It is a lousy place for co. public works. It was hobbled into the building. They should be relocated and the entire facility should be homeless shelter. It would allow for better accommodations for families and for services.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 12 months ago

"Richard Heckler babbled… I saw a creative thinker on the Country Club Plaza one afternoon..."

Country Club Plaza? Elitist. Spending your dollar(s) at out of town shops and no doubt spewing all sorts of carbon to get there. Hypocrite.

dweezil222 8 years, 12 months ago

Welcome to the wonderful world of NIMBY-ism.

Jan Brocker 8 years, 12 months ago

The county doesn't want the homeless in their neighborhood because of aggressive panhandling, urinating in public, drug dealing and the list goes on. In other words, now the county acknowledges all the problems that we have been telling them about for years, but that they refused to do anything about!

We have told the city and the city commissioners repeatedly about what goes on around the 10th street shelter. What about the neighbors around the existing shelter. We were pretty much told "live with it". Even when we tried to have the shelter declared a nuisance house, the city manager Dave Corliss responded "I'll just have the laws changed concerning nuisance houses". Double standards Dave!

I mean, for crying out loud, the 10th street shelter would be the worse nuisance house in the city, county and probably state.

The church would be used for only for 2 years. This is laughable! The shelter on 10th street was told to find a new location within 1 year and I think we're coming up on 4 years. All we ever hear is “we’re working on it”. Don’t believe anything they say!

The city (commissioners) think(s) that having them hang out on 10th street is fine. Screw those neighbors, they are just tax paying residents, but don't put a shelter in the city's backyard. Talking about double standards!

I've really had enough of this. Remember, you enable them and they will come. Only a small percentage are truly homeless; the rest are just living a life without bills, jobs and everything else that is free to them at this point. Ok, maybe the alcohol and drugs are not free, but that’s why we panhandle or worse.

I would donate to the shelter if they screened every person and only help the truly homeless.

ksdivakat 8 years, 12 months ago

OMG....I sincerly hope that those of you who purpose to "kill" the homeless were joking. Although that is sick, so sick that I hope law enforcement is monitoring this thread. There are children out there who are homeless, and there are people who are not drug addicts, and not alcoholics, or criminals, I agree there is a problem, but to kill them? That is crossing the line, and its just sick, I think there is a medication you can take for that problem.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 12 months ago

Wow, the two women in the picture look real dangerous to me. Wouldn't want to meet one of them in a dark alley. I do hope that all of you who are so against the homeless are cultivating friends and families because it could be any one of us who is homeless tomorrow because of conditions we cannot anticipate today.

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 12 months ago

I wonder how many of you who want to execute the homeless for being "disgusting drunks" have have a family member battle an alcohol or drug addiction?

Those without homes are obviously without the luxury of nice Hollywood rehab centers. I've seen and read about celebrities who commit acts much worse than peeing in public. Why is someone like Britney, Lindsay, or Paris worthy of life, but homeless people are not? Because they don't have a supportive family? Or because they aren't millionaires, or don't have a reality TV show?

hipper_than_hip 8 years, 12 months ago

The public works dept has enough trouble with the homeless and drug addicts wandering in off the street as it is; they don't need them across the wall.

We watched a homeless guy smash the window on a public works truck one summer; he told the deputy that it was too hot for him to be outside, so he wanted to go to jail to be in the air conditioning. Then there was the guy who locked himself in the bathroom at the public works dept, and proceeded to huff paint until the deputies hauled him off.

Is the problem the homeless, or the businesses that place themselves in proximity to the homeless?

Deb Stavin 8 years, 12 months ago

Hey, I know! Let's reserve a few of the buildings in that new luxury student apartment complex (the one going up near Home Depot) for a homeless shelter. Or better yet, how about asking some of the developers who have profited so much from building homes donate a building and the funding to run it, They could take the tax write-off, and name it the Fritzel Homeless Shelter. Helping the homeless get back on their feet so they could one guessed a home.

ksdivakat 8 years, 12 months ago

I will answer that summergurl when you address the rest of the posters who also commented on your little "idea"

MaryKatesPillStash 8 years, 12 months ago

Well, after reading so many comments throughout the years saying the exact same thing--"cattle cars to move them somewhere else"--you never can be so sure what people really mean, summer guuuuuuuuuuuurl. Any comments about cleansing society, whether joking or not, are disgusting, and yes, people tend to take offense to them.

kthxbi 8 years, 12 months ago

Summer-we reap what we sow, so expect the same amount of compassion

geekin_topekan 8 years, 12 months ago

"...They might as well just move them somewhere else" ++++ Summerguuuurl sure is quick to throw out "they" whenever she is referencing a solution. People talk all day long about what "they" should be doing.Who is this "they" she speaks of? I want to hear what summerguuurl is doing about the problem and not what "they" should be doing.

Put up or shut up.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 12 months ago

remind me again why the salvation army is closing their doors? is it because homeless people are hard to control and nobody wants to fund it?

beawolf 8 years, 12 months ago


I was being extremely facetious when I said "kill" them. The point is nobody seems to care. Nobody wants to help. Nobody is willing to admit this is a problem. Whenever the homeless are mentioned, people stop listening. Or it's "Sure, they need shelter BUT not near me." Shelters are being closed without opening new ones.

