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Homeless day care center worries area residents

August 6, 2008 · Comment on this

A new program that hopes to help homeless families is creating some nervousness in parts of East Lawrence. The program would give homeless families with children a place to stay during the day, but some residents worry it will also open up their neighborhood to a wide range of homeless activities.

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alm77 5 years, 11 months ago

auntie, I hate to tell you this, but I think in that illustration, we are California....Maybe this program would be better as a full-time shelter with the same regulations and with a short term "lease" so that people would a) have a stable place to live and b) give them a connection to the community.

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senor 5 years, 11 months ago

Great way to keep stereotypes alive Lawrence!!

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malikay 5 years, 11 months ago

OK 1st of all you can do a background check by fingerprinting and sending it off . Secondly , the families they are wanting to help are those that have been stable before and have hit rough times. With this economy, that could very well be you next. Plants are chosing to go over seas, gas prices are going up, which affects prices of food. People that could afford high mortgages in the past can't afford them anymore, they lose their homes and thus end up on the street. That leads to bad credit and alot of rental property requires a credit check these days. Some of these people could have had a life threatening illness in their family which lead to high medical bills even after insurance. Yes, I agree that some people take advantage of free stuff. Or should I say of our tax money. Yet, there are people out there that do not. People that paid their taxes in just like we did and now have problems that we do not even know about to deal with. As for the children that you were talking about that were born to parents who want hand outs..... You ever stop to think that if someone stepped up and showed those children there was a better way to live that they might decide to do better for themselves? Do you think that everyone that is successful was born to parents that are successful? I can tell you they were not. Success does not = money. It = s being able to pay your bills love your family, have compassion for others,forgive and move on. I have seen someone become homeless that owned their own business, this business was very profitable, unfortunately while he was off working the business his wife now ex was busy lying, cheating and stealing. By the time he found out what was going on she had put him in the hole. When he divorced her, she got the house and he got the pile of bills that were left. He found friends to help him out and has since rebuilt his life and his credit, but he couldnt even rent a run down slum at the time because his credit was ruined. Yes he should have been more aware of what his wife was doing . Still the same it happend and all he needed was help to get back on his feet. What exactly are you guys afraid of, you think homeless is catchy?

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monkeyhawk 5 years, 11 months ago

It is time for Lawrence to elevate itself off that "Unfriendliest Cities to Homeless" list. These people need to be integrated into our community and pay taxes. They might ride the bus one day and vote for all the helpers out there.

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Jeremy 5 years, 11 months ago

Residents in the area have enough problems with transients walking from downtown to Dillon's, especially through the alley. Petty theft from yards and vehicles, beer and liquor bottles thrown in yards, and vandalism are daily occurrences. It's a poor idea that will only compound issues already in the area.

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Wendy magillicutty 5 years, 11 months ago

Where would you rather go get help when you needed it? at the current drop in center or this proposed day center? Don't think it could happen to you? Are you sure?

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twaldaisy 5 years, 11 months ago

These are families with CHILDREN!! Not drunken druggies. Plus this program is helping them find ways to get off the streets and work. People complain about the wet shelter being a place for the drunken druggies to do their drinking and drugs. This place does not allow that and SCREENS people. Come on can't have it both ways folks. You want them off the street, yet complain when an excellent program comes along to help the ones that actually will do something to help themselves. And remember every one of us is one paycheck away from homelessness. These people were.

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50YearResident 5 years, 11 months ago

(The day center would be used from about 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It would provide a place for participants to shower, do laundry, and use the Internet for job or housing searches.)Has this project been thought out? (7a.m. to 5 p.m.) What time of the day or night are they going to shower and do laundry? What about transportation to and from work (if they get a job) and transportation to the Churches to sleep and eat? If they get a 4 to midnight job, will service be provided? It looks like a 24 hour operation 7 days a week at the very least. Please don't sugar coat it until after it is approved. Give us the true picture before we vote to approve this.

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malikay 5 years, 11 months ago

These may be issues in this area because of the situation these people are in. As a mom I believe I would do whatever it took to feed my children. No matter what that meant. Also as a mom I would try to learn a skill, in some of these situations it is that there are no jobs available without the skill to do them. Anymore you need a diploma or a Ged to be a cashier at a Convenient store. If they are at this daycare and will be taught a skill or at the very least forced to work for a GED as a condition for staying there, then it might help them get back on their own feet. Not every homeless person steals and not every successful person is honest. As a matter of fact most successful people have stolen something or cheated someone or they wouldnt be successful. In our world today being close minded to people is what keeps poor people poor, middle class- middle class and wealthy- wealthy.

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Yabut 5 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like a great program (and I'd much rather resources go to help struggling families than the drunks/druggies at the other shelters), but can someone please explain why this HAS to be at a home?

