Archive for Friday, October 16, 2009

Neighbors of proposed new homeless shelter planning opposition

A proposed site for a new homeless shelter in Lawrence has area residents flustered. The residents say the shelter and its proximity to local schools would have a negative impact on the community.

October 16, 2009


As plans to relocate the community’s homeless shelter to eastern Lawrence march toward a key November hearing, residents near the proposed site are gearing up for a fight.

“We have a petition and so far have raised over 300 signatures,” said Missi Pfeifer, a Lawrence mother who lives several blocks from the proposed shelter site. “We have a large crowd that is just so opposed to this.”

Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter are scheduled to appear before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission on Nov. 16 to seek approval to convert the former Don’s Steakhouse site, 2176 E. 23rd St., into a homeless shelter. City commissioners may be asked to give final approval to the site as early as Dec. 1.

Opposition to the project surfaced from a handful of businesses near the former steakhouse soon after the deal was announced in August. But now the opposition has spread to the neighborhood around Kennedy Elementary School, which is several blocks away from the site.

Pfeifer said residents are concerned by what they see at the current shelter at 10th and Kentucky streets downtown. She believes a shelter won’t fit well near a neighborhood with children because many of the people the shelter serves have problems with either drugs, alcohol or are mentally ill.

“I don’t know a mother who would go downtown and see what hangs around the shelter down there and walk away and leave their child there,” Pfeifer said.

The shelter’s leader said he wants to work to convince neighbors that the shelter can be a good neighbor.

“I want to talk about things like fencing and landscaping and lighting and all of those issues that we can and will do,” said Loring Henderson, director of the shelter. “Many of them don’t know that we have programs to get people out of homelessness, and how much better this building is going to be for that.”

Pfeifer said many in her group — which is called East Lawrence Citizens Against the Relocation of the Lawrence Community Shelter — will want to talk about the shelter’s policy of allowing people who are inebriated to stay at the shelter.

“My biggest thing is I think there is a huge difference between enabling and assistance,” Pfeifer said.

The shelter is seeking to relocate because its current space is too small to serve the growing homeless population, Henderson said. Shelter leaders settled on the Don’s Steakhouse site because it does not have any homes that directly abut the property. It also is near the DCCCA’s alcohol treatment center, and is near a city bus route.

But the shelter’s leaders have not yet secured all the necessary funding to complete the million-dollar-plus project. The group has plans for a fundraising campaign, but has not yet publicly launched the effort.

The shelter also is working through an administrative matter with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The shelter is seeking to purchase a small piece of property from the adjacent Farmland Industries site that is currently controlled by a bankruptcy trust. The additional property would allow the shelter to build a separate building for a job’s program that it is seeking to expand.

KDHE regulators will have to approve the sale because of environmental issues related to the Farmland property. Previously, KDHE has been reluctant to approve such transfers of property until someone steps forward to clean the entire Farmland site.

Henderson said the shelter believes the Don’s Steakhouse site will work better with the Farmland property, but does not believe a failure to obtain the Farmland piece would kill the entire project.


ilovelucy 8 years, 8 months ago

How many blocks away is Kennedy?

There is NO IDEAL location for a homeless shelter, but give me a break here! Work with Loring! Before beginning this drive, why don't you sit down and talk? C'mon Missi!

Nathan Anderson 8 years, 8 months ago

Dear lord. Kennedy is about a half-mile away as the crow flies. Get a grip mom and dad. I live 1 block from the existing site and have lived here for 9 years without incident.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 8 months ago

How about the homeless people go to the commission meeting and convince the community that they will respect the neighborhoods and citizens who are footing the bill in order to keep these people sheltered. Why aren't the people that this is all about stepping forward? And frankly, the county could buy a small farm & build plenty of rooms for less than 2.5mill. Then these folks could learn to sustain themselves and learn some trade skills. putting them up in an old steakhouse isn't going to prepare them for anything, it's just going to keep them out of the rain.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 8 months ago

Bringing the school into the picture? Give me a break!

How come we dont hear about the prisoners who stand at the corner waiting on the bus each morning?They are 4 blocks from the school.Have we heard of them causing problems? The county fair comes to town each summer and parents dont seem to mind their kids running around freely amongst those carnies. Trust me. The homeless have no interest in kennedy school. Quit using the children as pawns.Pathetic.

