Archive for Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Homeless shelter pays off $225,000 loan to city early

February 25, 2014


Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter presented a $225,000 check to the Lawrence City Commission on Tuesday to pay off a short-term loan the city gave the homeless shelter last year.

The check is just one sign that the shelter has found a firm foundation at its new home in eastern Lawrence.

"It is really terrific," Loring Henderson, director of the shelter, said of the converted warehouse building at 3655 E. 25th Street. "It is humane, it is decent, it is clean."

The shelter moved out of crammed quarters downtown and into the 125-bed shelter in late December 2012. In the fall of 2013, shelter leaders approached the city about getting $225,000 short-term loan to help repair the building's roof. The loan was scheduled to be repaid in November 2014, but shelter leaders said donations from the community came in strong at the beginning of the year, so shelter leaders decided to repay the loan early.

"This is really tremendous," Mayor Mike Dever said of the early payment. "It proves our trust and faith in your organization and leaders.

The shelter still has a $500,000 loan outstanding with the city, but that loan isn't scheduled to be paid off for 15 years. Joe Baker, the treasurer for the shelter's board, said the monthly loan payments, however, are less than what they were paying for the smaller rented space the shelter had downtown.

The shelter through loans, grants and donations raised about $2.75 million to purchase and remodel the new shelter space. Henderson, who recently announced he will retire from his director's position, said the shelter still has significant fundraising for annual operational expenses.

"The shelter is a charity that always will have to be vigilant about its fundraising," Henderson said.

In other news, commissioners:

• Approved an event permit for the Hot Rod Hullaballoo car show on Aug. 23 in downtown Lawrence. The event will close the portion of Massachusetts Street from 11th to 13th Street from about 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Approved the following historic preservation grant funding: $31,030 for window repair at Watkins Museum; $2,970 for window and porch repair at the Castle Tea Room; and $16,000 to the city of Lawrence for Breezedale neighborhood monument restoration.


Seth Peterson 4 years, 3 months ago

Well it's a good start, and a vote of confidence on the shelter.

I wonder how many people who claimed this would never happen will post good comments here, considering they believed this would never happen and will own up to admitting they may have been wrong, versus how many will double-down on their negativity?

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

I am proud to say that I was all over this like wet on water from the first. I am proud that Lawrence has this shelter and that people are not just given a roof over their head and food, which some seem to take as their given right, but are ready to deny it to others, but also practical help in moving forward.

You just gotta have faith.

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