Archive for Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Homeless shelter marks beginning of new home

August 14, 2012


A bed instead of a thin mat to sleep on.

That’ll be one of the more significant differences for shelter residents when the Lawrence Community Shelter relocates to a warehouse near Douglas County Jail, shelter director Loring Henderson said at Tuesday’s groundbreaking for construction at the new site.

“This is going to be a wonderful space for bringing more humane treatment,” Henderson told dozens of community members gathered at the new site at 3701 Franklin Park Circle.

Board members took part in a ceremonial first shoveling of dirt in the middle of the 25,000-square-foot facility, which will be divided into a 15,000-square-foot shelter area, complete with caseworker rooms, medical clinic and family rooms. The other 10,000 square feet will house the shelter’s jobs program.

Board members raised nearly $3 million for the new facility and worked in conjunction with county and city leaders. Shelter board chairman John Tacha thanked the community and nearly 800 donors who made the new facility possible.

“For Lawrence to say we care about the least of us is a big statement,” Tacha said. “The people stepped up.”

Sabatini Architects, Inc., of Lawrence designed the new facility, and B.A. Construction will handle the renovations, which are scheduled for completion in late December. Henderson said they haven’t yet determined a move-in date.

The new facility will have a 125-bed capacity, compared to 75 beds at the current shelter at 214 W. 10th St. For the past year, the shelter has utilized additional overflow housing at area churches because of overcrowding.


jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Let's face it, there are homeless that want to change and homeless that don't. And for every dollar spent on someone who does not want to change, that's one less dollar available for the person who does. And because this particular shelter chooses to avoid making that distinction, they are basically allowing one group to steal from the other. By choosing to serve everyone, they've chosen to serve no one well. It's not a model I would choose, if I were making decisions around there. Therefore, I choose no to support this shelter.


oldbaldguy 1 year, 8 months ago

I hope this works. Still going to have panhandlers downtown because that is what they do.


Stacy Napier 1 year, 8 months ago

Hard to get a job when you don't shower, are hung over, and have a criminal record becuase you broke the law for a good part of your life.


senegal66025 1 year, 8 months ago

Dont be to cocky. Some of you are three pay checks away from living out there and are too dumb to know it.


blindrabbit 1 year, 8 months ago

geekin_topekan: Please give us an update on how the Topeka Homeless Shelter is doing! Lawrence has had the opprotunity to create a productive environment, but has apparently rejected the concept in favor of warehousing it's clients. Too many "do gooding" types here in Lawrence contributing to the lack of real progress.


geekin_topekan 1 year, 8 months ago

For all of you who say they are a drain--I believe that you are describing KU students. If you are using public services like police and jail, fire dept. outside the bars or on the sidewalk as your guide, KU is by far the greater drain on community resources than the homeless. read those same reports.


fudgystuff 1 year, 8 months ago

Some of these homeless would not be homeless if they would get some type of JOB. I realize they need a hot meal and cots but what do they do all day long?? Is anyone working with them to fill out job apps? What about some clean clothes and a shower before applying for jobs. I think some of them like to be jobless and homeless and we need to put a time limit on how long these services are available to each person. Limit the number of days they can come and force them to get back into society. These people aren't homeless they're JOBLESS...........What about AA classes-require them to attend before they can check into the shelter..Lots of things need to happen and until these requirements are meet the homeless will continue to come and stay and will continue to be homeless and jobless.


50YearResident 1 year, 8 months ago

Why would any of these people want to get a job when they have "3 hots and a cot" now with 5 star accommodations?


thatsmerenfro 1 year, 8 months ago

I thank all the staff at the shelter for what they do. they help people all the time and people want disrespect them all the time and it makes the homeless shelter look bad. I was homeless my self and if it was not for the shelter i would still be homeless and on drugs and a drunk so i asked for help and they gave it to me. I have been clean and sobor for 3 years thanks to all the staff

                               GOD BLESS THE LAWRENCE COMMUNITY SHELTER

                                                                                                          william renfro 

blondejuan 1 year, 8 months ago

Someone let me know how the homeless families/ kids are going to get anywhere? Doctors, school, etc. With no sidewalks they are going to walk their families down the highway, around the 65 mile an hour cars, the construction trucks and the drivers texting. Brilliant!!!


blue73harley 1 year, 8 months ago

At least locating it close to the jail is a good idea.


blindrabbit 1 year, 8 months ago

The main problem with The Lawrence Homeless program is that it does minimal effort in moving the homeless into a productive situation. Granted there a some individuals in the system that may have health limitations that prevent some of what I call "productive", however, Lawrence has not made progress like many other cities throughout the US when it comes to these programs. A good, close example, is Topeka, which utilizes a pro-active program where clients are directed to a productive outcome. About 8 years ago Lawrence City Commissioners made a visit to the Topeka facility to investigate their program; as far is I can tell little or no of their progressive concepts were adopted here. So Lawrence is stuck with a warehousing program with little incentive for the clients to move on and little incentive for the management to get modern and solve problems.


Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't believe for one moment that the new shelter is going to attract homeless from other states. Living in a clean, decent place, being treated with dignity and respect can motivate the homeless to change and to work for that change. People do need a support system and knowing there are those who care what happens to you can energize you and renew you. A big shout out to Loring Henderson and those working at and for the shelter.


Clark Coan 1 year, 8 months ago

They will all be in one room snoring and farting all night long. No privacy. The key is transitioning them to affordable permanent housing. This is being done in many cities such as Wichita where the long-term homeless population has really dropped.


kufan1146 1 year, 8 months ago

I can't quite decide how I feel about this. On one hand, I recognize that everyone is a person and deserves basic human rights. No matter how you ended up homeless, you don't deserve to sleep outside during a snowstorm.

But on the other hand, it strikes me that opening an expanded homeless shelter will do nothing but attract more homeless people to Lawrence. Does the shelter at least try to rehabilitate and teach new skills to homeless people? Or does it just provide a warm bed once 8 o'clock rolls around and maintains the status quo every day?

Perhaps someone with better knowledge of the situation can inform me.


sierraclub 1 year, 8 months ago

Build it and they will come!!


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