Construction wraps up at Pallet shelter village; city expects to finalize proposal for budget and operations with Lawrence Community Shelter next week
photo by: Shawn Valverde
Construction at the City of Lawrence’s Pallet shelter village for people experiencing homelessness wrapped up Friday, a city spokesperson confirmed.
Four days after construction on The Village at 256 N. Michigan St. began, there are now 50 cabins, each 64 square feet, and several other, slightly larger structures erected on the site. As the Journal-World has reported, the city plans for The Village to prioritize vulnerable groups including veterans, the elderly, women without children emerging from domestic violence situations and individuals with disabilities who require specialized support and care.
photo by: Shawn Valverde
On Thursday, the Lawrence Community Shelter Board of Directors confirmed that it intends to take action soon to move forward with LCS serving as operator at The Village. City spokesperson Maureen Brady told the Journal-World Friday that the city expects to finalize a proposal for budget and operations at The Village with the shelter in the next week.
Misty Bosch-Hastings, the city’s homeless programs coordinator, told the Journal-World late Friday afternoon that the next steps at the site will largely be preparation for residents to move in. That’ll include stocking each cabin with the items it needs to be move-in ready, such as mattresses and bedding, and setting up office spaces for the monitors, service providers and case managers who will be working on site. Cameras will also be installed on site, but Bosch-Hastings said there will be a city staff member stationed on site 24/7 until that happens.
photo by: Taylor Mah/City of Lawrence
As for Camp New Beginnings, the city-supported camp for people experiencing homelessness in North Lawrence, Bosch-Hastings said the plan is to begin phasing out the camp as soon as The Village is operational.
“There’s just going to be some overlap,” Bosch-Hastings said. “Because we have to put up the 45 Pallet (cabins) behind LCS as well, and we identified those are probably going to be for individuals who need the low-barrier option. Those units will be staffed separately as well, with monitors and security and things like that, for those folks behind LCS. It’s probably going to be a process. I imagine once this is operational, we’ll get folks moving on.”
The additional 45 Pallet cabins Bosch-Hastings referred to are, in part, the remaining portion of the 75 cabins the city purchased earlier this year. The other 20, she said, are a donation from Merging KC, a Kansas City nonprofit which wanted to start a Pallet Shelter Village of its own but ultimately didn’t receive approval. The Journal-World has previously reported that city staff has floated the idea of implementing additional shelter options through the use of those additional Pallet shelters in a parking lot adjacent to the Lawrence Community Shelter.