Bassetlover 8 years, 8 months ago

The proposed new shelter will be located clear out in BFE, for gawd sakes! Give it a rest, Missi. Your argument is so lame. Putting the shelter out there is probably the best solution the community leaders and Loring have devised yet, after years and years of trying. Closeby neighbors are few and far between out there. It's a great step in the right direction. Let's end the NIMBY mindset when it comes to our homeless. It is everyone's problem.

skinny 8 years, 8 months ago

jhawk0097, You have no idea what you are talking about. The Lawrence Police Dept is dispatched to the current shelter at least twice a day if not three times a day. It is ridiculous!

Lawrence does not need or want a homeless shelter in this town, period!!!

Amy Heeter 8 years, 8 months ago

Never under estimate the power of a group of mothers. Remember " the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world"

bb837988 8 years, 8 months ago

jhawk0097 (Anonymous) says…

Dear lord. Kennedy is about a half-mile away as the crow flies. Get a grip mom and dad. I live 1 block from the existing site and have lived here for 9 years without incident.

Anyone who reads this paper has seen the stories detailing the issues that the neighbors and downtown merchants have with the shelter. If the shelter is such a good neighbor, why isn't the downtown area doing something to keep the shelter downtown? I haven't read any stories about the current neighbors of the shelter starting a campaign to keep the shelter downtown.

It is a wet shelter. There will be drunk or high people attempting to get to the shelter on a daily basis who will passing through those neighborhoods. Kennedy School is on one of the main roads leading to the proposed location. Otherwise, they would be walking down 23rd Street or walking through the residential areas around the school.

And what about the people who will be turned away because they have alcohol or drugs in their possession? Where are they going to go? The fairgrounds? The park at 19th and Haskell? Lake Mary Park? Someone's backyard?

There is a definite need for homeless services for those who want to change their situation. There has to be a location in town that will serve their needs but will not infringe on residential neighborhoods other than Don's Steakhouse or even the current location.

blawggerl 8 years, 8 months ago

If there is so much opposition in different neighborhoods, why is Lawrence building a shelter at all? Isn't it true that most of our homeless aren't even really from Lawrence?

ferrislives 8 years, 8 months ago

This is a literal accident waiting to happen if it's a "wet shelter". They note a positive is that it's near the DCCCA’s alcohol treatment center. Hello? How can anyone think that drunk/high people walking across K10 to get to the DCCCA is a good thing for anyone? There aren't any crosswalks or stoplights directly in front of it to get to DCCCA, so I don't get the logic. Wow.

Nathan Anderson 8 years, 8 months ago

skinny, your hysterics are part of the problem. Given last year's police data, I highly doubt the police are responding to non-medical calls at the shelter 2-3 times a day. I suspect reactionary, skittish folks like yourself give more attention to the shelter's occupants than they deserve.

Like I said, I live a block from the current shelter. Are there some quesitonable-looking characters loitering there? Absolutely. Do I have homeless folks hanging around my house? Yep. At the very least, they go through the trash bin outside my house every morning. Have I had to run them off on occasion? Rarely. I was walking back from the community center the other day and had a wild-eyed homeless guy I used to work w/ at LMH asking me for cash. He was creepy-looking but harmless.

Like I said above, I haven't had any incident in the last 9 years where I felt any need to call the police. I see no evidence that problems at the shelter radiate to a half-mile from the current locatoin. Personally, I have a LOT more problems w/ drunk college kids destroying property, urinating, and fighting on my property. I suspect this has a lot more to do w/ worries about property values than child welfare.

Nde 8 years, 8 months ago

If the homeless can sit on their behinds downtown and not make effort to change their lives, why waste our tax money on them. You see that they are fully capable of walking and talking, why not walk and talk themselves into a job. They expect the town to care for them, while they wander around begging for change to get that sip of alcohol or a high of some kind. Lawrence should pride itself on making the safety of our children a priority. You have schools, events, family-oriented dinning places, family housing near the propsed site, what idiot didn't take that all into consideration. You have visitors of all kinds coming into town through K10 and you want their first impression of the town to be a bunch of homeless people sitting/wandering around doing nothing.

kucourtsider 8 years, 8 months ago

To stir things up a bit, the real estate agent representing the Don's Steakhouse property is also on the Lawrence Community Shelter board. Conflict of interest much?

