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Should the City Commission grant more funding to the Lawrence Open Shelter?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on December 22, 2004

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Photo of Justin Moody

“They should definitely give them additional funding. We can always be doing more to help those in need.”

Photo of Lindsay Holliday

“Yes they should, just because it’s a good cause.”

Photo of Melanie Freeman-Johnson

“Absolutely. I think any assistance provided for those in need is necessary in a moral society.”

Photo of Karl Loveland

“I think they should. Image is sometimes thought more of than compassion.”

Comments

Liberty 9 years, 12 months ago

Only if the Churches are failing, the job of taking care of the poor is really the job of the Churches in Lawrence.

Au_contraire 9 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps on an emergency, one-time basis. Taxpayers should be able to know where this money comes from before anything permanent is put in place.

badger 9 years, 12 months ago

After reading the article, especially the fact that it was granted specifically on the basis that it is integral to ensuring that one of the three homeless agencies in town is open at any given time, I'm more comfortable with it.

The question is misleading. The Commission gave funding to the Drop In center, the Salvation Army, and the Open Shelter, not just to the Open Shelter.

However, if next year's budget goes through without the results from the study and a comprehensive plan, I'll be pretty upset. This funding was granted based on the fact that all three shelters agreed on the need for a 24/7 availability of services and are cooperating with the drive to coordinate services to improve efficiency. I'll need to see that cooperation continue before I'll agree that the funding is effective in coping with the homeless problem.

Anne Bracker 9 years, 12 months ago

The funding (allocated at Tuesday's Commission meeting) from the City for 24/7 shelter services is critical to the collaborative efforts of the homelessness community service providers in Lawrence.

Although the Task Force has not officially presented a report to the commission, preliminary information has been compiled into a draft report. Because members from service providers at the Drop-In Center, Lawrence Open Shelter, the Salvation Army, WTCS, etc. are part of the Task Force, many of these service providers have already begun to work toward implementing several of the preliminary recommendations from the Task Force.

As I understand it, one of the primary goals from the Task Force is to increase collaboration between area service providers. The funding proposal for 24/7 care, presented at Tuesday's meeting, is indicative of that collaboration. Another major indicator of increased collaboration is the planned merger of the Community Drop-In Center and the Lawrence Open Shelter. The merger will help to coordinate a more cohesive and efficient plan of services for people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness in the Lawrence community.

Anne M. Bracker member of the Community Drop-In Center Board of Directors

Punkin 9 years, 12 months ago

What an interesting juxtaposition!

There was headline in the LJworld not too long ago, regarding downtown businesses complaints about homeless people impacting their customer's comfort. That same day, a young transient (read homeless) woman was found DEAD in a park in Lawrence.

What's wrong with this picture?

Our City government spends oodles of money on mobile breathalyzer vans, lawsuits and terrorist training for the police department but not nearly enough on temporary housing for those most in need.

How have we become so jaded? Is this discussion even warranted? Of course we should fund shelter for the homeless!

It is the other myriad stupid expenditures our City government is making that we ought to be arguing about.

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