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Update on Homeless Shelter

From Mary Ann Smith’s office:
Shelter Update and Meeting

As has been reported here before, the 65-bed men’s overnight shelter located at Epworth Church was scheduled to close on November 1 and two other shelters on the north side, with more than 100 beds, closed earlier this year. Although the City is beginning to phase out temporary, stand-alone shelters in favor of more holistic and efficient models, we must deal with the question of where these men will sleep this winter.

Epworth has very graciously agreed to continue hosting the shelter until December 1 to allow the City and the community time to find a new shelter location and work out the details.

Community Issues Pre-conditions

The issue was discussed at the October Zoning & Planning (Z&P) meeting. At that time, the community requested that any new shelter meet certain conditions. They include:
1. The shelter would be located on a commercial street and not in a residential area.
2. The shelter must be temporary. It can open December 1st and must close permanently on May 1, 2009.
3. The shelter must be well-managed.
4. There must be security on-site any time the shelter is open.
5. There are no in/out privileges. Once people are in the shelter they can’t leave until the next morning.
6. There will be no loitering outside and no smoking out front or in the back alley.
7. People must still gather off-site while waiting to be admitted to the shelter to reduce loitering in front of the entrance.
8. Hours must be defined, enforced and respectful of the community. Individuals who break laws or cause a nuisance should be banned from the shelter.
9. Any support for a shelter is contingent on regular sweeps of the parks, alleys and other locations where homeless encampments have been blossoming.
10. Any temporary shelter has to obey the “good camper” rule. They must leave the building in the same or better condition than before the shelter took occupancy.
11. The number of beds should not exceed the 65 that are being lost.

Potential Location Identified
Since Z&P, a potential location that meets the above criteria has been identified. That site is the former Pasteur Restaurant building at 5525 N. Broadway. The owners are willing to lease the building. In addition, because the building is next door to the Aldermanic Service Office, we would know immediately if the conditions are being violated.
Opportunities for Input
To allow for community input on this critical issue, we will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday, November 127:00 p.m St. Ita’s Church – Jubilee Hall 5500 N. Broadway

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