Just thought you all should know, if you did not already. :)

missi4mayor 8 years, 8 months ago

jhawk0097 Where is your petition supporting keeping the shelter at it's current location if they're such good neighbors and all?

Jean1183 8 years, 8 months ago

jhawk0097...just a couple of questions: Are you a man? Do you have small/young children?

I think a woman or someone with small children will have a different view of that creepy-looking but "harmless" guy.

ilovelucy 8 years, 8 months ago

Skinny: I sincerely hope that you are homeless one day. That statement was rude and ludicrous. Yes, there are homeless drunks and drug addicts. But you can't lump all homeless citizens under one umbrella. Those folk deserve a chance, just like you. Why, instead of making such asinine statements, don't you sit down and speak with Loring Henderson, the director of LCS? Maybe you and others like you could get over your fear and horrible, horrible prejudice.

haggisgirl 8 years, 8 months ago

"Are there some quesitonable-looking characters loitering there? Absolutely. Do I have homeless folks hanging around my house? Yep. At the very least, they go through the trash bin outside my house every morning. Have I had to run them off on occasion? Rarely. I was walking back from the community center the other day and had a wild-eyed homeless guy I used to work w/ at LMH asking me for cash. He was creepy-looking but harmless." Jhawk0097

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention. There is a big difference between an adult dealing with a wild-eyed homeless, creepy-looking guy and grade school kids walking to or from school or after school activities.

Since, I believe LINK is located downtown, how will the occupants of the shelter get to the new location? Walking through east Lawrence residential areas. Or is the City going to set up free bus services for them?

Julie Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

I live 2 miles from the proposed site and have a child that attends Kennedy. I don't want these "creepy eyed but harmless" people approaching the kids in the area.

jhawk0097 As far as the college kids fighting and stuff. You have a right to be upset about that. But that also comes with the choice that you made to live in the neighborhood. I suspect that this area was college row before you moved it. I purchased my home in that area because there weren't a bunch of college kids or a wet shelter in the vicinity.

kucourtsider I find that appalling that that real estate agent is also a board member for the shelter.

missi4mayor 8 years, 8 months ago

This is a tough issue, there are no easy answers. But I do know that busting on a parent for having concerns for the safety of their children is NOT COOL!

Charly Beaty-Edmonds 8 years, 8 months ago

Where does one go to sign Ms. Pfeifer's petition?

kucourtsider 8 years, 8 months ago


email us at no4relocation @ gmail . com and we'll give you more info on the petition.

gmemusic 8 years, 8 months ago

George Carlin did a great routine about "Stuff". You buy a house, and start filling it with "Stuff". Pretty soon, you've got too much "Stuff", and need a bigger house. Then you move in, and suddenly, you need more "Stuff" to fill it. Same thing here, if the shelter gets moved to a bigger, better location, it will just result in the already growing homeless population to continue to grow. So here's a thought, since jhwk0097 doesn't mind having them in his/her neighborhood, leave the shelter there and make the people work. Use all the funding to pay for programs like cleaning trash up downtown (rather than panhandling), improving the existing location, or doing volunteer work around town. If it's not so attractive to stay there, if you're going to have to work to have a place to stay (much like the rest of us), then maybe we'd start to see a decrease in the homeless population. Moving the shelter isn't the answer. And, like everyone else, I especially don't want it in my backyard.

Jeanette Reiling 8 years, 8 months ago

I too think this is a bad location for a shelter. I think there is a real danger of car/pedestrian accidents on the busy highway. I think there are more resources downtown for the homeless population and they will all try to find a way to return to the downtown area anyway. One just needs to drive downtown and see the way they walk around and cross the streets without watching traffic or lie in the streets to imagine what will happen when they do this on the highway. This location will not change the habits of the homeless, many of whom are mentally challenged or drug or alcohol addicted, their habits would just become more life threatening for them. The fact that they sleep or hangout at parks downtown would be replaced with sleeping or hanging out at the lake near the Don's Steakhouse location or in residential open areas or behind Prairie Park School. Making larger and more glamorous places for the homeless to stay is further enabling them to remain homeless. I second ce's question, where do I go to sign Ms. Pfeifer's petition because I too care about the safety of my children and the other children of the neighborhoods around this location...and yes, about the safety of the homeless person who will be killed trying to cross the highway and the person who will have to live with the fact that they hit and killed someone for the rest of their life.

easternside 8 years, 8 months ago

Just a few thoughts and observations about this fiasco of an idea.