There are "bums" and there are sincere, honest folk who are homeless through no fault of there own. We lump them all together and call them trash or freeloaders and tell them to get a job because we KNOW they really don't want to work.

Our society is abandoning the needy. Those who are homeless or poor, the aged, those without medical insurance, the handicapped those with mental illnesses and even children. God forgive us all.

deadanimals 8 years, 12 months ago

The building in question isn't really fit to be any kind of shelter. It seems to have structural damage from the micro-burst, a bird and rodent problem, and is filled with junk. It is a high-ceilinged cathedral with little floor space, much like a small gym. It seems the only qualifying factor for consideration is that it was build as a church. There are church buildings all over town that would be more appropriate, and because they don't pay property taxes either, i don't see why they can't be considered?

It is a public building - go check it out!

doc1 8 years, 12 months ago

Skinny you are wrong.. The homeless from Kansas City and Topeka and many other places aren't sent here. They desire to be here. Homeless life in Lawrence is creme of the crop living. Free food and handouts everywhere.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 12 months ago

Yes, there are valid concerns no matter where a homeless shelter would be placed. I just need to say that many people are one or two paychecks away from being homeless. Just think on it awhile...

bearded_gnome 8 years, 12 months ago

Employees in the Douglas County Public Works Department are voicing safety concerns about the plan, which would use a vacant church sanctuary that is connected to the offices of the county’s public works building at 1242 Mass.

---duh, ... ya' think? safety concerns indeed. article's headline, apparently neighbors too are seriously concerned.

the homeless advocates in this community really screwed up when they got the "open" [drunken/druggy] shelter open. it attracted more of that crime ridden population to lawrence. it is supporting locals and out-of-towners in their self-destruction. it is concentrating this population downtown.

people have seen this population and no amount of words can cover up the reality of them. yes, there are families and good people caught in homelessness. but sadly it seems most of them are not of that group. far too many homeless are taking over south park. far too many live along the river. far too many are on the street downtown. they do have an impact on this community. and reenforcing their destructive lifestyle doesn't help them or our community.

so, naturally people with the experience of the "open shelter" population naturally don't want this to spread.

"we have decided it is time to decide?" from the, great mind at work there.

ridinthefence 8 years, 12 months ago

$78,789? Really? And it will be spent on renovations to a run down sanctuary that will house the homeless temporarily? Now I know what people mean when they say "only in Lawrence..."

skinny 8 years, 12 months ago

I wonder why Hays, Salina, Junction City, and Manhattan don't have a homeless population problem?

Maybe because they don't cater to this crap!

Wake up Lawrence!!

George_Braziller 8 years, 12 months ago

Skinny - EVERY municipality of any size has a homeless population including those you listed. Some just decide to acknowledge and address it.

I think you're the one who should "wake up."

bearded_gnome 8 years, 12 months ago

Bronzie, that's private property!
you and Merrill are constantly giving these golden apples of wisdom how owners of private property should just throw it away.

you guys don't have any of your own. you guys don't know what the he|| you are talking about!

real change is needed for homeless, the drunken/druggy. stop supporting them in their self-destruction. stop attracting more of them to our community. stop concentrating them downtown with their crime and public health issues.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

You Lawrence people crack me up. You, in your liberal self-rightiousness are always lecturing people about taking care of the less fortunate. Yet when it comes to backing that up with action, you fail miserably, you get an F-. You dump them (dump being a very key word here) on Topeka, or whoever else will take them because you don't want them around to encroach on your smugness. Gnome, You know the score, and you are right. Most homeless are that way because they would rather get high or drunk instead of paying their bills. Besides this flying in the face of the conventional liberal mindset, they still need a hand, and they don't get it in Lawrence. That's why I see so many of them on my doorstep. You guys should be ashamed.

ridinthefence 8 years, 12 months ago

George if addressing and acknowledging it creates what you see in downtown Lawrence I believe there is something wrong. It is getting to the point of disgusting and WILL ruin a once beautiful downtown Lawrence. How can you run a business downtown and not be upset with this? When visitors from other cities ask why do they let this go on, and they do, I just say "they dont let this go on, they encourage it". The leaders of Lawrence can control this and they dont do it. I will say it once again, STOP catering to them and they will stop coming to this city. Why would you go anywhere else when Lawrence is the land of handouts? THE WORD IS OUT! Now the County is going to provide them a building next to a park where our children play, I think it is deplorable.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

The fact of human nature is that the more money that is provided for entittlements, the more entittled low lifes will show up for them. This is a problem of your own liberal blindness. You made it, you figure it out. Stop sending them to Topeka. I know this is another inconcenient truth for all the bleeding hearts. But you need to stop blaming uncle sam, and stop blaming the economy or George Bush.
Maybe all of you bleeding hearts are starting to get your eyes opened to a little common sense on at least one issue.

