Archive for Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Shelter site wins key approval

Plans to acquire a building near the Douglas County Jail for a new homeless shelter received key approval from the city late Monday. Several area residents spoke out against the proposal saying it takes away from the area's atmosphere.

March 23, 2010


A proposal to locate the city’s homeless shelter on the eastern edge of Lawrence won a key vote of support from the Planning Commission, despite growing opposition from developers and some neighbors.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission late Monday night recommended approval of a special use permit for the Lawrence Community Shelter to locate in a warehouse next to the Douglas County Jail. The issue will go to the City Commission on April 13 for final consideration.

Planning commissioners approved the deal, 5-2, ex-pressing confidence that providing the shelter with a larger facility would allow it to offer significantly better programs than at its current facility at 10th and Kentucky streets.

“This is going to be a better shelter with much different results, I believe,” said Planning Commissioner Hugh Carter.

Shelter director Loring Henderson said the new shelter would not serve as a drop-in facility. Unlike the current building, only people who are staying at the shelter will be allowed to be at the shelter during the day.

Planning commissioners did condition their approval on a bus stop being added to the area, and the approval is tied to a specific site plan that creates a fenced outdoor area in the back of the building designed to eliminate loitering in other areas.

The plan drew opposition from several neighbors who live in the rural area south of the site. The president of the Prairie Park Neighborhood Association also spoke against the plan. Several large developers who own property in the area also spoke against the plan, telling commissioners that a shelter would stunt the area’s ability to become commercially viable.

“You can’t create jobs in a vacuum,” said Bill Newsome, who is in a group that owns 180 acres of commercial and residential land near 23rd Street and O’Connell Road. “Surrounding land uses are critical to creating jobs.”

The project did receive support from some members of the city’s social service community and some members of Downtown Lawrence Inc. The current shelter would close once the new facility opens.

Commissioners Charlie Dominguez and Jeff Chaney voted against the recommendation. Commissioners Lisa Harris and Charles Blaser were absent. Commissioner Richard Hird abstained.


Sheila Hooper White 8 years, 3 months ago

There goes the beauty of Mary's Lake. It will become a tent city for the homeless and drunk that can't get into the shelter. Oh that's right though, there are no residences close to the jail or the new shelter site. I'm pretty sure there are many residents who live in this area. It's also so far away from any services. I don't think this is the answer.

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

What a stupid idea. And yes, dancemom is right - there are plenty of residents near the new site, and Mary's Lake will totally become a tent city if this passes, since they're not allowed to 'loiter' - at least not on the property. And the highway will see an increase in pedestrians. Prairie Park school is going to have concerns about wandering homeless. I'm going to have to tell my kids they can't walk to the park anymore.

The businesses, which ARE on the E side will get screwed, and this won't help the homeless one jot. Why not keep the services downtown and cluster them with the food and mental health aid?

geekin_topekan 8 years, 3 months ago

"I'm going to have to tell my kids they can't walk to the park anymore." ++++ WHile you're at it, tell them to surrender to terrorism, everything on TV is real, and that anyone who dresses differently than them is on welfare.

50YearResident 8 years, 3 months ago

The Lawrence taxpayers want to know details about the following questions. 1) What is the annual budget and where exactaly does the money come from?
2) How much tax money (of any kind) goes to the shelter every year? 3) How much of the shelter budget is used for Loring Henderson's salary + benefits? 4) Who else gets paid within the shelter staff? This should be public information if public money is used for opperating expenses.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 3 months ago

Whose backyard?

Not my backyard?

I endorse this plan 100%.

CreatureComforts 8 years, 3 months ago

The Lawrence taxpayers want to know details about the following questions. 1) What is the annual budget and where exactaly does the money come from? 2) How much tax money (of any kind) goes to the shelter every year? 3) How much of the shelter budget is used for Loring Henderson's salary + benefits? 4) Who else gets paid within the shelter staff? This should be public information if public money is used for opperating expenses.

Good luck!

