Jenn Wolsey, who holds key position in Lawrence’s new Housing Initiatives Division, announces plans to resign
photo by: City of Lawrence
City of Lawrence Homeless Programs Coordinator Jenn Wolsey has announced that she plans to step down from her role with the city.
Amid a controversial administrative decision in mid-December to close the city-run campsite in North Lawrence for people experiencing homelessness, which was reversed a couple of days later, questions arose regarding whether Wolsey planned to continue in her role, as the Journal-World reported at the time. Wolsey later told the Journal-World on Dec. 15 that no decision had been finalized regarding her position, but that the situation had been a difficult one for all involved, especially unsheltered residents who were already living in a world of inconsistency and trying to survive. She said she never wanted to be a part of a system that intentionally or unintentionally adds to that chaos.
In a public Facebook post on Tuesday, Wolsey announced that her last day in her position would be Jan. 13. In the post, Wolsey said in part that “unfortunately not much has changed in reference to support from City Leadership,” and she had decided, for her “own care and value system,” to step away from the role.
Wolsey’s position, as well as the entirety of the city’s new Housing Initiatives Division, was initially proposed in July 2021 as part of the 2022 budget process. The division, which the City Commission ultimately approved, incorporated the city’s existing housing and neighborhood programs and dedicated new resources toward addressing homelessness specifically. Two vacant police positions were reallocated to support the new division, creating Wolsey’s position and two homeless project specialists.