To the editor:
Each evening, as temperatures start to plunge, I wonder how many homeless folks in Lawrence find beds at the Lawrence Community Shelter, or maybe they are ushered over to one of the downtown churches who have offered floor space during winter months. Some may find themselves huddled up in places close to buildings downtown. Clearly, the space currently available at LCS is not adequate, particularly as more homeless families are in need. There are now homeless children in every school in Lawrence.
Several years ago, the mayoral-appointed Community Commission on Homelessness approved a housing vision that calls for one emergency shelter with other agencies agreeing to assist with transitional, temporary and permanent housing. The City Commission unanimously supported the plan proposed by that commission.
Here we are with the opportunity to expand the LCS to the proposed location at 2176 E. 23rd St. Is 23rd Street a perfect location? Of course not, but it is one that is realistic. Living in an east-side neighborhood, I have no reservations that any possible problems that might arise at this location will adequately be solved by the staff at LCS.
Thanks to the leadership of community leaders and staff at LCS, our community continues to improve our ability to serve individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness. Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep and the opportunity to bring stability to their lives.