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

geekin_topeken - Perhaps you enjoy adults with no kids and possible substance or mental health issues hanging out in YOUR neighborhood parks, but I do not. I like to go to parks without worrying that my kids will step on broken bottle glass or find a discarded needle. The two (homelessness and substance abuse) don't always go together, but they are common comorbid conditions. It's one of the reason I'd prefer we didn't just shelter people but try to find solutions.

formerhomelessmom 8 years, 3 months ago

As a former guest of the Lawrence Community Shelter, I can verify the plethora of problems assiciated with said shelter. That aside, LCS does provide some good services, although not enough geared toward families. Adding a bus stop in the new location is not sufficient as LCS is usually unable to provide bus passes for guests who don't recieve public assistance or disability. How are these folks going to get to much needed doctor/dentist or mental health appointments? Maybe they can purchase a used school bus for a downtown shuttle. The two good things about the proposed site are the few children who do or will live there in the future will not have to sleep with intoxicated persons in the next room (seperated only by one door that cannot be locked), and they will not be subjected to the ignorance of people driving by on Kentucky street and hurling insults. What Lawrence really needs is a family only shelter.

radicool12 8 years, 3 months ago

I am betting that alot of you people that are against it have never been homeless and dont no what it is like to be homeless i have first hand experiance of what it is like to be homeless and if it were not for shelters helping you and trying to get you a place to live then i probably would still be out on the streets and before you go saying that this shelter does not do that i no for a fact it does i know of a couple that found a place for sale and the shelter got it for them so before you go ragging on the shelter abouth how they dont do this and dont do that get your facts straight and before you go out and rag on the homeless why dont you tyr being homeless for a week without all of the amentities that you have no and you will realize it is not easy to do things it is hard to get a job without having an address so please people try and have a little respect for them i mean we all are on this earth for a reason and i am begining to think that your reasons are to make it hell for the homeless

flux 8 years, 3 months ago

That is one of the silliest comments I have ever read.

LogicMan 8 years, 3 months ago

"The businesses, which ARE on the E side will get [...], and this won't help the homeless one jot."

Except for the businesses who are in need of cheap labor. A new source is coming nearby. Some individuals will be "projects" for sure, and most will need more oversight/training/nonwork assistance, but for many this can be a win-win.

ralphralph 8 years, 3 months ago

Q - Where will the "drop-ins" go? They won't vanish, but they won't be served. Will they leave Lawrence, or be more aggressive panhandling in the absence of options? Just wondering ...

d_prowess 8 years, 3 months ago

So how about some actual metrics thrown into this discussion?
-How far is the site from Mary's Lake? -How far is it from the nearest neighborhood? -How far is it from the nearest business?

And to the guy that owns the 160 acres around the shelter: I guess you should have sold that land for development earlier if you think this will bring down the value. That's the thing with trying to profit from land... you never know when the high price is and when the low price is. It isn't the cities job to mitigate the risk of profiting from land.

theotherjeremy 8 years, 3 months ago

I was at the meeting last night and I am surprised that the level planning and foresight going into this project is considered acceptable. Some on the committee were actually in favor of voting for it without the bus stop provision, which I find to be inadequate itself.

A few points. I have no doubt that the following comments will polarize, but it's my right to speak.

The segments of last night's meeting which covered criminal behavior were bumbling at best. The planners/applicants have shown they've basically done no research on the matter. Their data amounted to a list of 911 calls from the current shelter. They expect us to have faith that the acceptable level of criminal behavior downtown (a well-lit, policed, public area) will translate to Prairie Park. But they did not present any facts, or comparative studies with other cities, nor did they seemed to be concerned about it. It was widely agreed upon by proponents and opponents that the Prairie Park neighborhood will suffer.

When the planning commissioners asked Loring Henderson what the shelter's rate of success at rehabilitating clients, he did not know. The Prairie Park NA president then stepped forth with data showing that 8% were rehabilitated in 2009. Whether her data is accurate is unsubstantiated, but none of the shelter staff present openly objected to her data. In fact, they used her data in later discussions. My conclusion is they just don't really know.

The shelter staff appear to be overrun with the day to day management of the shelter. The impact of collateral transient culture appears to be beyond their current reach. They had no statistics or information on what happens to the 50% of shelter clients who do not take advantage of the shelter's services. They had no information. I do feel for them because they clearly have a very difficult and thankless job.

Their argument is simple: we need more space and everything will just work. Some members on the planning commission admittedly took a leap of faith that this is true when voting for the issue.

The proponents did not address scalability of the new facility. The made no guarantee that the current problem, the "lack of space" will not simply resurface once they "run out of space" again. If they do have a plan for scaling their services, it was not evident or adequately presented, and the planning commission did little to press them on the issue.

