Archive for Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shelter concerns

Perhaps a public forum scheduled for this week will allay some residents’ concerns about relocating the local homeless shelter.

November 8, 2009


Proponents of a plan to move the Lawrence Community Shelter to a new location on East 23rd Street are taking a smart step by scheduling a public forum to discuss their project.

Opposition has arisen to the plan to move the city’s primary homeless shelter to the site of the former Don’s Steak House at 2176 E. 23rd, and, at least in Lawrence, it’s almost always better to meet such opposition head-on than to try to bulldoze past it. Shelter leaders, along with architects and engineers will discuss the project with members of the public at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Boys & Girls Club, 1520 Haskell.

Shelter officials want to move the shelter because they say it has outgrown its current location at 10th and Kentucky. Almost any proposed site to relocate the shelter would draw opposition from someone. The site on East 23rd Street may not be the perfect location, but it seems better than most and certainly better than the current location wedged between a residential area and the downtown business district.

Nonetheless, East Lawrence residents are concerned about people from the shelter walking through their neighborhood to other parts of town. Other Lawrence residents wonder whether providing a larger shelter with more services will only attract more homeless people to the city.

Lawrence isn’t the only city that struggles with such questions. We have a humanitarian interest in helping people get back on their feet, but we realize that some of the people served by the shelter, because of mental illness, alcoholism or other problems, may remain homeless for extended periods. Balancing these interests isn’t easy.

These are questions that the shelter planners should address, and a public forum is a good way to do it. It will give shelter officials an opportunity to allay residents’ fears and convince opponents that the importance of the work the shelter does offsets any inconvenience the shelter poses to local residents.

It speaks well of Lawrence that it has so many residents who want to reach out and help those who find themselves without financial resources or a roof over their heads. Serving that need in a location and a manner that draws no criticism probably is impossible. Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter are committed to this project. Perhaps a public discussion will help get a larger segment of the community on board.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 5 months ago

One primary objective is to get the homeless away from downtown shopping.

Loring Henderson has more sensitive and substantial objectives. Hats off and good luck.

However those that routinely hang downtown will still hang downtown. Probably for more hours due to no other place to go. Not only that spreading this population out will create more effort for the LPD = more tax dollars. Throwing them in jail = bunch more tax dollars and occupies space that might house the more violent segment of society.

Mr. Henderson cannot be expected to detain anyone who chooses to wander off towards downtown.

One answer to homelessness is proper mental institutions for those who require such. Another would be STOP shipping jobs abroad and STOP....

the republican party who are masters at putting millions upon millions upon millions of people out of work. All they do with a remarkable degree of consistency is wreck the economy,initiate huge movements of shipping jobs abroad aka the Reagan-Bush Global Economy and try to wreck social security and medicare.

Then they impose huge fraudulent banking schemes on america which wreck the lives of millions upon millions upon millions. Some of which will find themselves on the street because white collar criminals killed the economy and their jobs.

Is there a definite pattern? Absolutely!

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal

  3. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the bail out money?

  4. Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion and wreck the economy)

wordgenie8 8 years, 5 months ago

Smitty rightly comments above on the discouraging incompetence and lack of brains and understanding among so many wannabe "helpers" among the locals. Competence before help, please! Once I was hit in Columbia by a woman on a cellphone who drove her car through the crosswalk where I as a pedestrian had the right- of -way and walk signal. She asked, "How else can I help you"? I answered,"You've already done enough."This is about how helpful your average helper in Lawrence is, especially all those living- in- a- time- warp hundreds who have the gall to aggressively approach and terrorize strangers on the public streets. Please realize that people these days rightfully don't trust strangers or want others to mess with them or their belongings in public--plus, it's incredibly simple-minded and insulting to approach strangers on the basis of bigoted stereotypes and expect gratitude. I really don't find the attitude of your average hick in the street very caring or perceptive toward the homeless or anyone else. It's inconsiderate to terrorize strangers by invading their personal space in public and trampling their independence and dignity. With help as competent as this who needs a bullet through the head? Stop bothering and harassing strangers, Jayhawks. It's an unsophisticated, bumpkin attitude that reeks of prejudice and discrimination. Brawn over brains and spirits almost every time, no? You are not seeing people's hearts or reading them accurately or using good judgment.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 5 months ago

There are people who would expect the homeless to stay in that one building, 24/7? Come on! The homeless are citizens and have the same legal rights as anyone else, and so have the right to be anywhere they choose to. It sounds to me like the homeless who are going to walking some two miles downtown, are in more danger from the people peering out from curtains. Is anyone walking in that area going to be considered a threat? For every crime committed by a homeless person, I could give you a hundred committed by a solid citizen. But, that would get us no where. We need to use both compassion and common sense and realize that this is going to be an ongoing problem. If every one that is homeless today got housing, tomorrow there would be more, because of people losing jobs and income.

eastsidepride 8 years, 5 months ago

It is better to meet the opposition head on, but the comissioners and the LCS have only just begun to try and meet with its oposition. WHY?....Because they were to busy trying to slide it all through proper protocal which they all failled miserably! Rules and regulations are set up for a reason...So that when there is an oppisiton that group is given time to put up a fight. This has all been bulldozed as the article reads right into our neighborhoods! Fight,,,WHY the City comissioners have already made up their minds and have made more than one one "exception" for the LCS to make this happen. Exceptions I garuntee wouldnt be made for just any one of us! It is all public knowledge for anyone caring to read and all I can say is SNEAKY SNEAKY SNEAKY! I am embarrassed for Lawrence! AND to East Lawrence all I can say is open wide because the City of Lawrence and Loring Henderson are about to shove this down our throats no matter what we oppose! We deserve better! That comment should also be directed at our Plannig Comission I say shame on all of you! This is one neighbor who will not be on board! Wish me luck at ever trying to sell my house!

bb837988 8 years, 5 months ago

"The site on East 23rd Street may not be the perfect location, but it seems better than most and certainly better than the current location wedged between a residential area and the downtown business district."

So it is not okay for the shelter to be between downtown's business district and a residential area but it is okay for it to be located next to a residential area and the east side business district? Don't the east side businesses count?

So, the merchants downtown don't want people begging outside their establishments. Does that mean the merchants at Highway 10 Marketplace don't have the same expectation?

More likely, by moving the shelter, the hope is that the homeless become more invisible.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 5 months ago

merrill, how many different threads on LJW got the same set of your outdated links in the past two days?

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