Archive for Friday, September 11, 2009

Details of plan for new homeless shelter begin to emerge

Project officials are preparing to reveal the plans for a new homeless shelter in Lawrence. The plans will be presented Monday at East 23rd street.

September 11, 2009


Lawrence Community Shelter leaders are finalizing plans for a new two-story homeless shelter on the site of the former Don’s Steakhouse building, and they now have hopes to construct a second building on the site as well.

Loring Henderson, executive director of the shelter, said the group’s architect intends to submit a site plan and special-use permit application to the city’s planning offices on Monday. Henderson hopes that will put the project on track to win approval from city commissioners in early December.

“We’ve been busy working with our architect, and this really has been the fun part — asking whether we can have this or that,” Henderson said.

A second building at the site, 2176 E. 23rd St., is on the wish list. Henderson said the shelter group would like to build about a 6,000-square-foot building that would be used to house a work program for shelter residents. The agency now operates a small work program out of its downtown shelter at 10th and Kentucky streets.

The program includes a small business that makes and sells dog biscuits. Henderson said other organizations have approached the shelter about doing piecemeal work, but the shelter doesn’t have the space to take on the jobs.

“We feel like the program has lots of potential,” said Henderson, who said the shelter recently hired a new employee to help oversee the program expansion.

The building would require the shelter to purchase about 1 acre of ground north of the Don’s Steakhouse building. That property is owned by the trust overseeing the former Farmland Industries site.

The work center building would be separate from the main shelter building. Plans for the shelter building also are taking shape. Among the details:

• The shelter building would be two stories and would have space for about 100 guests.

• The shelter would have five individual rooms that would be reserved for families with children.

• The facility would include emergency shelter space on the main floor, while “transitional shelter” space would be offered on the second floor. The transitional space will be reserved for individuals who have committed to certain programs designed to get them out of homelessness.

• The overall design would be simple, Henderson said, with the main entrance for residents being on the north side of the building, not visible from 23rd Street. The south side entrance, visible from 23rd Street, would be for families and children and the general public who are visiting the shelter’s offices.

• A dining room would be part of the new building, and Henderson said the shelter would serve three meals per day.

That has created questions about whether LINK, the longtime soup kitchen that is run out of the First Christian Church in downtown, would continue to operate.

Herman Leon, a board member for the organization, said Henderson has approached LINK about joining forces with the shelter, but he said the board has made no decisions.

Henderson said the shelter hasn’t yet developed a cost estimate for the building. He also said the group is still working to finalize plans for a major public fundraising campaign for the project.

“All of this is a big step,” Henderson said. “You have to have something to show people before you can start raising money, and we’ll soon have that.”

Henderson also said the reaction from residents of the shelter has been positive since the site was announced last month. He said there hasn’t been concerned expressed about the shelter being outside of downtown.

“There has been nothing negative,” Henderson said of the reaction from shelter residents. “They like the idea of having beds. They like the idea of having some green space. Once they hear it is on a bus route, there’s not much of a concern.”


maxcrabb 8 years, 7 months ago

I hope this works out. A lot of people complain about the homeless problem, but few actively work to solve it.

lllwll 8 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like a good deal to me. Three sqrs a day, place to sleep, work if you feel like.

All you have to do is show up.

There will be no end to this nonsense.

svenway_park 8 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if driedoregano is going to file a lawsuit to hinder this project....

Watch out Loring, he will try to peddle his services, if he hasn't tried already. Beware of Volvos sporting Swedish flags.

50YearResident 8 years, 7 months ago

How about a swimming pool and a 18 hole golf course? There is no end to what can be accomplished with someone elses's money. Get ready Lawrence and dig deep into them there pockets. (sic)

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

Well, at least there is a Phase I environmental site assessment being completed. A Phase II may need to be completed based on the Phase I results. At least they are following SOP.

nuby 8 years, 7 months ago

East Lawrence residents we must band together to stop this shelter from ruining our already struggling neighborhoods. Every time hear mention of this new shelter I feel my property value dropping. East Lawrence we CAN NOT afford to let this happen. I suggest we create the East Lawrence Coalition Against Homelessness.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 7 months ago

And from what I hear the building is no Taj Mahal. And the remark was made that they were glad they had not eaten at Dons in a long time. LOL Perhaps dog biscuts would be the order for the day.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

“There has been nothing negative,” Henderson said of the reaction from shelter residents. “They like the idea of having beds. They like the idea of having some green space. Once they hear it is on a bus route, there’s not much of a concern.”

no, they're not paying the bill. they're not the families in east lawrence, soon to be called the 'tenderloin' where the habitual homeless [aka=bums] traipse.

its not their children at risk. its not their yards that get pi$$ed on or worse.

even with his post here, I wondered if Driedoregonian was the arky-teck named in the article.

his history on the lhs fields is crazy: he'll favor something, then months later he'll trash it. so, maybe DO's already in on the ground floor, so to speak.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

anybody notice this little tidbit: the happy people go in the front, facing 23rd. the actual "guests" go in the north side/backdoor.

let's see, isn't there a song about goin' round to the backdoor?

I agree w/Cheeseburger, especially with the Obama economy flatlining, now's not the time for such a palace to be built. use what you have already at the Don's building, it isn't in bad shape. besides, you could use the steer on the roof: the new work program could be a BBQ, call it "bum steer" bring back that old lawrence restaurant, name would fit.