  1. Doug Brown the realtor on the transaction is a board member of the Lawrence Community Shelter, and is recieving a commission for this transaction.

  2. Part of the proposal from the LCS is for the city to provide monies for bus passes to transport the homeless from downtown to the shelter.

  3. The city was considering on its consent agenda to give the LCS $78,000.00 for the purchase of the property on the last two meeting agendas before it was discovered by citizens and was pulled after complaints of its underhanded nature were made.

  4. Lawrence Police this year alone have responded to over 400 calls of a 911 nature at the current location of the LCS. This number does not include the calls around the shelter instigated by the actions of the homeless in the area.

  5. People currently using the shelter do not have to provide any kind of ID or show ties to the lawrence community. It is a flop house for anyone rolling thru town, and quite a number of residents there are doing just that.

  6. The current proposed location will expose the inebriated residents of the facility to K-10 traffic. Currently they are a hazard to driving downtown at 30 miles an hour. Imagine when they wander out into K-10 traffic doing 60+ coming either in or out of town.

  7. K-10 is our gateway to Kansas city and our first thing you see upon entering Lawrence is a clapped out industrial site (farmland) then YES a homeless about showing your hindquarters as a welcome sign....

The beef with the homeless shelter is not just its location. It is the concept of LCS that does not require any responsibility or actions to assist these people to improve the situation they find themselves in.

We all understand the leadership of Lawrence is under tremendous strain to do something about this problem downtown that the homeless create, but dumping them somewhere else at night is not the answer. We need to work with LCS to create real programs to help people and at the same time DISCOURAGE the inflow traffic of vagrants from outside our city that look at lawrence as a 120 day, free housing and food destination. By the way you can stay at LCS for 120 days without being asked to participate in any programs or try and find either a home or a job.

Before I am torn to shreds for being "anit-homeless" or uncaring that is the farthest thing from the truth. What I am for is helping those that want help and are not making a career from free loading on a warm hearted community like Lawrence.

ilovelucy 8 years, 8 months ago

Eastern: Out of curiousity, have you seen the actual real estate contract? Do you know for a fact that Mr. Brown is getting commission? Have you sat down in a face to face with Loring Henderson or you all just reacting to what has been written without consulting the source?
Do you know for a fact that LCS is a "flop house?" Or is that just an assumption? Why didn't you have Mr. Henderson come to your meeting the other evening to discuss your fears and questions? Just curious how much of your bullet points are fact and how much are assumptions. Thanks-Lucy

easternside 8 years, 8 months ago

Lucy!!! (insert Ricky Ricardo voice). Sorry not making fun of your post but I am a Lucille Ball fan so your handle was to cute to pass up. I said in my post these are my thoughts and observations I did not use the term "fact". Although a call to McGrew RE did supply that "fact" which is good enough for me.

As to setting down with Mr. Henderson, it would seem to me that he should be setting down with the people of Lawrence to tell us why this is a great idea.

I am not sure what meeting your refering to as to the other night?

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

So you are saying Mr. Brown is making money on this deal eastern?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

How about Baur Farms? A new building could be built to exact specifications for the desired purpose and it would be about 4 miles or so from downtown. The sixth and Wakarusa area has medical offices and access to the T. The area has plenty of potential employment centers as well. Whereas the K-10 site has very very few potential sources of employment.

While the eastsiders are always catching hell for not wanting this activity in their backyards I notice no other backyards in the newer parts of Lawrence offering their backyards. There are board members from those sides of town who should be able to convince their neighbors that all would work out and would in the best interest of the west side to open up their hearts.

While I do admire Mr. Henderson I would not want his job. He is a persistent, warm and sensitive individual.

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

"While I do admire Mr. Henderson I would not want his job. He is a persistent, warm and sensitive individual."

You forgot to add naive and gullible as well.

remember_username 8 years, 8 months ago

A couple of questions for those that may know. 1) If the plans for a new homeless shelter are approved what happens to the old shelter? 2) Are there other sites for the new homeless shelter in consideration, or is this a Don's or nothing kind of deal?