TopJayhawk 8 years, 12 months ago

To put another dent in you conveluted liberal rhetoric, it should also be pointed out that we do have homeless from all over the country because it is well known in homeless circles that Kansas is among the most generous in the U.S. when it comes to money and handouts to the lazy crowd. This is why I come a little unglued sometimes when I hear that it is the Gov, or the states fault, or the economy ad nauseum... It is their fault pure and simple.

beawolf 8 years, 12 months ago

"it is well known in homeless circles that Kansas is among the most generous in the U.S. when it comes to money and handouts to the lazy crowd. "

And you know this how?

kalispell 8 years, 12 months ago

Give the shelter the whole building on a permanent basis.

This was supposed to be a temporary location for the Public Works engineering and administration personnel. They are out of office space, and the Public Works Operations division is out of space at their location on 23rd St.

Sell the 23rd St. property for industrial commercial use and move operations, engineering, and administration to a location more centrally located in the County where they have ample room and can operate more efficiently. Land prices and construction prices will never be better than right now for this long overdue relocation.

George_Braziller 8 years, 12 months ago

Acknowledging means that one addresses it head-on. There is a problem so what is the solution? Sticking your head in the sand and trying to pretend the issue doesn't exist is stupid. Your wish to just make it go away isn't an option.

ridinthefence (Anonymous) says… George if addressing and acknowledging it creates what you see in downtown Lawrence I believe there is something wrong.

skinny 8 years, 12 months ago

Let the City Commissioners and County Commissioners destroy downtown Lawrence by allowing the homeless population to take over and run (scare) people off. Then they wonder why their tax base is disappearing!

Do what other cities are doing, giving the homeless a free ride to the county line!

50YearResident 8 years, 12 months ago

kerplunkr (Anonymous) says…

I suppose this is just me thinking out loud, but why not set up a program where households can take in a homeless person (almost like a foster home) and in return, the homeowners receive a tax credit (or deduction) from the federal and/or state government?

This would have to be highly regulated and may be more trouble than what it's worth, but it could potentially be a win-win. Hopefully the flaws wouldn't outweigh the good that could be done

Kerplunkr, you can be the first test case, take in a couple homeless and let us know how it is going for you in 90 days.

ridinthefence 8 years, 12 months ago

And what do you propose to do George? Build some more shelters so we can have multiple sites like 10th & Kentucky scattered throughout town? Yuck.. What exactly is your solution? If you know some homeless people with Masters Degrees perhaps they can help you come up with something.

KansasPerson 8 years, 12 months ago

oneeyewilbur: "? city stimulus funds to fix up “county” buidling?

possible location of the three Henderson spoke of, could it be Knights of Columbus?"

Ummmmm.... isn't that privately owned?

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 12 months ago

According to statistics given out by Topeka, there are over 18,000 homeless people in Kansas. There are soup kitchens everywhere, federal benefits are equal everywhere across the board, state benefits are equal for any citizen of Kansas who qualifies. The sleeping quarters for the homeless might be better somewhere else in Kansas than in Lawrence. Other cities and towns have parks. They have libraries. I worry about the homeless when I at in a home I home though the grace of God, and the weather turns bad. I pray for them that they might find the peace of mind necessary to reform their lives and get housing and whatever else they need. People are not encouraged to change by being called names and cursed and mocked. That just makes them dig in their heels. It is not easy, it is not simple, and it certainly will not be fast. The homeless need to be treated one by one as who they are now, as they decide who they want to become. But, to decide they must have help and kindness and patience. If you don't pay your rent, you can be legally evicted in three days. If you don't believe me try it and see.

Deb Engstrom 8 years, 12 months ago

There is no question that these people need a place to sleep once the Salvation Army closes. It would be nice if all the naysayers would either write a check to pay for their stay in a motel or stop complaining about the solutions that caring people come up with.

Music_Girl 8 years, 12 months ago

How about a couple banks "donate" some of the houses that have been foreclosed on and turn them into mini shelters? Without a high concentration of homeless, they might be less of a "nuisance" to the neighborhood. Maybe get a couple local farmers or companies to "hire" them in exchange for their room and board. Some people are just scum and are a bit of a lost cause. Others are honestly trying and any self respecting man or woman will not turn down a job in exchange for a roof over his/her family's head and food for them. In order to help someone they have to want to help themselves first.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 12 months ago

musicgirl, that's the problem with the current situation in lawrence, it is supporting laziness, sloth.

if the "open shelter" only assisted the people who worked in exchange for their benefits, wow what a difference in the population. and the crime concentration would disappear over night!

why thank you TopJ.

you two who asked, TopJ knows from personal experience with the homeless if my memory serves me correctly. likely plenty of statements from those homeless.

again, private property gets offered to care for the homeless. why in heck should private property be turned over to be diminished in value, neighborhood depreciated, neighbors suffering crime and health risks, to solve this?

that's part of the problem, the far left crazies pushing for their solutions to the "homeless problem in lawrence" do not believe in private property. ironically, some of the same have posted on here that they think they and the government can decide when somebody has enough money, and any above that can and should be taken by the government by confiscatory taxes.

Loretta James 8 years, 11 months ago

maybe they could house them in the old jail at 111E 11 th and they need to get a job or in 60 days they will start locking the jail door for them being a vagrant.

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