There was no data presented that verifies the new facility will have a positive impact on downtown. We are to assume that moving the shelter will improve downtown. Yet, if we are requiring shelter clients to use the bus system between the new shelter and downtown, how/why would this not increase panhandling? It was not made clear how this problem would not become worse. It was not made clear why panhandling would not surface as a new problem in southeast Lawrence in addition to downtown.

KawHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"How far is the site from Mary's Lake?"

As the crow flies, about a mile.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps the city's current budget crunch can be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments.

"If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch,” Scruggs said. “But with increased numbers of residentials you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.”


Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

July 24, 2009

To the editor:

The July 14 editorial asks, “What’s downtown going to look like five, 10 or 15 years from now?” The answer can be known, and the picture is not pretty.

Lawrence has enough spending to support about 4.1 million square feet of retail space, but the City Commission permitted developers to expand the supply to over 5.5 million square feet.

Lawrence has too much retail space chasing too few vendors, which means that many stores go empty, especially in the older shopping centers like downtown.

The surplus development has stalled redevelopment plans downtown and has pushed the vacancy rates so high that disinvestment and blight now threaten. Investment, both public and private, is wasted. The taxpayers’ $8 million parking garage stands largely empty. The Hobbs-Taylor building and the 600 block of Massachusetts should be the top performing spaces in the community, but they have significant vacancies.

The recession has contributed to the problem, but had we properly managed our growth we would be much better off.

The developers’ short-term gain is now our long-term loss. Managed growth would have prevented much of the problem and would have protected and enhanced our downtown.

It will take many, many years to absorb this surplus space and, until this happens, it will be hard for downtown to compete. We can only look forward to many years of high vacancy and disinvestment. We need a City Commission that knows how to pace the growth of supply so as to protect our unique downtown.

McClure is from Lawrence

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

Oh, please. Not wanting adults to sleep in neighborhood parks is NOT teaching kids to hate and fear the homeless. Otherwise, why not just set up intentional shantytowns in all the parks? Why move the shelter at all? There's more room in South Park.

You're also making baseless assumptions about my level of contact and/or experience with homelessness. It is my experience that leads me to believe this is a very wrong plan. I'm not against shelters. I'm against shelters that are intentionally put far away from related services, like food, medical, mental health, SRS, and employment offices. Shelters that require a bus ride, but don't provide that ride for free. How do you suppose they'll get that bus money?

How are they going to figure out that the shelter is full? What are the people who don't get served going to do? Are they going to take that bus back to the middle of town, or are they going to make the 35 minute (less if they walk across private property) walk to Mary's Lake? Distance according to Google is 1.9 miles by road to the lake. Or 1.7 to the fair grounds.

What about the shelter residents that get kicked out for unacceptable behavior? Do they visit jail, or do they just get kicked off the property and go wandering? How many of these people are going to get killed trying to cross the highway?

And do you really think the nearby businesses are going to employ them? If downtown didn't hire homeless in droves, why would the businesses out on this edge of town do the same? It would be nice if they did. Really. But there are too many issues here, and they aren't being resolved simply by making a bigger warehouse out on the edge of town.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

I say it is time for the west side to take their turn at dealing with this unfortunate situation.

Developers are quiet until it shows up in their new backyards. In spite of that maybe 6th and Wakarusa could produce more positive results. Lawrence has never tried that approach.

been_there 8 years, 3 months ago

ralphralph --Q - Where will the "drop-ins" go? They won't vanish, but they won't be served. Quite simple actually. They will hang around the library, Community Building, and South Park. All places where children will be present. When parents complain, the city "will have no choice but to open the drop-in center again". And then Loring will have two shelters, which is probably his intent all along. We will be paying for two shelters instead of one.

50YearResident 8 years, 3 months ago

Still waiting for these questions to be answered. The Lawrence taxpayers want to know details about the following questions. 1) What is the annual budget and where exactaly does the money come from? 2) How much tax money (of any kind) goes to the shelter every year? 3) How much of the shelter budget is used for Loring Henderson's salary + benefits? 4) Who else gets paid within the shelter staff? This should be public information if public money is used for opperating expenses.

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

And Oak, the homeless have just as much right as anyone to enjoy walking through parks, even the significant percentage of homeless who ARE children. What they don't have a right to do is sleep in them or do drugs there. Neither do I, and neither do you. If it were merely a matter of reflecting on tranquility during a time of turmoil, I doubt anyone would have any objections.