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bunnyhoover 5 years, 11 months ago

Family Promise is part of the Interfaith Hospitality Networks - please see their site for more information about what they truly do and how they work and be sure to look at the number of communities this program is succeeding in:http://www.familypromise.org/ihn/ihn.html

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Bob Forer 5 years, 11 months ago

I have always questioned our city's enabling attitude towards the single (read non-familial) homeless of the vagrant and addicted variety. IN this regard, I think the Lawrence programs tend to attract bums from all across the nation, and enables rather than assists. Now, families who are homeless. That is a completely different arena, and the folks behind this particular project should be commended. I am for these types of programs. Homeless families usually are in their predicament because of job loss, illness, etc, and are much more amenable to being helped back on their feet. And since "family" implies children, how can we not help? If anyone is not to blame, surely that would be a child.

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muddfoot55 5 years, 11 months ago

Please take the time to look into Promise Family very carefully. This is a hand up not a hand out program. The applicants are closely screened for criminal background as well as willingness to actively improve their situation. These are families with children trying to recover from unemployment or homelessness. The day center is a place where they will actively be seeking both employment and housing. They will be able to have a contact point for job interviews, an address so they can enroll their children in school. There will be advisors available to assist in budgetting and finacial planning. And the key phrase here is DAY center. These families will not be spending the night there. If many of us really thought about it, how many paychecks are you away from a homeless situation?

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Quigly 5 years, 11 months ago

Homeless? What Homeless? I thought we drove them out of town? this is a good community, we don't stand for rabble

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crazyleaflady 5 years, 11 months ago

This isn't about whether or not homeless people, individually or collectively, are worthy of help. This is about whether a day facility run by one trained person (but only 5 days /week; the center is open 7 ) and a group of well-meaning, minimally trained volunteers should be opened in a residential neighborhood. The program is nice and the folks behind it quite passionate. But they have not thought through the practical issues associated with running such a facility in a residential neighborhood--many of those Family Promise has run are actually located in industrial areas. This would not be a house; it would not be a "home"; it is a regulated day center that closes at 5 (at which point everyone's out and the security system goes on), after which the homeless families are shuttled to churches to sleep on cots. Most families, by their own statistics, find homes in 2 months. So there's nothing about this program that suggests that it is more appropriate for a primarily single-family neighborhood. The program is great and should be located in a mixed-zone area. I am annoyed that the issue was framed as accept this program or you hate / are afraid of homeless people. We were asked at one point ot 'open our hearts.' This is a great house; why not move a homeless family into it permanently or semi-permanently and let them actually be part of a very close-knit, diverse community? Perhaps as they were on the waitlist for permanent residence or for a Habitat house?I might add that no one associated with the program seemed to be taking notes at the meeting. I think they were very naive about what the implications of such a center might be in a residential neighborhood. None of them, of course, actually live in the neighborhood.

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Steve Jacob 5 years, 11 months ago

From what I have seen anyway, homeless people with kids seem to have it more together then people without. Sounds like a good place.

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Boeing 5 years, 11 months ago

I understand their fear. Everyone wants to do good, but also has the NIMBY complex in their mind. "Oh it would be GREAT to help out the homeless..but do it over there, not here". It can be tough, and it can bring in some questionable activity, lower housing prices, etc. Yes, I am heartless. Attack away.

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WWoftheW 5 years, 11 months ago

don't believe the issue is Family Promise. The issue is other non profits having the "by right" to set up a shelter in your neighborhood without ever going through the special use process and advising the city and the neighborhood that they are setting up a 4 family and no more than 15 people living in your neighborhood.The Type A shelter do not have to have a management plan and do not have to do what family promise is doing and that is saying no to drug additiced, abusive and so forth clientale. Family Promise also does back ground checks, but other non-profits would not have to do that.This is the issue that is the heart of the text amendment.

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WWoftheW 5 years, 11 months ago

consumer 1That is a good question. Someone should make sure that is asked. According to the TBA on the city's agendas this is expected to go before the City Commission this coming Tuesday.

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blackhawkx 5 years, 11 months ago

Hasn't the South Park episode last night on Comedy Central taught you ANYTHING?!It's a good idea, don't get me wrong but... it can lead to some unwelcome visitors.

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monkeyspunk 5 years, 11 months ago

Very interesting. How does the Promise Family intend to enforce their rules about who can be there and who can't? Are they going to run off those that are not supposed to be there. Will they allow loitering on the property? Are they prepared for the issues that this will cause?While I think anyone who would allow themselves to become homeless when they have kids is an absolute D-bag, I think that once that happens, the community should step up in some form to take care of the kids. Not necessarily for the sake of those kids who got stuck with idiot, jackass parents, but because these kids will most likely end up as criminals in the future. SRS should visit this facility often.

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Wendy magillicutty 5 years, 11 months ago

My comment was meant to be sarcastic and built upon the "ASSumption" about the atmosphere of the drop-in center. As long as we're arguing how we SHOULD help and how best to do it, we're on the right track. Malikay hit it on the head with the idea that it very well could be YOU next. Big mortgages are the easiest to default on, no one is immune!!!

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