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.


Flap Doodle 4 years, 5 months ago

merrill, how many different threads on LJW got the same set of your outdated links in the past two days?


parrotuya 4 years, 5 months ago

Snow job alert! Snow job alert! Snow job alert!

This forum is just a way for the city and its bedfellow developers to spin-doctor the proposed shelter on you. Don't be fooled! Their plan is already set in stone and your input is not welcome.

They will cram it down your throat! Document everything! Record the meeting. Read the rules of parliament. Get a good lawyer. Look for state laws which supersede local ones. And have good, large turnout of supporters who oppose the shelter. You will need them to negate the project's enablers (who are not from your neighborhood!).

The very best place for the new shelter? N.I.M.B.Y. ('Not In My Back Yard' for those who don't know)


bb837988 4 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.


eastsidepride 4 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!


Leslie Swearingen 4 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.


wordgenie8 4 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.


smitty 4 years, 5 months ago


We got smoke blown up our collective arses on both the SA and the get out of jail free efforts. How many other smoke screens have been thrown out over the years of the wet shelter. We won't even count the car wash, dog cookies, donate a ball glove amateurish smoke screens that were to garner support.

The wet shelter, under the direction of well intending but totally incompetent BOD and executive director has made every mistake in the book with out end. They still don't have it together enough to merit support.

If you want to sell me on support for a larger and more expensive shelter, then show how the shelter has coordinated, implemented, and succeeded in utilizing our vast social service network that is already funded with mostly tax dollars. Maybe then a realistic evaluation can be done on what is really needed.


smitty 4 years, 5 months ago

You started in the right direction when you mentioned the mentally ill homeless and the Reagan administration. During Reagan's years the mental institutions were shut down. Of course the mentally ill are going to fail in a bad economy.

I would support a shelter to temporarily house the mentally ill homeless. There are currently programs through Bert Nash to house the recovering addicted mentally ill. The housing, like all other subsidized housing, back logged. A temporary shelter till red tape paper work and space is available is acceptable for the mentally ill.

We don't get data on this type of homelessness from Bert Nash or the wet shelter.

History.....The wet shelter's existence came to pass because a couple of church ladies persisted until they got the current site incompetently set up with a grant that offered service's not available at the dry SA shelter. Unfortunately, a close personal connection between LINK's director and BOD and the wet shelter (same church ladies involved) guided a viable church run program into the low life problems that is the wet shelter reality.

What was that difference that justified a new service, a place to wash and dry your clothes. They carefully avoided the wet shelter verbiage to get that set up grant. Now and for years this shelter has been a dismal mixture of endless wet shelter problems while using the mentally ill as a base for funds.

The lifestyle homeless (travelers, addicted with no intent of changing, lazy bums) do not deserve our society keeping them fed and warm. Tough love programs can work for those who want them to work. Bleeding heart approaches are co-dependant and dysfunctional.

Has anyone thought about how the SA was not allowed to develop a shelter off Haskell? As least sally had a plan for getting their clients out of homelessness. Sally caught a lot of flack but now it appears we lost out by not supporting breathalyzer approach to assistance.

Remember at couple of years ago when there was story about the drunk/addicted criminals from the wet shelter that were arrested, went to the dg co jail only to be released and returned to 11 and Mass, left to decide whether to go to the wet shelter or the SA? All kinds of public discussion and meeting with the jail personnel, LDCHA, other social service agencies, to offer housing to the criminals in lieu of going back to a destructive environment. That environment being the wet shelter. No follow up on that story.



Richard Heckler 4 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)


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