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Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2012

Editorial: Shelter milestone

November 29, 2012

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Sunday marks another milestone – a major one – for the Lawrence Community Shelter as the facility for the area’s homeless nears its opening.

From noon to 4 p.m. it will have an open house for the public. Meanwhile, it will complete its preparations to host its targeted guests in its new location in a renovated former industrial building at 3701 Franklin Park Circle east of the Douglas County Jail; the site is south of 23rd Street on the eastern edge of the city.

The 15,000-square-foot building will provide room for 125 beds (real beds, not mats), with accommodations for families, plus a dining room and office space for agencies that provide a range of services geared to assist those people who have enrolled in the shelter’s formal programming.

When the $3 million shelter opens, possibly by Christmas, it will represent the completion of another lap in a long race for Director Loring Henderson, shelter board Chairman John Tacha and hundreds of other community members, groups, volunteers and donors who have met, debated, worked, struggled, faced disappointment and — finally — after years of effort, found sufficient money, along with enabling policies, supportive government decisions and adequate resources to make the shelter a reality.

Their efforts would not have been successful without action and assistance from Douglas County and the city of Lawrence to secure the location and to provide funding to augment the generous contributions of numerous organizations and individuals who supported the shelter’s capital campaign.

The real test of success will come once the shelter has opened its doors and is able to concentrate its efforts on local homeless clients interested in working with case managers to help with job searches, housing assistance, medical issues, substance abuse and/or mental health treatment, disability benefits and other situations to address the circumstances that led to their homelessness.

The community should do more than wish the Lawrence Community Shelter well. It should show its continued interest and support. Spending a bit of time at the open house would be a good way to start.

Comments

jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

Last week, there was a story of a police officer in New York who bought a homeless man a pair of boots. The story went viral when a passerby caught the act of kindness on her camera. It was truly a touching story. I even saw the 25 year old officer interviewed on CNN.

Today, Yahoo is reporting that the man in once again shoeless. What does this have to do with the shelter? The point is that without the necessary life skills and without the desire to change, this will become nothing more than a revolving door. Changing locations, changing buildings, even changing programs aren't going to do a thing unless there is also a change in attitude of the individual. The homeless will remain homeless until they decide they no longer want to be homeless. It's really is just that simple.

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50YearResident 1 year, 4 months ago

Last paragraph from the artticle: The community should do more than wish the Lawrence Community Shelter well. It should show its continued interest and support. Spending a bit of time at the open house would be a good way to start.

This is a money pit that will divert the charity donations from good projects to providing for outsiders that come here for the "Benefits" intended for local residents. These people are not locals. They travel here from all across the US.

Money donated to start the project is only a drop in the bucket compared to what they will suck from the Lawrence community every year from now to infinity. United Fund will be the first to feel the decline in donations. All this for non-community, out of state, down and out benefactors. If this project is truly worthy, it should be Federally Funded. not local funded.

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sierraclub 1 year, 4 months ago

Build it and they will come. Just wait and see how fast the crime rate goes up!

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 4 months ago

I've read so many posts here that are critical of the LJW and their editorial process as being nothing more than a GOP sounding board or a tool of the Koch bothers. Then I read this and think otherwise. Maybe the LJW is right of center and maybe they agree with the Koch brothers sometimes. But not always.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 4 months ago

Typical J/W continues to support Loring Henderson, serving only himself.

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