Given that there is a need for a new shelter I find it hard to believe the 23rd street location is the best choice. Was it selected because the planners assumed it would cause less residential complaints? Where does liability fall when a shelter resident is hit crossing 23rd, or injured messing around the old FMC facility? The 23rd location is going to require more police presence over a larger area to ensure public safety, and that will cost more for everybody.

Satirical 8 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't anyone find it odd that Don's Steakhouse is being turned into a homeless shelter. A place where they used to cut up and serve meat? I think Lawrence finally came up with a solution to their homeless problem. Soylent Green anyone?

Meatwad 8 years, 8 months ago

If you keep building more and bigger shelters, of course we will have more homeless people. Does everyone not realize that these people call and email their friends (yes they use the library to get on the internet and check their email) in other cities and other states and tell them they should move to Lawrence. We need to put a cap on the number of beds Lawrence provides, I say no more. What would really be nice is to have a 'dry' shelter instead of an 'enabling' shelter.

Meatwad 8 years, 8 months ago

Consumer1 said, "Our homeless population was sooo much smaller before Henderson opened a shelter where drunks could stay. Now we have them all, from all over the state and county." He is exactly right. Henderson's heart is in the right place but he is ruining our city because he wants to bring every homeless addicted person to Lawrence. Henderson needs to be stopped please.

blawggerl 8 years, 8 months ago

Since the city has extra money to invest in land for LCS, couldn't the city allocate that money to help some of these people rehabilitate or give them job training instead? What was it $78,000, how many hard working earners could that help and prevent from becoming residents of this new shelter? Lawrence wouldn't need a shelter at all. What if all the money that's been dumped into the shelter to date was spent on education and prevention? Would we even be having this discussion?

Grump 8 years, 8 months ago

Lawrence should fund a one way bus service for homeless to Topeka. Lure them on with strong drinks and food, and drop them off anywhere in North Topeka.

Charlotte Hastings 8 years, 8 months ago

Being homeless for a short time is no disgrace it could happen to any one of use at any time due to our present state of economy. I’m not heartless I have compassion for people in need and I’m more than pleased to help. The folks in East Lawrence that are now trying to stop the LCS from being moved to there part of our community, are also not heartless don’t you hear what they are saying? It is not the homeless by no fault of there own that our Lawrence families have a problem with. It is the fact that we don’t want the chronic homeless population to grow. Let’s put our funds into programs that serve Douglas County individuals that want to restore themselves to being an addition to our town and with our help they can and will. There are several organizations that government funds and donations can go to, that will better serve to give hope to these truly deserving needy individuals. Family Promise keepers, Women’s Transitional Care, Pelathe Resource, First Step, to name a few. These facilities have requirements to meet to receive the help. Residing in Douglas County is one of them. Some important others are being sober& being drug free. The families in east Lawrence are not the first to protest the LCS being in there area. I believe there have been other locations proposed and much and much protesting from all of those locations also. The point being, seems to me plain as day. Lawrence doesn’t want a shelter that is a magnet to the professional homeless. Don’t build it they won’t come.

