Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Homeless shelter director ‘embarrassed’ by ABC story lauding him as a saint

George Stephanopoulos, “Good Morning America” anchor, left, meets with Lawrence Community Shelter Director Loring Henderson on May 11 in Lawrence for a segment about mentors that will appeared on the ABC show Wednesday morning. The two met 30 years ago while working in Washington, D.C.

George Stephanopoulos, “Good Morning America” anchor, left, meets with Lawrence Community Shelter Director Loring Henderson on May 11 in Lawrence for a segment about mentors that will appeared on the ABC show Wednesday morning. The two met 30 years ago while working in Washington, D.C.

May 19, 2010


Homeless shelter in national spotlight

The Lawrence Community Shelter spent some time in the national spotlight Wednesday. Good Morning America spent talked with shelter director Loring Henderson Wednesday morning. Enlarge video

Lawrence Community Shelter director Loring Henderson was lauded as a “saint” and as the “gentlest man I know,” on ABC’s Good Morning America program Wednesday.

Now, he’ll wait to see if such compliments turn into donations for the shelter’s efforts to relocate from downtown to a site in eastern Lawrence near the Douglas County Jail.

“I think it certainly will help,” Henderson said. “It can’t hurt. We’ll just see to what degree. We’ll get a lot of indirect, positive reaction from it for sure.”

GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos chose Henderson as one of the people who has inspired him during his life. The two met in the early 1980s in Washington, D.C., when Stephanopoulos was an intern and Henderson was a non-profit, think tank administrator.

During the piece, which ran longer than five minutes, Stephanopoulos recalled Henderson taking him to a Washington D.C., kitchen where Henderson volunteered regularly.

Stephanopoulos also predicted that the story would embarrass Henderson, calling him a “very shy” man. Stephanopoulos was correct.

“Sure, it embarrassed me,” Henderson said after watching the story at his Lawrence home. “This is not the kind of thing you seek, but it can be helpful to the program. But I was flattered and honored. I appreciate it deeply. I’m just thankful I can be part of this work.”

The shelter is seeking to raise about $3 million to move from its location at 10th and Kentucky streets to the site near the Douglas County Jail.


Vinny1 7 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence needs to not be so homeless friendly. Make the bums get a job.

ilovelucy 7 years, 7 months ago

Great broadcast Loring! Very well deserved.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

I assume you're equally opposed to all tax abatements, etc. for businesses.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

NO, because those abatements help the economy. Apples and oranges.

sojourner 7 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you. I work at a homeless shelter in Wichita and it seems that whenever govn't gets involved it ruins whatever good you're trying to do because whenever you accept govn't money there's always strings attached..

Richard Payton 7 years, 7 months ago

My comment to Vinny1 is that Bernie Madoff had a job and I would consider him a bum. Just because a person doesn't have employment doesn't make him or her a bum. My suggestion Vinny is that you hire some so called "bums" so that they have a job.

Vinny1 7 years, 7 months ago

What does it make them?

Anyone can go out and find a job. It may not be exactly what they want to be doing, or what they enjoy doing, but they can find a job, make some money and not be sitting on the street begging.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

With almost 20% unemployment and many jobs lost for good, I doubt it's that easy for everyone to find jobs right now.

Vinny1 7 years, 7 months ago

I promise you, if you go out and do a little bit of work you can find a job. Again, it may not be what you want to do, it may be flipping burgers, but I promise anyone can go find a job and make enough money to not be homeless.

reallyreal 7 years, 7 months ago

All I can say is with an attitude like yours...the karma will come back around and there will be a time in your life when you need someones help..and I hope you find people with more grace and understanding then you have.....alot of people are homeless due to circumstances beyond their control...and life they need some help....while I dont believe that we should inable people to mooch....we should still help people! Good luck with that Karma coming your way...hahahahaa

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

If Madoff had a "job", then you are legitimizing crime as an industry.

Richard Payton 7 years, 7 months ago

Organized crime is an industry that makes millions or more every year. Check out the organized crime page on the FBI website and you may learn crime is an industry that "strangles free enterprise."

geekin_topekan 7 years, 7 months ago

Sierra, where were you when that behemoth eyesore on campus was in the planning stages?Welfare comes in all sizes and shapes and Id imagine that the homeless would be the cheapest of them all.

Clark Coan 7 years, 7 months ago

The police have started cracking down on misbehavior by homeless people in the downtown. For example, they are fining people for walking through South Park when it is closed and for sleeping on park benches.

In Kansas CIty the social service organizations are urging people not to give to panhandlers but to organizations that help the homeless. Maybe that idea of having special parking meters where people could put in coins and the money would go to organizations that help homeless people would work.

spammer89 7 years, 7 months ago

We just noved from Lawrence to Madison, WI and we miss lawrence yeah the homeless are a pain in the butt. Well at least they have not started the crud they are pulling up here. But who knows may start to happen in Lawrence as well.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

"Squatters are not going to have any interest in that home and not going to keep up that property"

Exactly. Just ask Habitat for Humanity. They learned that you can't just give people places to live without some sort of investment on their part.

GSWtotheheart 7 years, 7 months ago

Habitat does not "GIVE" people a place to live and they never have. That is one of the most asinine comments I've ever seen on the LJWorlds forums, and that's saying A LOT! Potential homeowners go through a vetting process and have to put in at least 50 hours of sweat equity on another H4H house before their own home is started. Then another 200+ hours on their own home. H4H homeowners then own they home but make house payments to H4H. H4H homes have a mortgage on them. Habitat never "learned" they couldn't give homes away, because they never "gave" homes away. And for the record, the number of H4H homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages is WAAAAY below the average number of defaultees across the nation with traditional mortgages. Might wanna learn the facts before you spout stupidity.