Steve Clark 8 years, 7 months ago

who are these architects they speak of but don't name?

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

Backdoor Blues

(words by Rick Mortensen, music by Bill Houston)

Came back home, late last night A little bit late, a little bit tight I got the back door blues, You know it's true... Back door blues, Separatin' me and you

Baby said, she's got a plan Gonna be leavin' with her back door man I got the back door blues, Down in my soul... Back door blues, Makin' me reel and roll

When the back door blues got a hold on you There ain't nothin' that a man can do Makes you feel lonesome, makes you feel cold Makes you feel about a hundred years old

Baby's gone but I feel fine She took hers but I got mine I got the back door blues, Most every day... Back door blues since my baby's gone away


Baby's gone but I feel fine She took hers and I got mine I got the back door blues, Most every day... Back door blues makin' me feel this way

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

sorry, wrong song [slaps forehead], its the 1961 version I am used to!

implications of "back door man" appropriate here it seems. ... sneakin'.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

that, or he's subletting lmao.

"bum steer dog biscuits."

honestone 8 years, 7 months ago

Look for the grand opening soon!! Lawrence Homeless Hotel Great Rates, private rooms and free meals too. COME ONE, COME ALL! Once again DLA has pushed their problem off to the east side.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 7 months ago

If the East Lawrence neighborhood wanted to start a revolution they should have started it before the purchase of the building.

somebodynew 8 years, 7 months ago

MD - Gary sold that place to the other restaurant that operated there for a short time. They are the ones who sold to the Shelter. And Please, people, it was not the bum steer. That was a different BBQ joint.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

Somebodynew: of course I know Don's and that brief restaurant were in that space.

just that "bum steer" would certainly fit for that now! especially if they keep the bovine on the roof. maybe add to that bovine: a stogie hanging off the corner of his mouth; an unwashed look; and a nearby bottle of hooch.

Bum Steer dog biscuits.

nuby 8 years, 7 months ago

Artichokeheart- if the location was not kept secret until recently we would have started this "revolution" earlier. East Lawrence residents we need to voice our opposition to the City Commision. Let them know we don't want this in our neighborhood and around our children. Let me guess Artichokeheart, you don't live on the east side of town do you?

Amy Heeter 8 years, 7 months ago

Actually I do live on the east side.

No I am not too keen on the idea of the shelter being located so near by my house but the deal has already been sealed. Those who are running the shelter kept the location quiet because in every other instance a shelter location was chosen the neighborhoods shut them down.

Those of us who live between the new shelter location and services used by shelter participants will need to pay extra attention to our surroundings. I imagine there will be alot more police presence in the area once the shelter is up and running.

svenway_park 8 years, 7 months ago

I smell an unsuccessful architectural engagement solicitation somewhere.

svenway_park 8 years, 7 months ago

I say impose a city idiot-Volvo tax. If you are one and have one, you have to fork up big time.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 7 months ago

artichokeheart Where has the latest shooting been in Lawrence? Do you think your neighbor hood was safe before you new the new shelter was going to the east side? Its funny because I was shot at 13th and New York. Taking a 3 week old baby out of a crack house. The east side has been know for drugs crime, and the rest of the bull your afraid will come when the shelter opens on that side of town.

Liberty275 8 years, 7 months ago

The liquor store at the corner of Harper and 23rd will need to expand to handle all the new business.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 7 months ago

so, Dredorchid is trying to hijack this thread. not new. funny that, on other threads Driedornithopter criticizes people for supposedly going off topic! LMAO. btw, he's been thrown off this forum at least 9 times for violations of the Terms of Service.

Then, after construction began, a vandal or vandals opened a fire hydrant near the site multiple times, flooding the basement that had been dug and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

---and Driedorigami and his low life friends thought that was hilarious! quote fails to mention that at least two people were injured by this vandalism.

were the vandals a certain under-employed arkey-tec and low life friends? or were they homeless?

I know that crackhouse if its southeast corner 13th and NY. been a CH for a long time. east lawrence got rid of that pile at 12th and NY. hope that one at 13th is next.

even so, east lawrence residents need to fight this. yes the secret agreement has been signed but if people rise up, they can stop it.

BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

This is a brilliant move. There aren't any neighbors to speak of who will complain. They don't live close enough. I'd like to see an 8' fence with barbed wire at the top to keep the drunks from wandering onto K-10. Eight feet is 2 feet higher than allowed, so an exception needs to be made. I want to feel safe driving by this place every day and not worry about running over a bundle of clothes (filled with a human) laying in the road.

From the reaction of a progressive in drag commissioner, this is a done deal. We the people better not have to contribute any money.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 7 months ago

LINK was around long before the CDIC. I doubt they plan to move with Loring's circus. I am sure though Loring is taking hostages where he can to get what he wants.

As for the East Lawrence neighborhood we drew the short stick(no surprise there) so we get the lot of them. The building has been secured and there isn't any turning back now.

So much for East Lawrence beatification.

50YearResident 8 years, 7 months ago

This project could not be compleated without donations. The whole concept is based on free money from Lawrence residents. If the money doesn't come in then the project will not move forward. Think about it!

Amy Heeter 8 years, 7 months ago

It will be built because the lawrence powers want it. Remember lawrence is the meanest city. I have to admit although my neighorhood will soon be in the target zone I feel the current shelter neighbors deserve a break.

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