missi 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm going to start with I am Lawrence born and raised! (love my town!) I have spent the majority of my life living in East Lawrence. I am a married mom of 3. I work full-time, pay my taxes, and vote! I am very active in my community. A contributing citizen you might say. My sole reason for doing this is not just the safety of our children, although it's a damn good one! (We are our children's advocates) I am worried about our neighborhood in general, and its businesses. These businesses have strived to become established and are finally beginning to prosper. Take Slimmer Automotive for instance. The new shelter will be less than 50 feet from his front door. Do you believe that this wont affect his business? (I don't) Anybody who lives in Lawrence knows full well why the city wants the shelter out of downtown. The affect the homeless have on the merchants with panhandling and vagrancy. One of our commissioners was just on channel 6 talking about what a detriment the panhandling is to our downtown area and is wanting to pass a law making panhandling illegal. I believe his exact words were that the panhandlers were becoming aggressive. As for the crime rate jhawkoo97 there have been to date 411 police calls directly to the shelter last we checked and is probably higher than that now. Police chief Ron Olin said it best... If you build it they will come. My biggest problem with the LCS is as a tax-payer. I don't believe I should have to support the “career transient” who uses and abuses programs like the LCS who don't require proof of residency. Lawrence has many programs available to help the homeless. Help is the key word. Its assistance not a lifestyle. These other programs require proof of residency, must be drug free, and actively looking for employment. As for ilovelucy I would love to have a meeting with Loring and the commissioners, but do you really think a fence, lighting, and landscaping are going to keep the LCS clientele from walking through our neighborhoods in route to this new location. Or do you think its fair for the tax-payers to supply bus-passes for them? (which is the LCS's idea) As for bassettlover I'm guessing you live anywhere besides East Lawrence. We learned at a commission meeting that East Lawrence was chosen because they believed it would have the least resistance... Guess Again!!! We are by no means the first neighborhood to fight the LCS on trying to relocate! I wish the Lawrence government would open their eyes and realize that the residents here deserve a voice and a choice!!!! Anyone interested in signing our petition please E-mail us at … All the supporters on here I just want to say Thank You...It seems obvious to me why a neighborhood would be against a shelter like this, and many of your comments confirm that!!! THANK YOU Missi Pfeifer

Onlyifitsadryshelter 8 years, 8 months ago

As a business person located very near the proposed sight I am ANTI-shelter if it is a wet shelter. (as my screen id will tell you!) If the board wants to open this new shelter and spend a ton of money to help out those in the community who are trying not to remain homeless for long but need a hand up I'm all for it. But moving the city's problem to the East side and basically guaranteeing a lot of foot traffic through residential areas by those who have no vested interest in the community is completely unacceptable!

Has anyone else thought about leaving the wet shelter where it is and providing assistance at the new location for the sober folks and families? I wouldn't fight at all if that were the case. But I would also want it contractual and not just a promise - wouldn't want them to follow this for the first year then change it!

Meatwad 8 years, 8 months ago

Right on Missi and InCharlottesWeb. Lawrence taxpayers need to stop letting our city council throw huge amounts of money away to grow Henderson's shelter for the "professional homeless". If the money stops helping the incoming homeless, they will stop coming. And then maybe the money can be focused on helping sober Lawrence people who want help.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 8 months ago

The shelter’s leader said he wants to work to convince neighbors that the shelter can be a good neighbor.

that commissioner on tv was Mr. Cromwell. panhandlers downtown have been a serious problem for years, getting worse!

and I agree with the above, the drunk/drug shelter is enabling. I think Merrill gives Henderson too much credit. Henderson is intelligent. he has to knowthat many or most of his 'guests' are not even with local history or ties, not trying to change their lives, stuck in the bum lifestyle.

Missi, you keep it up! east lawrence is a place worth fighting for, I used to live there.

Cranes 8 years, 8 months ago

If you take a look at half the people who hang out on a daily basis in and around the shelter you will discover a lot of them actually have housing, but choose to mooch off of the shelter because no one holds them accountable. I'd like to hear some stats about how many homeless people have received services at the shelter and how many of those actually get housing and don't return to the shelter. I'd be interested to know how many homeless people this shelter has actually helped to make a better life for themselves. Also, when talking about police response and getting stats from the PD, make sure to include the address for LINK and the block ranges, as all of these are addresses used depending on the incident.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

The primary objective is to keep the homeless from the downtown area which is why the SA shut down. Face it downtown will still have the homeless no matter where a shelter is provided. Any city of any size is confronted with this situation.

It seems to me that if the homeless do not have a place to hang out in close proximity to downtown the problem will inflate due to nowhere to go. Families with children certainly need a place.

Of course having 15-20 million unemployed/under employed families in the USA is not helping. Every state in the USA should get on board for a new energy industry that will generate jobs that cannot be outsourced. This would provide millions of new jobs. From this investment new manufacturing and new small business numbers would begin to increase. Perhaps this would develop a trickle up movement for a change. The job situation is simply not improving at a respectable rate.

januarygirl 8 years, 8 months ago

the reasons for being homeless are important. tthe face of the homeless has changed over the last year to be familes that have lost their income and homes. i feel that this group of people need and want help to get back on their feet. the other group of people, such as the ones spoken of in many of the comments should not be in any way in a shelter with these familes or individuals. the location at don's is not good for either population. the list of comments stating all the reasons not to use this location are so valid, i don't see how this can be ok.

doc1 8 years, 8 months ago

This building is going to burn down before it becomes a shelter.

