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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

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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.

Comments

smitty 3 years, 11 months ago

In response to my May 19, 2010 at 12:32 p.m.

The city page no longer features the shelter as it's top and for most feature. I'll assume that some lurkers took advantage of the posted commissioners names and contacted them.

The city commissioners have already made up their mind? They got caught with their teats in a wringer again. Make the commissioners and the manager explain.

JW, this is yours to do.

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Amy Heeter 3 years, 11 months ago

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

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asbury 3 years, 11 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!!

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Leslie Swearingen 3 years, 11 months ago

acornwebworks Thank you for your comments. Did you notice that your two positive comments were totally ignored while people continued to rant about the homeless? Why do you think that is?

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demonfury 3 years, 11 months ago

fancy80 nailed my exact sentiment. Loring has done nothing more than continued his glamorizing of the homeless he says he tries to help. The only difference I see is that he allows, enables, and rewards these people over and over wwhen they show up at his door every day. At what point will he understand that he isn't helping them to become semi-independent or fully independent, he's giving them everything they need to remain in the situation they are in? Whether it's by choice or by chance that these people are in the homeless category, I believe that it is a tragedy to freely help those who could do more for themselves, yet they don't because it's far easier to have someone else do it for you. To take my tax dollars away from programs that truly help those in need, like the Lawrence - Douglas County Health Dept., is fiscally, and morally irresponsible. Although I wouldn't expect the collection of liberal idiots we call commissioners to act any other way. That's how we find ourselves in this regretable situation. I would like to know just how many people Loring has helped get free of homelessness compared to the number he serves yet has not helped. What's the overall estimated cost of 1 successful transition from homelessness to independent living? That genuine information would shock the general public, I'm sure. Loring says he need 3 million dollars, show me these numbers and tell me what my return on investment looks like. I guarantee if that accurate information was published, donations would likely stop altogether. But our liberally biased media wouldn't tell us that, now would they? In the mean time, Loring, stop trying to get into my wallet. In my eyes, you are a failure and should be monumentally embarrassed by not only what you do, but by who you are for allowing it in the first place.

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smitty 3 years, 11 months ago

an opinion from someone present at the filming:

jayhawk72 (Kimberly Curtiss) says…

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 people...no 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.

May 14, 2010 at 2:14 p.m.

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TopJayhawk 3 years, 11 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.

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BigPrune 3 years, 11 months ago

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

:)

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fancy80 3 years, 11 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.

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Newell_Post 3 years, 11 months ago

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

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fancy80 3 years, 11 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.

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Newell_Post 3 years, 11 months ago

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

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Multidisciplinary 3 years, 11 months ago

"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." -Old enuf

So true. I know someone now, who is trying to help someone that lives in a home about to be tax saled from their landlord. A benefactor hired a realtor to come check it out so that they might fund it for the renter to own it through payments. The realtor took time off at a certain time,canceling his own work day suddenly (45 minute road trip too I might add) to fit into that renter's schedule which the renter was very pleased to have happen as she is desperately worried.They arrived at the home, only to have the renter not allow the realtor to see the inside, only the outside, and she told him some problems with the inside. He left shaking his head in wonder at how he and the benefactor were trying to help her, and she was so daft to not help herself by cooperating my simply letting him view the home.She knew before he was called he was coming to see her home. Perhaps she is not the best candidate for home ownership, even if people want to help her and her kids, one mentally challenged, she herself no longer having a full time job due to hour cuts, and probably her being the least productive of those with her same job title from what I've seen of her work. Amazing, simply amazing. She just doesn't get it. And I don't think she's fully capable of getting it.

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Kendall Simmons 3 years, 11 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.

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reallyreal 3 years, 11 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!

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think_about_it 3 years, 11 months ago

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

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50YearResident 3 years, 11 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.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Loring is a very humble man. What a great asset for Lawrence.

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spammer89 3 years, 11 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.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt_and_politics/article_63d45f9a-6217-11df-8fcb-001cc4c03286.html

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Clark Coan 3 years, 11 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.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 11 months ago

40 Years Ago. read what the Journal World has written.

Lawrence has no guts anymore to solve problems but to throw good money after bad.

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smitty 3 years, 11 months ago

Agreed, sierraclub.

Our city has the shelter at the top of a list of city features as if it were, indeed a totally funded city project. If you disagree with the way the city is presenting this effort, contact your commissioners.

From the front page of the city site:

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

city commission contact info: http://www.lawrenceks.org/commissioners

Mayor Mike Amyx mikeamyx515@hotmail.com Home (785) 843-3089 Work (785) 842-9425

Vice-Mayor Aron E. Cromwell aroncromwell@gmail.com (785) 749-6020 Commissioner Lance Johnson ljohnson@peridiangroup.com (785) 838-3338

Commissioner Michael Dever mdever@sunflower.com (785) 550-4909 Commissioner Robert Chestnut robchestnut@sunflower.com (785) 764-3220

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geekin_topekan 3 years, 11 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.

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sierraclub 3 years, 11 months ago

There is no problem with a homeless shelter in Lawrence, as long as it paid for by private funds. No government money! No city money! No county money! No federal money! No tax money for a private project should be allowed. If that happens, I would gladly support the shelter and give some money.

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Richard Payton 3 years, 11 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.

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oskiejackie 3 years, 11 months ago

he is a pied piper for homeless bums

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Vinny1 3 years, 11 months ago

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

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ilovelucy 3 years, 11 months ago

Great broadcast Loring! Very well deserved.

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