Archive for Friday, September 3, 2010

Homeless shelter about halfway to $3 million fundraising goal

September 3, 2010


An effort to raise $3 million to move the Lawrence Community Shelter to a site in eastern Lawrence has reached the halfway point, shelter leaders announced Friday morning.

Community shelter raising funds for move

The Lawrence Community Shelter has raised about $1.5M toward a move out of downtown Lawrence. Three million is needed to complete the transition, which could take place by sometime next year. Enlarge video

But less progress has been made in resolving concerns from adjacent landowners that a homeless shelter would violate long-standing covenants placed on the property.

At an event honoring U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., for his support of the project, shelter leaders announced they have received $1.5 million in pledges for the new shelter.

“The community is really coming forth and helping us,” said Loring Henderson, executive director of the shelter. “And there will be a lot of additional opportunities for the public to get involved.”

Shelter leaders have not kicked off the public portion of the campaign. Instead, they’ve been raising money through grants, foundations and other large donors. The group is awaiting word from the Tulsa-based Mabee Foundation on a grant that could add several hundred thousand dollars to the effort. A more local fundraising campaign is expected to begin in October.

A cloud of uncertainty, though, likely will remain over the proposed site, which is just east of the Douglas County Jail. Trustees for the business park in which the site is located recently ruled a homeless shelter would violate existing covenants.

“Landowners in the park have informed the trustees that they do not consider the proposed use to be consistent with the ‘business, industrial and governmental uses’ to which the park is (and has always been) dedicated,” the three trustees — Steve Glass, Laura Glass and Howard Hasler — wrote in a letter to shelter leaders.

But Henderson said the rejection has not given him pause. He said he remains confident the shelter will be in a position to begin renovating the former warehouse building once fundraising is completed.

“We still see all of this as part of negotiations, and we have hopes of working things out with them,” Henderson said.

Shelter leaders previously have said they do not believe the covenants control the type of uses that can be located on the property. Instead, they believe the covenants control more general issues related to the appearance of the property.

Todd Thompson, an attorney for the park’s trustees said he’s told shelter leaders the issue could hamper the project. But Thompson said the trustees have no plans to take any immediate action against the project. That’s because the property has not yet been sold to the shelter. Thompson said if the shelter does finalize a purchase for the property and tries to renovate the building in violation of the covenants, legal action could be taken.

“The trustees certainly have cautioned the shelter about the uncertainty of purchasing the building without having this covenant issue resolved,” Thompson said.

Henderson said he still hopes to be moving into the site — which has won the necessary land use approvals from City Hall — in about 12 months.

“It is going to give us so much more space to do more than we’ve ever been able to do downtown,” Henderson said.

The new shelter will have about 15,000 square feet of shelter, dining, classroom and office space. The current shelter at 10th and Kentucky streets has about 7,700 square feet. The new site also has 10,000 square feet of space that the shelter plans to use for a workforce training program.


Jock Navels 3 years, 7 months ago

you know, maybe one of these homeless guys, maybe two, are veterans of war, and so they suffer the consequences of their service, and this is how you all feel about it...where is your sense of compassion for those who sacrificed for you?


tomcats 3 years, 7 months ago

Have you ever heard of "Build it and they will come" This is why we have so many transients and homeless people because we build places for them to live!! Make it so easy for them to stay. 3/4 of these transients and homeless people in our city choose to live like this. They just want hand outs not a hand up. This will bring in much more crime to our city. If this get built the 3 million will be just a drop in the bucket. We will be paying for this for years to come. In all different ways. I'm all for helping a family that has lost thier job and everything else to get back on thier feet. But not ones that don't want to help themselves.


Practicality 3 years, 7 months ago

Decisions in Lawrence, Kansas

Creation of Jobs and a boost to the tax rolls by allowing Lowes to build a store here?


3 million dollar start up fee for a homeless shelter not to mention the yearly costs associated with the shelter that generate no jobs and no tax increase for the city?


Does that about sum it up?

Lawrence should start advertising their fictious money trees nationwide because I believe other citiy leaders are going to come and see if we have any planted around town. Boy, will they be surprised!


kernal 3 years, 7 months ago

I love it when the LJW posts pictures of homeless families from other counties, or states, when one of the parents has a record of violence and is a convicted criminal. Not that I'm saying either of the parents in this photo fits that profile.

Adagio asks if the city is going to expand the bus route to include the Douglas County Jail and the proposed new homeless shelter. That would likely mean free bus passes. Anyone remember how well that worked when the Salvation Army gave out free bus passes to homeless transients to "look for work". Right.


shorttrees 3 years, 7 months ago

The money isn't all there to do this yet, since much of it is still in "promised" pledge form, but it is still full speed ahead on the plans for a facility that much of the town, the neighborhood and owners of the proposed site are not supporting?

How can the city give land use approvals for a plan on a property still owned by someone else?

And the covenants on the property deny the use the "would-be buyer" plans, but since he wants that property things will of course change (through negotiations?) to suit the above mentioned "buyer"? Really?

Something about this whole project smells, and it has nothing to do with hygiene.

C'mon LJW, how about some investigative reporting here? Maybe some stats that will give a true picture of the shelter like--How many of the shelter users have a Douglas County connection? How many are families? How and why did the person(s) end up using the Shelter? Who is REALLY behind this whole thing?


Kelly Johnson 3 years, 7 months ago

So, in other words, "We have promises for half the money we need to purchase land we probably can't put a shelter on." What??


Jimo 3 years, 7 months ago

"How are they going to get there"

I believe this is less an important question than: once there, how will they leave again?


keepingfingerscrossed 3 years, 7 months ago

The homeless will not stay at the place you want them to. So then what will you do with the place. How are they going to get there, are you going to take them. It is to far for them. Well there goes that money down the drain.