Outsidelookingin 8 years, 8 months ago

There are good arguments for both sides of this. Let's look for a plausible solution. Since the west side folks, don't want it on there side of town, build it on the east side.(there happy) Since east side folks don't want it in there neighborhood, build it farther out in the County. In my mind a perfect location would be out by the new County jail. 911 response time would impove drastically! The city could provide transportation out to the shelter, but not into town. Problem solved!
I'm a genius :-)

Sunny Parker 8 years, 8 months ago

Why keep enabling these dead beats?

The shelter should be for women and children only!

Loring is full of it. Take a look at the bums hanging out at the current you really believe those people are looking for jobs? That is laughable. They are there for a free handout!

Free free free...gimme gimme gimme!

betterlawrence 8 years, 8 months ago

The 411 police calls to LSC are to that address not the surrounding properties.

Let’s not forget about the trailer court community (Harper Woods) it’s about 300 feet from proposed new loaction.the city’s planning department at one point in time had proposed a text amendment that would not allow a Homeless shelter with in 1000ft of a residence.
I have listened to a spokesperson from the Lawrence police department talk about the problems the shelter will bring to east Lawrence (loitering, theft and crime) People have a right to fight for the safety of their neighborhoods.

The current management plan for the new shelter allows an individual to stay at the shelter for 120 days out of a 12 month period with seeking any kind of assistance. So basically come to Lawrence hang out for four months get drunk and high every day we feed you, we cloth you, give you a place to sleep and you can check in your bottle of booze and knife at the door and we will give those items back to you when you leave the next morning. NO WONDER LORING SAID THAT THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS GROWING!

LSC claims that 75% of LSC clients are local but what that really means is that the client has expressed a connection or affiliation to Lawrence, no ID is required or asked for. Case in point True story told by a local young homeless man, the man was asked why he likes Lawrence he loves it here because he can get drunk and high every day with out responsibilities or consequences. Because he has access to the internet at the library he was also able to get 20 homeless friends from other cities to come here and because these 20 or so friends now have a connection to Lawrence they are now considered part of LSC 75% NO WONDER THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS GROWING!

Talk to any police officer in town and they will tell you that the vagrants and transients (bums) come here because we provide resources for them. The main resource LSC. NO WONDER THE HOMELESS POULATION IS GROWING!

LSC operating budget is currently over $600000.00 per year the proposed budget for a new shelter is over $800000.00 per year a good portion of that budget will be supported by hard working tax payers of Lawrence and Douglas County. We are creating a homeless industry. We the tax payers of Lawrence and Douglas County can not afford to take care of the nations homeless; if we build it they will come. The areas surrounding municipalities with out facilities will be sending their homeless to Lawrence oh wait a minute they already have.

Let’s solve the problem not move it to a new location. East Lawrence deserves better!

lounger 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey gmemusic-You forgot George Carlins best solution for homeless...He suggested that we give up all golf courses and give the land to the Homeless! I bet alvimar folks will love this one!!!!

Steve Jacob 8 years, 8 months ago

Personally, the people harmed the most by a homeless shelter at Don's is the business owners in the Harper Corners strip mall, especially the restaurants.

missi 8 years, 8 months ago

RIGHT ON betterlawrence!!!! I couldnt have said it better!!!

LadyJ 8 years, 8 months ago

"give up all golf courses and give the land to the Homeless! I bet alvimar folks will love this one!!!!" Better yet, house them at Eagle Bend, we already own that, and make them keep the course up, mow and clean, thus saving money for the city. Hey, problem solved.

ferrislives 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm seeing a lot of great ideas from people concerning getting homeless people off of the streets and into jobs and homes, so that they can be productive members of society. I too think that the idea of giving a homeless person 3 full months to sit on their a** without looking for any assistance is full of crap, which makes me not see the point of LCS. I think they are hurting the homeless population instead of truly helping them. Their #1 goal should be helping those homeless people to not be homeless; plain and simple!

