Archive for Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lawrence Community Shelter withdraws plans for homeless shelter at Don’s Steakhouse site

The Lawrence Community Shelter has withdrawn plans to relocate to a former restaurant in east Lawrence, instead focusing on relocating to another site.

January 20, 2010, 3:46 p.m. Updated January 21, 2010, 12:00 a.m.


Leaders of Lawrence Community Shelter have abandoned plans to build a homeless shelter at the former Don’s Steakhouse site, and now are proposing a shelter near the Douglas County Jail.

Shelter leaders Wednesday withdrew an application for a permit that would have allowed the site, 2176 E. 23rd St., to be converted into a 125-bed shelter. They now are seeking a permit to convert a warehouse at 3701 Franklin Park Circle into a shelter and homeless jobs program.

Shelter director Loring Henderson touted positives of the new site.

“This is about as far away from things as we can get,” Henderson said. “It is not that we totally want to be far away, but we are listening to neighbors.”

The new site does have several businesses nearby. Jerry Taylor, owner of Hillcrest Wrecker & Garage Inc., said he was surprised shelter leaders would choose such an isolated location. “I’m kind of astounded for one thing,” he said. “I just can’t imagine a homeless shelter out in this area with nothing around. I guess it would remove the problem from downtown and put it in my backyard.”

Shelter officials said they plan to begin meeting with businesses surrounding the site this week. The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission could conduct a hearing on the new permit as early as March. City commissioners ultimately will have to approve the permit.

The new proposal comes after neighbors near the Don’s site had expressed multiple concerns and after the planning commission deferred action on the permit until it received more information about how the shelter would operate. After that deferral in November, the shelter lost its option to buy the Don’s site.

Doug Brown, a commercial real estate agent on the shelter’s board of directors, said the shelter was approached by Franklin Business Center LLC about its 25,000-square-foot building, which comes with 4.1 acres of land. Brown said the warehouse is not yet under contract and will mainly need interior renovations, which should cost less than the Don’s property. “This new site could speed us up by a year,” Brown said.


ferrislives 8 years, 3 months ago

This should cut down on the costs of fuel for the LPD!

1029 8 years, 3 months ago

Unbelievable. Still too close to the East Lawrence Neighborhood. Won't someone please think of the children?

Steve Jacob 8 years, 3 months ago

Let the jokes begin! But is all seriousness, how close is this from residential housing?

somedude20 8 years, 3 months ago

put the bums in one of those schools that will shut down. maybe leave them a few books so they can make a fire. they can eat all of the gum that is stuck on the floors and walls. win win

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

The homeless will still be downtown no matter what.

It is not against the law to be homeless and broke.

Remember the Bush-Cheney fraudulent bank scandal that put 8 million people out of work then out of their homes because of no money to make payments???

Because those 8 million people either had no money to spend or substantially less this put more and more out of work and the dominoes continue to fall.

budwhysir 8 years, 3 months ago

Like sands thru the hour glass, so are the days of our lives..... What will happen to all the homeless people who have already migrated to that side of town?

muddfoot55 8 years, 3 months ago

Whether anyone of us likes it or not, this is necessary in a town/city the size of Lawrence. NO ONE! seems to want it in their neighborhood. Solution: stalemate.

Every proposed site will be shot down for one reason or another. Let's think about the other choice that the homeless of Lawrence will have to make.....occupying YOUR unlocked shed, sleeping on YOUR porch swing, YOUR unlocked car, and on and on. .......think!

The homeless issue is not going to go away, I am afraid it is only going to get worse. We need to get ahead of the situation and quit complaining and contribute to a feasable solution.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"Remember the Bush-Cheney fraudulent bank scandal that put 8 million people out of work then out of their homes because of no money to make payments???"

So, I suppose this is ok with you?

"Media Mum on Barney Frank's Fannie Mae Love Connection Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989 – was once romantically involved with a Fannie Mae executive."