Jim Williamson 7 years, 7 months ago

Give Madtown some time and you'll forget Lawrence even exists.

50YearResident 7 years, 7 months ago

My objections to the homeless shelter in Lawrence, With it comes more crime, a drain on local resorces, and a negative impact on Lawrence as a good place to live and raise a family. The majority of people served by the shelter are not local residents but people that are drawn here for the free handouts and benefits, most of whom already have a police record. We don't need to improve accomadations just to draw more of the same.

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 7 months ago

And you know this how??? (Since it's not supported by the data.)

The largest growth sector at the shelter has been families with children. Yeah, those dangerous drug-addicted gangsta toddlers. Gotta throw them out on the street. Yeah...let them join the Terrible Twos street gang. Homeless toddlers. What a scary bunch they are.

think_about_it 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, so embarrassed that he called Mr. Lawhorn to tell him that.

Melinda Black 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe I'm missing something. Where does the article say Mr. Henderson called Mr. Lawhorn?

funkdog1 7 years, 7 months ago

Generally, reporters contact the people in their stories. Not the other way around.

cdc 7 years, 7 months ago

Loring did NOT contact Lawhorn to tell him about the ABC story. Why on earth do you think that? I think it's because you're jealous of Loring because he is doing amazing things with his life, and you are just posting mean comments on LJ World. Find something more positive and productive to do with your life, dude.

reallyreal 7 years, 7 months ago

It just cracks me up that so many people automatically assume someone is a criminal because they are homeless.....I was homeless and I have no police record..thank you very much! And with alot of help and hard work I am now 12 years later a home owner!! Praise the Lord! And just to be clear.......there are Alot of people with Jobs that commit crimes and have police records as well! Geez so judgemental!

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

Would you call yourself representative of the homeless you encountered, or are you the exception?

Kendall Simmons 7 years, 7 months ago

I decided to rent to four homeless guys. They couldn't pass credit and background checks, but I decided to give them a chance. Plus, because they couldn't qualify for getting the utilities on, I raised the rent and made the utilities included.

Yes, one of them turned out to be a criminal. Sadly, last month he collected the rent from the other guys and, instead of bringing it over, stole it all, and went on a crack binge and fled to Wichita. (Yup, there's been a police report filed and, yup, he's admitted it.)

The other three? They hustled their butts off to scrounge up replacement money. It's been a struggle for them, but they're working hard to stay on top of things, doing their best to not lose a chance at a home they never expected to have again. They keep the place neat and clean. They keep me advised of things. (One told me he was $50 short of the rent, but he'd have it for me on the 19th...and this afternoon - the 19th -he was at my door with the $50.) They're currently looking for a 4th housemate they can trust.

Frankly, I think they're great tenants. I'm not going to let that one bad apple spoil everything. I mean, it's not like I haven't had bad tenants before! But these 3 guys...they're keepers.

Tom McCune 7 years, 7 months ago

It's OK, Loring. We're embarrassed by you, too.

fancy80 7 years, 7 months ago

There is an agency here in town funded by Stimulus money that is helping find homes for the homeless. They have been granted 650,000 dollars (that's 650 THOUSAND) dollars for Douglas County alone. The idea is, to pay first and last months rent and a few months rent to get them going. As of last month, they had successfully helped three homeless people off the streets and into apartments. Two of the people they were paying rent for were students. One has been going to college for 15 years and is working on his/her second masters and the other has been going to college for 8 years and was convinced by the people helping him/her that he/she should go for their masters. At what point, are these "homeless" people encouraged to go out and get a job and perhaps, pay it forward? How many masters degrees should one have before they are considered employable. Go sit outside the Lawrence food bank and watch the big suv's with personalized license plates and cell phone and fancy tires and rims, pull up and have the free food brought out to them. From all accounts I have heard, I think the "poor" people have nicer rides than I do. Of course, I'm just a working stiff, making more money for the gov. to take and give to the poor people. Because you know, it's not fair that the poor kids don't have iphones and the latest video game. If people in Lawrence knew all the stuff that is going on with our tax money, and our kids and their kids tax money, they would be appalled. But LJW doesn't report on that stuff, nor does Good Morning America.

Tom McCune 7 years, 7 months ago

Did anybody actually watch this? Was there any counterpoint at all? Like, turning Lawrence into the biggest bum magnet in the Midwest?

fancy80 7 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't able to watch it because, well I was driving to work. I'm assuming the homeless were able to watch it though.

BigPrune 7 years, 7 months ago

If he's a registered Democrat he cannot be a "saint."


TopJayhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Not near as many homeless are that way due to circumstances beyond their control as you would like to think. I could go out today and come home with three jobs if I wanted to. It may be flipping burgers, but I would have a job. Cry me a river.

Vinny1 7 years, 7 months ago


As I said before, it may not be the job that you enjoy...but I promise anyone can go out and find a job.

asbury 7 years, 7 months ago

Well, I just watched it, and frankly, I'm impressed. I have mostly read only negative things about Mr. Loring. I am familiar with Lawrence, and I am aware of the problems associated with the homeless there. Maybe this piece will aid him in his fund drive. I hope it does. And kudos to Teri G-G. for volunteering.....but I bet she wasn't planning to be on national TV that morning!!

Amy Heeter 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh puke... No, let's let the participants at the CDIC continue to puke on our sidewalks.

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