If real change is to happen concerning the LCS and their proposals, all of the Lawrence residents who have these ideas and are against the plans need to make their voices heard as well in the local media, at the commission meetings, and most-importantly at the polls.

But since there aren't any commission elections coming up soon, the focus needs to be on the commission's meetings and media. You've got to gather together with one voice, and good ideas that cannot be ignored. That's what the LCS and other area organizations have been doing successfully, and that's the only way anything will change across this city.

If a large group of residents did these things, and they were still ignored by the commission, the commissioners would do so to their own detriment politically. That needs to be made clear to them!

ferrislives 8 years, 8 months ago

Note: And I'm not just talking the East Lawrence folks. I'm talking about ALL Lawrence folks. Everyone should care about this issue, because I know it's why I won't let my children walk downtown by themselves; even during the day. I don't think they'll do much harm (hopefully), but they just should not have to deal with people asking for handouts from anyone. I wouldn't be too happy if there was a prevalence of KU students asking my kids for money either!

Christine Anderson 8 years, 8 months ago

I can't deny there are serious problems with the behaviors of some homeless persons. Not all. My ex-husband was homeless for eight months at one time. He lived at the Salvation Army shelter. S.A. are good, kind-hearted people. But, you know what? The ex did get himself a job out at Vangent, making $14 per hour to start. He lived expense-free at the S.A. shelter for the first five months of that job!!!! Yep-no expenses, no child support during that time, and he was working fulltime and living there for free.

origflyboy 8 years, 8 months ago

All I have to say is I know quite a few of the people living at the shelter and my own father used to be one of them before leaving to mooch off of someone else in another state. A bunch of these people have jobs and could pay bills but choose not to since they can blow their checks on alcohol and drugs and live bill free. They say it takes a village to raise a child not it takes a city to support an addict. I believe in helping the needy especially people who have been supporting their families but have come on hard times. There are a bunch of homeless people who have been homeless here for years, and have no intention on changing things. I drive by the drop in center almost daily and you see people on the front portch or in back sitting around doing nothing when they could be looking for work. I believe it says God helps those who help themselves.

honestone 8 years, 8 months ago

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eastsidepride 8 years, 8 months ago

I can only hope that the city planning commission and our city commissioners takes the time to read the opinions on this blog. I believe the majority have spoken there opinions quite clearly. I also know for a fact this is not Loring's first attempt to relocate his shelter. I believe the only location he hasnt tried is the westside of town... hmmmmmm? Maybe our mayor would like to find a spot for the LCS... Im guessin he lives on the westside??? Along with many other in favor commissioners!!! AND if you are reading this as leaders of our city What The Heck are you thinking??? This is one of the busiest entrances to our city!!! The eastside doesnt deserve Lawrences homeless shelter problems! Tell me if the LCS were to close what option would the "professional homeless" have, but to get a job or move on! I work 40+ hours a week! Not because I love to work, but because i have no choice... THATS LIFE! Nobody ever said it was going to be easy! Wake up commissioner's!!!! This is not welcome in East Lawrence! It should matter what East Side VOTING and TAXPAYERS are saying here! If you wont listen then this gos to Loring Henderson... TRY AGAIN!!! This may be your life mission, but dont force it on the East Side! We have problems of our own, we dont need yours!!!

ferrislives 8 years, 8 months ago

beobachter, my children are not little monsters, they are in fact very disciplined children. I'd love for them to experience downtown Lawrence as I did as a child, but I don't have memories of adults asking me for money and handouts, or people high as a kite dancing down the sidewalk, and that's not what I want their memories of Lawrence to be.

If you personally don't have a problem with homeless people being allowed to hang out in a shelter doing nothing, then that's your prerogative. But I personally think that it would be more productive for us to create programs in the hopes of getting them out of that life. Isn't that the point? If not, it should be.

missi 8 years, 8 months ago

This is to all posters who oppose the LCS from coming into neighborhoods like East Lawrence. It is really up to us to make our voices heard. The city doesnt seem to be listening to its VOTING and tax paying residents. This type of shelter is not wanted in our neighborhoods! Please take time to sign our petition. You can sign it at Slimmer Auto Service at 2030 E 23rd St. If you are really intrested in joining our fight please E-mail us at ...we would love to inform you. East Lawrence does not deserve this!!!

kucourtsider 8 years, 8 months ago

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