Or this:

"Chairman of the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, is responsible for oversight of the US mortgage markets administered by government created entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barney’s partner and lover, Herb Moses was a senior executive at Fannie Mae Moses wrote in the Washington Post in 1991. “On Capitol Hill, Barney always introduces me as his lover.” According to National Mortgage News, Moses “helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. Of course, such programs led to the mortgage meltdown that prompted last month’s government takeover of Fannie Mae and its financial cousin, Freddie Mac."

Randall Barnes 8 years, 3 months ago


Liberty275 8 years, 3 months ago

Give them all one-way bus tickets to frisco so nancy pelosi can increase her voter base.

conservative 8 years, 3 months ago

Ljworld i beg you to make it possible to ignore individual users so we have the option of no longer seeing their posts. I am so sick of endlessly having to scroll down through certain people's posts.

workinghard 8 years, 3 months ago

oneeye_wilbur --curious as to why you don't want New York School closed and turned into a homeless shelter, could you be pushing for Cordley because you want New York left open? Close Quail Run and send the homeless there.

Thinking_Out_Loud 8 years, 3 months ago

merrill wrote "It is not against the law to be homeless and broke."

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! I have an idea, here: since Massachusetts can pass a law that requires all citizens to get health insurance...why can't Lawrence pass an ordnance that requires all residents to be homed and have a steady, regular income? We might even be able to meet one of the goals of the Progressive group by setting the requirement at a living wage: if you can't demonstrate that you earn a salary at least at the living wage level, you may be ticketed, fined, and/or imprisoned at the City's convenience.

Might just solve several problems at once.

Liberty275 8 years, 3 months ago

Thinking_Out_Loud that is a capital idea. Except we should get the federal congress and obama to create a law requiring everyone to own a home and a car, and if they don't they should be fined. If they don't pay the fine, they go to jail.

The midwest may be a boring cornfield, but some really great ideas sprout there.

Jean1183 8 years, 3 months ago

Wait.....near the jail? Isn't that in the "Southeast Area Plan" that the Lawrence/Douglas County Planning Commission spent several years developing and revising? They FINALLY came up with a decent plan (that includes residential, light industrial, commercial, and office/warehouse land use) and now they want to put a homeless shelter there?!?!

Why not put it at Tanger Mall? Plenty of empty space there and no further from services than the areas that have been proposed on the east side of town.

Sunny Parker 8 years, 3 months ago

No Merrill i don't remember that! Show some facts please. I do however remember that Obamy has spent 3 times the amount Bush did, in only one year.

Obamy is a failure. Socialist!

bearded_gnome 8 years, 3 months ago

For that matter, does anyone even know if Merrill is still alive?

it may be that he programmed some spambot to keep on posting his "wisdom."

should we form a search party to see if he's still breathing?

his posts indicate that sentient life ended a long time ago if he is still breathing.

This latest target for the open, drunken/druggy, shelter, still poses a serious problem for the residents of east lawrence who would find these habitual homeless/bums wandering through their alleys and yards.

the booking total listing 3 out of 13 being transient, problem is your numbers bolster our side:

3 of 13 is 23.1% roughly of the bookings were transient. the homeless population in Lawrence is far far below that figure compared to the overall population of lawrence/dgco. thus, your bums are vastly overrepresented among the booking, the jailed offenders.

proves what we say: crime is concentrated among these habitual homeless. Thanks Rando

Tom McCune 8 years, 3 months ago

Nuts. It would have been known as Don's Flophouse for ever after.

overthemoon 8 years, 3 months ago

There is an old saying...'there but for the grace of God go I'. If anyone who wants 'the bums' run out of town would consider for a moment just how many months of paychecks, savings, etc you really are from being on the streets, perhaps you'd have a more compassionate and understanding perspective on the plight of the homeless and disenfranchised in our consumer 'i got mine so screw you' culture we live in.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 3 months ago

bearded_gnome, isn't “spambot” a musical in New York?