Iwanttosaythis 3 years, 7 months ago

everyone is talking money. i work at night on my way to work i see ladies, men and teens jogging or walking down O connell road and we all know that there are all kinds of life that are homeless the good and the VERY BAD. hmmmmmmmmmmmm anyone see where this is going!! HELLO OPEN YOUR EYES AND SMELL THE ODER.


1029 3 years, 7 months ago

Game day in a few hours. Those cans could even pay for an olympic size swimming pool at the homeless shelter. Our homeless will be the best in the country... even if they don't get to live at a steakhouse.


hunziker1 3 years, 7 months ago

they will no longer let the salvation army give out food to the homeless neer the the drope in center and if they go down the street and get food from them they are band from there. this is a henderson thing and he says hes for helping the homeless. i no so many people that have been kicked out of the shelter for no reason and they are not aloud to bring there dispute to anyone what ever henderson says go"s also a jurnelist from this paper did a story a while back and consernes about the drop in where brought up and he said that the paper would not print anything negitive about the drop in center even though he wanted to come on lawrence journal world wake up and get your noes out of hendersons butt


sandrat83 3 years, 7 months ago

Yeah were is mr big shot doug compton He says he cares about lawrence and I bet it would Help out all the buildings he owns on mass if the homeless Were else were. Hell doug burn another building and use the Insurance money to help build this. I just hate people who Say they will help the town when all they do is make our taxes go Up and people like doug with all his money can't pay a damn bill. He Beats everyone who works for him out of money. Oh and one more thing Mike caron at the jail needs to be fired he is helping on this shelter and he is Paid by this county and he is sueing us. We pay him With our tax money and the man files suit. What a messed up town


Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 7 months ago

Where in the authorization or justification in writing for a homeless shelter. Is this just someones pet project at the expense of the taxpayers?

Do we have by laws or anything that requires that Lawrence provide this service? How and where do our elected leaders get written backing for this folly?

I would think that if it concerns tax dollars in any way, we should be able to vote on it, not just have it shoved down our throats.

So they get the 3 million they say it will take to build it. Now they come to the city demanding additional funding we have zero say in, while all the time the bus heading south from Lansing makes our town the first stop.

This does not pass the smell test.

What is it going to take, one of the vagrents to rape a commissioners daughter for them to get the idea... Lord help us.


adagio 3 years, 7 months ago

Congrats to the Shelter on reaching the halfway mark of their fundraising! This is great news!


Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

Wilber is right on regarding the residents. Most of the people there are transients from other palces and are not from Douglas County at all. Very few of them have roots here, if they did they would have families to help them. Which comes to the real point of the Drop in. It is a flop house for criminal's passing thru the county.

I can tell you listing to the scanner there have been at least two people who have warrants from other far reaching states, but they are so far that that state does not want to come and get the offender. That is the kind of thing these places attract.


50YearResident 3 years, 7 months ago

“The community is really coming forth and helping us,” said Loring Henderson, executive director of the shelter. “And there will be a lot of additional opportunities for the public to get involved.”

The additional opportunities will be to pony up $1 to $2 Million dollars every year into eternity for opperation expenses to attract even more homeless panhandlers. There is no end to this project once it gets started and it will bring criminals and drug users for our Law enforcement officals to content with. The entire project needs to be nipped in the bud.


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 7 months ago

What's disappointing about this is that 3 million can be raised for a shelter to be operated by a private citizen but yet that person wants the city to chip in as well.

Likewise, it is even sadder that the Public Library Board and the City Commission don't start a fund raising drive for a branch library as libraries should serve every part of a community and go into the community instead of this ongoing "save downtown".

What would Lawrence have for a library if Andrew Carnegie never foot the bill to begin with.

It sure wasn't the City.

Many of the Carnegie buildings were built for $15,000. To my surprise John G Haskell designed the Carnegie building in Trinidad Colorado.

The Journal World has done a miserable job reporting about the Drop In Center and documenting the number of times and putting it in the paper about the police calls there and what and how some clients happened to come to Lawrence.

This isn't about helping people,but there is something going on that Wilbur is about to figure out with Henderson's operation.

Henderson claims that he serves the residents of Douglas county but apparently that means if you drive from Ottawa and stay overnight you are a resident.

If you come to KU from Oklahoma you are not a resident even if you stay overnight or for a year.

What is Loring Henderson's real gig? I'm sure that when Simon gets out of jail, he won't go to the Henderson Workshop and take up a training class.

The Journal World has never followed the success of somone that happened upon the shelter three years ago to tell the public what is going on with that person now. The Journal World has never interviewed the drunks in the alley east of the shelter to ask how their training is coming along.

But the bigger issue is that Henderson gets money for what is really a private operation but yet wants the city to back it. If it's that good, why go to the city?


not_holroyd 3 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if oneeyed-Wilbur ponied up? He's always suggesting someone else donate money for things.


Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

Sounds like everyone is counting their chickens before they hatch. Pledges are just that. It is not cash in hand. Remember the KU athletics pledges they didn't collect on.

And you haven't even bought the property yet, but you think the covent issue will be resolved. We will see how much of your 3 mil. get spent on legal fees. Especially when 2/3 of the trustees have the name Glass.

If this Tulsa based company is giving money why not build it in Tulsa, I am sure Lawrence would provide free transportation for all the clients.


jehovah_bob 3 years, 7 months ago

I bet if they spent some time panhandling on Mass St., they'd have that other half in no time.


To Sides 3 years, 7 months ago

I wonder who contributed more- the Downtown Lawrence Assoc or the Chamber of Commerce ?


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