Lawrence Community Shelter board set for extra meetings in June and July, including one on Monday

photo by: Shawn Valverde

The Lawrence Community Shelter, 3655 E. 25th St., is pictured on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023.

The Lawrence Community Shelter Board of Directors is slated to take part in additional special meetings in June and July, and board members will be asked to approve agreements related to installing Pallet cabins outside of the existing shelter building and requesting more funding from the City of Lawrence.

Melanie Valdez, the shelter’s director of human resources and payroll, on Friday afternoon emailed notice of the first of those special meetings, which is slated to take place from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Monday via Zoom only.

The special meeting for July, meanwhile, is scheduled for the same two-hour length as the group’s usual monthly meetings and is scheduled for Thursday, July 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The meeting’s location is to be determined.

Shortly after receiving notice of Monday’s special meeting, the Journal-World reached out to LCS Board President Charlie Bryan for an explanation of why the special meetings were called. Bryan told the Journal-World that the Monday meeting is dedicated to seeking board authorization on two actions, one of which is an agreement with an engineering firm for work related to “Pallet 32” — a village of 64-square-foot Pallet cabins slated to be located directly south of the existing LCS building — and the expansion of storage space and installation of additional restrooms and showers in the shelter building.

Second, Bryan said the board will be asked at Monday’s meeting to authorize an addendum to the shelter’s funding agreement with the city, which would encompass those improvements and include budget adjustments for staffing and other expenses.

“These efforts are part of our ongoing initiative to enhance the shelter’s capacity and improve living conditions for our guests,” Bryan told the Journal-World. “… The collaboration with the City of Lawrence is crucial in ensuring that we have the necessary resources to support our expansion and better serve the community.”

Bryan said the timing of the Monday meeting is intended to facilitate the City of Lawrence’s process for preparing items for upcoming Lawrence City Commission meetings; the city apparently had requested that the board take action before its next scheduled meeting on June 27.

The special meeting scheduled for July, meanwhile, will be used to review progress on the board’s priorities over the first part of 2024 and discuss priorities for the next six to 12 months. Bryan said that will allow the board to assess its achievements and strategically plan for the future to continue improving services and facilities for shelter guests.

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