1-eyed-walleye, that's spamalot and yes it was on broadway based on Monty Python. maybe we rewrite it with the monty pythonesque still in there about Merrill! could have men singing and dancing with lawnmowers, dancing around roundabouts.

OTM, yes, some people really need help and are not criminals. family promise is doing a great job with these. however, the bums we see on the street, causing trouble downtown, are homeless by choice or because of their choices. make their lives of self-destruction comfortable, you only help them stay in self-destruction. when the bum camp was bulldozed near the train depot, they found lots of adult magazines, booze bottles, and smoking refuse. how did they pay for these? handouts they'd gotten.

the drunk/drug shelter attracts out-of-towners.

I'm for helping people who aren't determined to stay bums. only help people with local ties or local histories. you do these two simple things and only shelter people who are sober/dry/straight off drugs, guess what, there'll be a whole lot less homeless on our streets.

chuggy23 8 years, 3 months ago

I worry about the K-10 commuters. I think downtown has lost alot of business because of the homeless people.

overthemoon, I do feel bad for the ones who have lost their job and are homeless but there are other homeless people who just want a hand out.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

" the future most of us will all be in the same position as the homeless are now."

Wow, now that is profound. kufungurl, are you going for an MSW?

I never thought "most of us" would turn out that way. I guess if it happens to me, I'll be a well-dressed homeless person, living in a nice car.

Amy Heeter 8 years, 2 months ago

This changes nothing. The participants will still travel through the neighborhood to get downtown.

honestone 8 years, 2 months ago

Another brilliant post oneeye_wilbur In a family neighborhood at a school that serves ALL of the kids in the neighborhood plus a lot of "at risk" children You make me are a riot...

kernal 8 years, 2 months ago

The new location will make a nice pit stop for the "homeless" coming in from KC area on their way to downtown. As someone said in another forum about this subject last year, "build it and they will come"! It is so gracious of us to welcome convicted felons and sex offenders from out of town with open arms. I do hope the new shelter has air conditioning and big flat screen tvs. No reason why the "homeless" shouldn't be more comfortable than some of our resident population that is struggling to make ends meet without a/c and cablevision. Wait! The new jail has a/c and tv! Kind of like staying at the Holiday Inn except that someone tucks you in at night.

Kyle Chandler 8 years, 2 months ago

as soon as all you old ignorant power conservatives 'pass on' to your clean-homeless free- all white-version of heaven.

the sooner we can get something done.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 2 months ago

There can never be an acceptable solution to this issue. Nobody wants them living close to them but everybody thinks something should be done. It's tough to be poor and homeless and always will be.

rbwaa 8 years, 2 months ago

does anyone know how many of the long-term homeless individuals are veterans?

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 2 months ago

We couldn't move the homeless from downtown. Where would they go to beg?

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree with consumer...I'm not supporting some booze shelter. Go get drunk under the bridge.

Jeff Cuttell 8 years, 2 months ago

This just eliminates the homeless from having to cross K-10 to get to my neighborhood. Someone has got to be smart enough to do a study to find where this service could be located that is not so near to this many homes. Tangier Mall is a great idea. I've been saying that since this came up.

As much as the city has been pushing to get new businesses to this area.... IE Grocery store and trying to clean up and bring business to the old Farmland site, I don't think this will entice people to do that.

What grocer is going to want to build a nice new building to be used as a shoplifting haven with people using their bathroom as their clean up place?

THINK! East Lawrence is not your dumping ground, City Council! I bet Chestnut wouldn't allow this to happen in his nice, quiet, West Lawrence neighborhood.

Jeff Cuttell 8 years, 2 months ago

Consumer1---a dry shelter will just mean the bottles will be hidden in my bushes until they wake up for more the next day.