86% of homeless adults report an alcohol, drug, or mental health problem. (Source: Urban Institute analysis of weighted 1996 NSHAPC Client data.) Half have spent time in jail. Moving the problem doesn't fix it.

formerhomelessmom 8 years, 3 months ago

Healthcare Moocher, both Health Care Access and The Burt Nash center will provide treatment for indigent persons who are not able to pay. Also, one of the services that LCS provides is payment of fees at the the Douglas County Dental Clinic, after you have waited on a lengthy list with priority for severe dental conditions. As to the post inquiring how much the paid staffers earn (and make no mistake, the money is earned), I have no idea but Loring himself drives a beat up older model car if that gives any clue. There are aprox. 10 paid staff members and in conversations with them have learned that most do not recieve benefits or large per-hour wages. There are some employees who really care about and help people, but unfortunately there are some that really have no skill at their jobs and should'nt be there at all. I wish I could say that they recieved low pay and no benefits, sadly this is not the case. However, Loring is one of the good ones. He genuinely cares about the people he serves. Sure wish he would have had the numbers at that meeting. One last point, alcoholics should be given treatment options but not at the expense of family preservation programs. And no one's child should have to go to sleep with the sound of drunks fighting 20 FEET away through an unlocked door!!!!!!! Fix this problem!!!!!

Meatwad 8 years, 3 months ago

Moving the shelter out of downtown is a big step in the right direction toward weeding out the "Lifestyle Homeless" and maybe actually helping Lawrence's families and Lawrence people who want to better their situation. The Lifestyle Homeless won't find it nearly as fun to live far from downtown and maybe they will decide to take advantage of another city, or get some help and change their "lifestyle".

BabyKicker 8 years, 3 months ago

Here are a few stats of interest from the Lawrence Community Shelter website:

Regarding the LCS budget, 80% of funding comes from local businesses, private foundations, and individuals. Are we to assume that 20% of the budget is from taxes? That is less than I would have expected. Exactly how much money is that?

Regarding whom is being served, in 2009 70% of guests were from Douglas County. I see this is down from 2008 when 76% of guests were from Douglas County. Of course, I'm no statistician, so I do not know if this difference is significant. I do worry about the "If you build it, they will come" phenomenon. How long before a new facility is filled to capacity with those who arrive in Lawrence when they hear through word-of-mouth there is a new, sparkling facility for addicts? Where will the overflow go? I see from the LCS website that currently the overflow is served by neighboring churches, and obviously this resource would not be available in the proposed new location...although perhaps the jail could lend a hand - ha!

William McCauley 8 years, 3 months ago

formerhomelessmom (anonymous) says…Loring is one of the good ones. He genuinely cares about the people he serves. (quote)

Maybe he should care more about the community neighborhoods his drunkin flop house is placing a blight on, where working citizens live and support the tax base of the city his drunkin bums freeload from. Now everyone in the P.P.N> can look forward to a decline in property value and wondering perverts in it, pretty sure the crime rate will go up too, same as the current flop house location gets to deal with now.

How many of the city/county comm. members live in PPN? None. Maybe out in the Alvamar hoods would be a better place to have the shelter, they could shag lost golfballs in the ponds for beers and take a bath too, or caddy.

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

Formerhomelessmom has a good point. We do need safe facilities for homeless families. This shelter won't be serving that need, either.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 3 months ago

"Should their children be permitted to go to school ..." === An interesting question worthy of comment. Schools are required to go out of their way to find, nuture and educate homeless children (federal law.) Well done, this may help the rest of the family and break the cycle of chronic homelessness. Best I can tell, most homeless folks are short-termers, but those who persist in the lifestyle can be difficult to deal with. Anyone in serious debt is 2-3 paychecks away from living in the shelter. More info?

average 8 years, 3 months ago


"Except for the businesses who are in need of cheap labor. A new source is coming nearby."

Um, why would they hire the homeless/sheltered when there are plenty of mostly-sober, reasonably reliable younger folks with college degrees and no criminal records willing to work just about as cheap?

Bernardo_de_la_Paz 8 years, 3 months ago

Why is it that articles about the LCS bring out the absolute worst types of human garbage? "Oh, but my taxes, you don't pay taxes blarghlewarbhle" and then there are the NIMBY Nancies, and the Bootstrap Bills.

In large part, our homeless folks are mentally ill or substance abusers. They are not dangerous criminal pedophile perverted inhuman monsters that you fear. Let's take care of 'em them and treat 'em like human beings. Because it's the right thing to do. If it were your grandmother or your child and you weren't there to look after them, or help them seek treatment, you'd think they'd deserve the very minor and insignificant comforts that the LCS provides.

