Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Public meetings set on plan to move homeless shelter to southeast Lawrence

May 12, 2010


Efforts to relocate the local homeless shelter to a new eastern Lawrence site are moving ahead with a trio of public meetings, and at least a few private ones too.

Leaders with Lawrence Community Shelter have set three public meeting dates to discus plans to move from downtown Lawrence to a warehouse at 3701 Franklin Park Circle near Douglas County Jail.

At the same time, shelter officials are having discussions with representatives of the Franklin Business Park, who have objected to the shelter’s plans and said they don’t fit with restrictive covenants that have long been attached to the shelter’s proposed site.

Neither side would comment on whether they are closer to resolving their differences.

“Until there is some decision, I think it is best that we just deal with this as a private matter,” said Steve Glass, a trustee for the business park.

Shelter Director Loring Henderson also declined to comment, saying some privacy would help the process move forward. He said a timeline for the matter to be resolved hasn’t been set.

The three public meetings will give community members a chance to ask questions about the shelter’s management plan or other issues related to how the 125-bed shelter operates, Henderson said.

Dates for the meetings, which will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., are:

• May 20, Building 1, Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2120 Harper Street.

• June 1, Building 1, Douglas County Fairgrounds.

• June 10, 3701 Franklin Park Circle, which is the proposed site for the shelter.

The shelter’s proposed management plan is available online at the city’s Web site. Copies of the plan also will be available at the May 20 meeting.

City commissioners late last month approved a special use permit for the shelter at the Franklin Park site, the approval is contingent on the shelter submitting a detailed management plan to the commission by Aug. 1. Commissioners also required the shelter to have at least three meetings with neighbors of the new site.


jayhawk72 3 years, 11 months ago

I know a recently displace individual whom is staying at the shelter. She was there when they were filming. She said that Mr. Henderson had mentioned that each "resident' of the shelter was receiving job assistance and counseling help on a daily basis. That is NOT being offered to them. (besides telling them what bus to get on to get to the Workforce Center) They were also made to stand outside in the rain while a "selected few" were allowed to be filmed. Why? Are you afraid of looking bad in the eyes millions of people across the nation? Homelessness is a REAL issue since the economy crashed. These are matter what their problems are. Be it addiction, alcoholism, or just plain down on your luck. People turn to BAD things as a resort of numbing out the pain in their life. Pushing them outside while you make yourself look like superman isn't the answer. Not to mention that it makes them feel "less than." Nor is putting up new posters and such. You want to look as if we can't afford to build a new shelter. Dilapidated posters and limited sleeping conditions would have done just fine by themselves without you hanging NEW posters. If anything you should have let them all stay inside so that America could see that we have a major problem, not only in our town, but in our country as a whole. Its not just individuals, but families that are being affected. If I were on the shelters committee, I would be watching that bank account for ANY discrepancies just to be sure the monies are going toward the purpose they are intended for and that doesn't include lining any one's pocket. Loring........ Get some people in there that are willing to make a difference. Get some students studying psychology or social service to come in and volunteer their time in place of credit to help those that WANT it.( and I emphasize WANT) We are a college town...utilize it. I'm sure some students studying in that field would be glad to help those in need for some course credit...not to mention the good feeling you get just by helping and being there for someone who feels they have no one to turn to that will listen. get rid of ....the night monitoring couple that do nothing but make-out all night long. There are better places for that. Must suck to have to listen to loud smooching all night long when you are trying to sleep just a few feet away. I know I have a tendency to gripe about a lot of subjects here. This one holds a place in my heart. I have many soap boxes to stand on. But people, sometimes the solution to the problem IS just as easy as it seems. Keep it simple. Be blunt. Make your point and be open minded to those that have opposing opinions. What a boring world this would be if we were all made from the same cookie cutter. Have a wonderful day.


smitty 3 years, 11 months ago

The shelter’s proposed management plan is available online at the city’s Web site. Copies of the plan also will be available at the May 20 meeting.

Very interesting...the shelter is presented as a city feature:

City features •Lawrence Community Shelter •Downtown Parking in Lawrence •2009 Annual Report •Farmland •City Commission Goals •Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department •Energy conservation by the City of Lawrence •Economic development policies, goals and procedures •American Recovery and Reinvestment Act •Read more ...

After linking to...•Lawrence Community Shelter....and one more link you get ...

One immediate item of concern is the definition of neighbor:

  1. Communications plan that establishes how the shelter will regularly communicate with neighbors and police
    Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) – this Agreement already established by the Lawrence Community Shelter in its previous location calls upon the shelter to hold twice annual public meetings for the community at large, to respond to neighbor complaints, to conduct neighborhood projects, to cooperate on security issues, and to advise the neighbors of specific events or changes at the shelter. The shelter director will always meet with neighbors, who are principally businesses rather than residential for this location, at their request. [see attached Good Neighbor Agreement] The Good Neighbor Agreement establishes a Good Neighbor Committee to insure communications between the shelter and the neighbors and to review the Management Plan. Every neighbor of the new facility (defined as those notified by the City) will receive the shelter’s newsletter......

According to this, only indirectly limited access for input by the residential areas are allowed by neighborhoods to address any problems the shelter brings upon the residents due to the shelter's presence.

It would benefit you to read the report.

Many times there are statements that give the staff discretion in applying rules that have historically caused neighborhood problems. We've already seen the results of that discretion. This plan is no more than a token plan up front and center by the city on it's site as if it were indeed a totally supported and city funded program which it is not.

You can't fight city hall?? BS. Mayor Amyx stated support for the shelter before he was elected to the previous term and nothing has changed. The city bias is so obvious it will take the action of all these meetings to address concerns and protect the areas. Do not be fooled by the political maneuvering of the city.


somedude20 3 years, 11 months ago

Hey if we (tax payers) pay for there new paradise hotel then we should be able to crash there if we want. Driving back from work on the late shift don't feel driving all the way home so pull in and stay the night. It has been a number of years since I made payments on a "house" so might as well live it up.

"This dog house here is mighty small But it's sure better than no house at all So ease it on over (move it on over) Drag it on over (move it on over) Move over old dog cause a new dog's moving in"


love2fish_ks 3 years, 11 months ago

This is not logical. The vast majority of homeless want to 'live free' - on someone else's dime and without obligation. To think they will 'move' with the shelter is nuts. They want to be down town and pan handle. They have taken over the community building (just try to go there between 7a.m. - 10:00a.m.). Busing the homeless to the shelter and back to downtown will only enable the homeless, drive up cost, and be a total waste of time and money.

If the city is serious about the homeless, try cleaning up the community building downtown to start. It is only a matter of time until something really bad happens to a child that is unwittingly using the public facility. A total shame.......


Deb Engstrom 3 years, 11 months ago

What in the world is the purpose of having 3 more meetings with neighbors? These meetings will be the same people voicing the same objections that have been heard ad nauseum. And the shelter supporters will provide the same responses that they have always provided.


oskiejackie 3 years, 11 months ago

lets make it the least comfortable shelter in the country


consumer1 3 years, 11 months ago

Shelter Director Loring Henderson also declined to comment, saying some privacy would help the process move forward. If you are using city funds ie; taxes you have no privacy matters. Everything you do is up for scrutiny by the taxpayers of Lawrence. Personally, I want you out of town. Everything you do here just keeps gettting more and more expensive. YOu bring more transients to town for the free handouts, more drunks who are not held responsible and the whole while the true homeless are sleeping in cars. What a scam artist you are.


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