Terry Jacobsen 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually this site is quite far from any residential area. If your worried about "neighborhoods" this really is so far removed from any neighborhoods and the real issue is that it is so far from downtown and everything else that this location will require that the folks will have to ride the "t" to get back and forth.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 2 months ago

kylechandler (Anonymous) says…

as soon as all you old ignorant power conservatives 'pass on' to your clean-homeless free- all white-version of heaven.

the sooner we can get something done.

---thanks for proving once again that the liberal/neohippies are the ones excessively focused on race, rife with racial prejudice, using race as a weapon to divide.

your president came from a church that is marxist and antiwhite, some racial healer?

yes, make the shelter dry/drug free, serving only those with local history or local ties, and people who are making choices to be responsible, then the shelter makes sense. otherwise you're just helping people destroy themselves and attracting more of this dangerous and unwanted population to lawrence. please note that since the *s I have said not one word regarding race/ethnicity. that's because it isall about choices. these people like kylie candler infantilize the homeless and idealize them. kufungirl thinks repeating liberal propaganda serves as support for her position. well, KUfungirl, you keeping any of the bums in your house instead of being compassionate with other people's money?

Randall Barnes 8 years, 2 months ago

jman785 need a lock for your garage. protect your property like most of the rest of lawrence does.take away their camp sites throughout town and maby they will move on.but what can anyone say you still won't be happy.i remember 42 years ago they used to sleep in an old car in our driveway at 20th and mass and my mom left a blanket on the seats for them to cover up with,

Jean1183 8 years, 2 months ago

Actually this site is quite far from any residential area. If your worried about “neighborhoods” this really is so far removed from any neighborhoods.<<

TJ....have you been to this area? Prairie Park is not far from there (easy walking distance---I know, I do it). Also, according to the Southeast Area Plan developed by the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission, there will be residential areas (and businesses) VERY near. Of course, I wouldn't want to build a home or business in that area if the homeless shelter goes there.

nuby 8 years, 2 months ago

TJ_in_Lawrence (Anonymous) says…

"Actually this site is quite far from any residential area. If your worried about “neighborhoods” this really is so far removed from any neighborhoods and the real issue is that it is so far from downtown and everything else that this location will require that the folks will have to ride the “t” to get back and forth."

TJ I'm guessing you don't live in a neighborhood even remotely close to the east side of town or you would not be saying that.

The Shelter has no regard for the tax paying citizens of this town. They try to hide everything and spring these locations on everyone in hopes that the neighborhoods will not have time to have discussions and create an opposition. This is why there is such distrust towards the Shelter.

The Shelter needs to get their patrons off of their rears and doing something, then come and talk to those of us that go to work everyday about giving you money and a new location.

nuby 8 years, 2 months ago

Left_handed- lets put it in your backyard. Problem solved.

smarty_pants 8 years, 2 months ago

I counsel in a corrections agency. I happen to know of homeless persons who have no desire whatsoever to do anything BUT panhandle on the streets for their daily dose of alcohol. So, while there may be those who are on the streets due to job loss, the majority are there because they just want to drink all day and be free from responsibility. Sorry, I'm not compassionate when it comes to them.

Jean1183 8 years, 2 months ago

Agreed, smarty_pants. I work in a medical office. Exactly 2 weeks ago (Thursday the 7th when we had all the snow) we had a obviously homeless person walk in (carrying all his bags). He wanted us to give him a prescription of oxycodone. When I told him that we couldn't (and it took quit a while to get that through to him), he went and sat in our waiting room. A nice lady started talking with him and called the shelter and arranged for someone to pick him up and give him a ride there. When he realized that, he left in a hurry. He DIDN"T want to go to the shelter, he wanted narcotics!

swku 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry but most of you are referring to the homeless people as the scum of Lawrence. They are people to, not all of them are hardened criminals or druggies. Some of them are just people that have been placed in unfortunate situations that they couldn't control. As opened minded and hippie and most Lawrencians claim to be your not accepting of others. You are just like everyone else always passing judgments upon people without knowing extenuating circumstances.