For all the NIMBYs, Bootstraps, and OmgMyTaxes types in this community, go down and volunteer just once, see what these folks are dealing with, and understand a little before opening your ugly mouth and spraying the brown matter that you do.

50YearResident 8 years, 3 months ago

I see on the main article page of this story has a picture on a young man leaning on the shelter desk. I remember from a previous J/W story that this young man had recently moved to Lawrence from California to get away from drugs and gangs. Can anyone give us an update as to weather he is still living in Lawrence and has the shelter been able to provide assistance and possible a job for him? There is an oppertunity to show what the shelter is accomplishing as to rehabilitating their clients. Anyone know how this young man has progressed?

MIke Mallory 8 years, 3 months ago

where do I go to get a permit to build a liquer store on the far east side of town, I am going to get rich, one bottle of vodka at a time.

geekyhost 8 years, 3 months ago

I suggest we put the shelter in Bernardo_de_la_Paz's back yard.

FYI - I have volunteered, I've donated food, and I've personally helped friends get out of bad situations. Darn, and you did such a good job trying to set up that straw man, too.

And yes, these are primarily substance abuse and mental health issues. I'm not worried that they're pedophiles. I'm worried that they're mentally ill substance abusers that won't be housed in the shelter and will be stuck on the wrong end of town for getting services. The ones who actually stay in the shelter are not the big problem here.

Cassie Powell 8 years, 3 months ago

i have been homeless in this town with a child. there are resources, and the shelter is one of those resources, that can be used in getting yourself back on your feet and and stable again. I don't think anyone here has a problem with the "real homeless" person, its those that choose to use all the resources to gain nothing other than the next bottle of whiskey, next pack of smokes, or the next bag of drugs, that all of US including me that we are all against. While i am grateful that there are those resources out there, the "bums" who choose to make the truly homeless person go without just so they don't have to own up to their addictions are the ones making me wish there wasnt a shelter in this town... just my two cents

hipgrrrrl 8 years, 3 months ago

This explains the timing of the library's proposal for expansion. New drop in center - what else would they need all those new computer terminals for?

Liberty275 8 years, 3 months ago

Don't put cat food on your doorstep if you don't want to attract raccoons. All homeless shelters are bad ideas, this one is no exception.

townie42 8 years, 3 months ago

Did it ever occur to anyone that one of the biggest reasons the shelter is moving to this particular site is that there is nowhere else for them to go? The shelter board have been searching for a suitable location for YEARS. And what do they find? Not in my backyard!

Of course the shelter should be located near to the services, but where are the services? Downtown... yet the citizens associated with homes and businesses downtown do not want the shelter there, and neither does the city commission.

The people of Lawrence have collectively decided that we would rather take as many of our homeless folks as we can and move them to the edge of town where we won't have to see them anymore. At least the new facility will provide room for people to sleep in reasonable conditions, instead of having to stack on top of each other in the winter, and the new building will have space available to provide some services in house. In all likelihood, there will also be room for a separate wet shelter and a secure family shelter to address some of the concerns mentioned previously.

...and shame on those who think this is just some way for the staff to "get a raise". Mr. Henderson has more than enough credentials to be a very well paid consultant, but he chooses to serve the public for a pittance. Our city and our homeless folks are lucky to have him.

lawrencecpa 8 years, 3 months ago

50YearResident says Still waiting for these questions to be answered. The Lawrence taxpayers want to know details about the following questions. 1) What is the annual budget and where exactaly does the money come from? 2) How much tax money (of any kind) goes to the shelter every year? 3) How much of the shelter budget is used for Loring Henderson's salary + benefits? 4) Who else gets paid within the shelter staff? This should be public information if public money is used for opperating expenses.

Per IRS Publication 4221-PC, A public charity must make Form 1023, Form 990 (or 990EZ) and Form 990-T and all related documents available for public inspection without charge other than a reasonable copying. If the public charity makes the documents widely available (ie posted on their website) then they do not have to fulfill individual requests. So if you really want to know, go and knock on their door and ask for a copy of the tax return.

