Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Planning commissioners recommend giving homeless shelter another year at site

February 24, 2011


On the street

Do you think the local homeless shelter should be relocated?

I don’t see a reason why it should.

More responses

Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter cleared one hurdle Wednesday night to allow the homeless shelter to remain downtown — and expand the numbers it can serve — while it searches for a new location.

Lawrence-Douglas County planning commissioners recommended approval of a one-year extension of the shelter’s permit that allows it to operate at 10th and Kentucky streets after a Douglas County District Court ruling has all but killed plans for the shelter to move to a site near the county jail. It also approved a request to increase the maximum occupancy of the building to 82 people. Currently the building can serve 82 during cold winter months but has been limited to 57 people from April through September.

“It seems like this provides a humane service but also some protection to the community that people will be taken care of in a warm bed instead of wandering around the community,” said Planning Commissioner Bruce Liese.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation now will be forwarded to the Lawrence City Commission, which will make the final decision on the permit extension.

Planning commissioners recommended approval on a 6-1 vote, after hearing from several supporters of the shelter who urged approval of the permit and one longtime neighbor who said the shelter had been allowed to operate too long in the neighborhood.

“We have to do something to motivate them to move into a larger location,” said Planning Commissioner Charlie Dominguez, who voted against the request. “We can’t just keep coddling them every time they come here for an extension.”

Shelter director Loring Henderson told commissioners that the shelter still plans to move from the site and has made it a goal to identify a new location this year.

After the meeting, Henderson confirmed that the shelter has begun looking for new sites and that it is not considering an appeal of the court’s recent ruling.

“An appeal takes years, and we don’t have that kind of time,” Henderson said.


somebodynew 7 years, 4 months ago

Who owns that property they wanted to move into??? The judge just ruled that the Shelter did not have standing to bring the lawsuit because they are not the owners of the property. Why can't the current owners bring the suit claiming they are being huyt ($3 mill worth) by not being able to seel their property to the Shelter ??? That would not take years to figure out.

And I totally agree with Comm. Dominguez. We just can't keep coddlijg them year to year. No matter what property Henderson picks there are going to be problems. NIMBY will always be around. So iether make the current site permanet (bad idea) or FORCE them to do something and do it quickly as opposed to - we hope to have another site identified in a year.

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

You must be a live in, how long have you been at the shelter and where did you live before?

Jeteras 7 years, 4 months ago

here is a novel idea.. require them to actively pursue getting a JOB to live there!! I am sure if it was played off as a "handup" instead of a "handout" you could probably name your spot.. Just the fact that noone wants it in their neighborhood proves this place is a handout and majority of them just want to hang around and be freddy freeloaders..

llhld 7 years, 4 months ago

Here is a NOVEL thought, in case you havent been in there shoes of being homeless and jobless!!! Have you? Then you should think before you speak! In case you havent noticed, alot of people are unemployed. And where are the jobs for these people? And who would hire them? Also, not everyone there is waiting for a handout!! Nor freeloaders, it makes me sick that rich or stuck up people like you have to put that label on people who maybe really down on their luck and is thankful that LAWRENCE has a place to somewhat help them out. Why dont you go there and find out what it's all about before judgeing the so called freeloaders!! boo to you!

Anne Bracker 7 years, 4 months ago

In case you haven't visited the Lawrence Community Shelter lately, you can read about how LCS staff is actively working to provide employment training and opportunities, addiction counseling, mental health support, and so much more.

1029 7 years, 4 months ago

They should move the shelter out to West Lawrence (aka Lil' JoCo). They could buy some big house on a cul-d-sac somewhere and fill it up with as many homeless people as possible.

blindrabbit 7 years, 4 months ago

Would solve much of the problem by not being a "wet" shelter

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