The answer is not to put a shelter in the middle of nowhere. It would be a waste of money considering transportation issues.

Seriously Lawrence you only want to be liberals on your terms. Hypocrites.

skinny 8 years, 2 months ago

If they put the homeless shelter out by the jail at least all they will have to do when they get out of jail is walk across the street!

swku 8 years, 2 months ago

Once again people are sterotyping the homeless as criminals. Have any of you ever stopped to think that maybe the reason why the get arrested is so that they can have a warm place to sleep and food to eat? It is possible that not all people that are homeless are bad people.

ilovelucy 8 years, 2 months ago

oneeye: why don't YOU call the social service agencies to find out information? The Journal World routinely supports all ss agencies in this town. You must not read the newspaper. your statements are inane for the most part.

lionheart72661 8 years, 2 months ago

You know with the economy the way it is that at any given time any of you people in here that call the homeless "bums" and the like can turn up homeless. Think about that for a moment. Not all homeless are derelicts and bums. So just keep those negative thoughts to yourselves. 12 years ago I was homeless, was i a bum "NO" just down on my luck just as you may be some day. Now I have a good home 2 jobs and a family. bad times and hard times they come to anyone

geekin_topekan 8 years, 2 months ago

No panhandler with a mission is going to hang out by the jail. They are going to come downtown and get too drunk to make th long trek back so more sleeping in the parks, under bridges and porches. No available food will mean more specific panhandling. Food for instance.

fallingwhilereading 8 years, 2 months ago

How about all of the right-wing, rednecks should be shipped to the westside of Topeka. Truly Manhatan Kansas would be closer to your natural environment.

nuby 8 years, 2 months ago

There are so many "safety net" programs available now that if you end up homeless that is by your own doing, or lack of doing.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Loring Henderson has always listened to Lawrence citizens.

No matter how much effort Loring Henderson puts forth he cannot keep homeless people from being downtown... that is not his job.

My speculation tells me that the " street people" will be forced to spend more time downtown because any type of refuge will be located beyond any reasonable walking distance.

Is Lawrence shooting itself in the foot?

jsusanmullane 8 years, 1 month ago

I am amazed at all of the heartless comments posted here.

How ignorant so many of you are. And how ashamed you should be of your ignorance and your arrogance.

Not everyone who ends up in a homeless shelter is a drug addict or a drunk. But some people who end up homeless and hopeless can easily become drug addicts or drunks without intervention to keep them off the streets.

Our economy has been in the tank for quite a few years now. It never completely recovered from the excesses and greed of the 1980s (of course, many of you posting comments here may be too young to remember the "good old days"). But gluttony has a cost. And we have been paying ever since.

I have been looking for employment for over 2 years. I have applied for part time, temporary, contract, menial jobs just to be employed. I have "dumbed down" my resume to fit the needs of those entry level positions. I have interviewed so many places I cannot count anymore. I have cold-called companies, "making my own position".

Who am I? A 52 year old widow, with 2 kids who just graduated from high school last spring. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer when my kids were in grade school and died when they were just 13. No insurance - he was between jobs at the time. I took a job while he was dying - a part-time job so I could attend to his many needs. 24 hospitalizations and surgeries in 20 months. Have you ever dealt with teens who have lost a parent? There is so much anger about what might have been, no matter how much counseling there is. Way beyond teen angst. I spent two years trying to keep my son in school - because he wanted to drop out and I wouldn't stand for it. That meant I was in the school building once a week for meetings, with daily contacts with teachers and administrators. And still I kept looking for a job.

In the past two years I have sent out over 1,500 resumes and inquiries. I have filled out countless applications. I have had a total of 7 interviews. And never got any kind of response from those prospective employers.

By the way, my hair has been silver for years and I use a cane. Think that might have anything to do with it?

I have been trying to find a job for so long and there aren't enough jobs to go around. I have quite literally fallen through the cracks, and somedays I am suicidal.

So get off your high horses, Lawrence. The problem is real.

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