If that does not interest you, you can become a member of The website has a free membership level which will permit you to search for nearly any non-profit organization. Some non-profits provide the website more information than others, but among other things you can view current and past tax returns of the non-profit organization.

formerhomelessmom 8 years, 3 months ago

For the folks who were wondering about the fate of the kid in the photo, Chris Maier, I would be glad to update everyone. He is the nephew of a staff member (one of the ones who should not be on payroll) and even after being found with marijuana (which he and his pregnant girlfriend had smoked IN the family area bathroom!) and after getting into a drunken fistfight with another guest, was allowed to stay in the family area not the "wet" side. He was finally banned after he and aforementioned girlfriend were caught trying to cash stolen checks from the dog biscut company the shelter runs. Just another example of how this system is broken. (I only bring up his name because he gave it to the paper. Not being libelous.) Also, as far as anyone knows, no charges were ever filed for any of the crimes he committed, but I have seen folks kicked out for talking to staff disrespectfully. Hmmmm......

theotherjeremy 8 years, 3 months ago

"Did it ever occur to anyone that one of the biggest reasons the shelter is moving to this particular site is that there is nowhere else for them to go?"

Yes, it occurs to everyone. Why would you assume people don't understand this? It's one of many factors.

"The shelter board have been searching for a suitable location for YEARS. And what do they find? Not in my backyard!"

If you're going to put it in anyone's backyard, it's reasonable for you to expect to have to provide data on how neighborhood crime rates are affected and an operational plan that's devised to control it as much as possible. Otherwise, how do we know you know what you're doing and where do you get off saying you are the right person to run the place?

If you want general support, give us some data that shows you're cognizant of what is going to happen to the existing community so everyone knows what to expect. Prove that you have thought about it. Prove that we will have a strategy in place for how the existing community becomes one that embraces and supports the shelter and vice versa.

Again, just saying "homeless people are not criminals!" doesn't help either side of the argument. Again, what's needed are facts about how neighborhood crime rates are affected by an influx of anonymous pedestrian traffic created by a new homeless shelter. Provide something tangible for people to base an opinion on.

Lawrence is not the first city to ever do something like this. What aspects of a shelter's operation encourage crime and what aspects of a shelter's operation help to curtail crime? Is our new shelter going to do the good things or the bad things? Details, please.

I want to support the shelter. I do care about people. I want Lawrence to have the finest community shelter in the world, and if it's near where I live, I will be a proud citizen. But it's not too much to ask for crime and property considerations to be taken seriously. Those are not "extremist" questions.

I was just really surprised that the planning commission voted for this without demanding more detailed information.

townie42 8 years, 3 months ago

theotherjeremey- My question was not directed to you in particular, but since you responded... I think your concerns are perfectly reasonable and valid. I do not mean to downplay the concerns of the neighborhoods surrounding the potential shelter sites. Rather, I'm trying to point out (to some that may not realize it) that the shelter has been trying to relocate for a long time. Not only that, but in the instances where the shelter did try to engage public discussion before finalizing a proposed new location, the residents of the area in question have premeptively said no before discussion could even occur. This site is literally the last place they can go in Lawrence.

In my understanding, the shelter staff have shown the city commission several times that the crime statistics associated with the shelter are actually better percentage wise than those of the downtown neighborhood at large (boundaries as identified by the Lawrence Police Dept.) and similar to several other neighborhoods, including the Prairie Park Neighborhood into which the shelter is proposing a move. These presentations were at city meetings to renew the shelter's limited use permit. When I say statistics, I mean similar numbers and kinds of crimes as reported by LPD (e.g. disturbing the peace, hospital/ambulance calls, robberies, domestic assault, etc.). I do not have the statistics with me, but they should be available through city commission records or via the shelter.

townie42 8 years, 3 months ago

I should have said police calls as opposed to crimes... obviously ambulance calls are not crimes!

formerhomelessmom 8 years, 3 months ago

One positive, for those whose tighty-whiteys are all in a bunch because of the crime and tax issues. Think of all the gas money the LPD will save if LCS does move to the new location. An officer could be posted at all times and just walk offenders across the street to be booked! And think of all the taxi vouchers that would'nt have to be issued! Seriously, I wish I saw more concern for the people and less for the money. Ever since Reagan closed the long-term psych hospitals to all but the most dangerously mentally ill, (to save money) there has been a need to house people who cannot house themselves. Most of the "lifestlye" homeless, as they have been so eloquently called, are severely mentally ill, as any casual observer could notice if they stepped foot in the shelter. Take the time to donate a meal and see for yourself. Just do the folks there a favor. If you tell them you are going to bring dinner, please bring it! You don't know how many times we all (kids included) had to wait untill 10:30 or 11 to eat because the volunteers didn't show with the food.

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