IFC Community House meets the neighbors

The IFC held the first of three scheduled community discussions tonight. These discussions are designed to facilitate better communications with the community. The meeting began with three short presentations to update everyone on the current status of the planning process and to provide a brief synopsis of the expectations IFC has for the new facility. 

The new facility is being designed to serve 52 men on a full-time basis with room for 17 emergency cots on white-flag nights. As Chris Moran said, the Community House will serve as transitional housing for homeless men. Emergency housing will need to be provided through the efforts of the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness group. 

The facility is laid out with the first floor devoted to counseling, health and dental services, and other resources to help the residents transition out of homelessness. The second floor provides sleeping/living rooms. The men will start off living in a dormitory-type room with around 10 occupants per room. There are two of the large dorm rooms. As the men progress toward their goals they will step down to a 4-occupant room and finally to a 2-occupant room.

The Community Kitchen currently located at the Rosemary St facility will not be moved to the new Community House. The IFC is working on a CUP to move the kitchen to their property on Main St in Carrboro.

Following this brief informational portion of the meeting, the (hired) facilitators broke us up into small groups and asked that we address the following questions:

1. How can IFC and Community House be good neighbors?

--What expectations or concerns do you have about Community House as a neighbor?

--How can IFC help address these expectations and concerns?

2. How should IFC keep neighbors informed about Community House?

--What questions do you have and what additional information would you like to know about Community House?

--How would you like to receive this information?

After 30 minutes, representatives from each of the 10 groups summarized their group discussion. Not surprisingly, the primary concern expressed by most groups involved safety. There were also questions about the demographics of expected residents. For example, will residents come from the local community, will local residents be given any priority status, etc., will sex offenders be admitted, etc. There was also interest expressed in knowing what criteria were used to select the MLK Bldv site, why the University is being so generous, and why there is so much desire to cluster social services into one area of town. Several groups recommended that to be a good neighbor, the Community House should be located at a different site. (Residents from the immediately surrounding neighborhoods came to the meeting wearing red shirts. They did that at the last town meeting too. What's the significance of the red shirts?)

No answers were provided to the questions, but promises were made to address these concerns on the IFC website and to send out emails to those who signed up.

Two more meetings are scheduled and Chris Moran vowed to hold as many as the community desires. The next meeting is April 5 at the Southern Human Services Center.

The IFC website is: http://www.ifcweb.org/

There's also an I Support Chapel Hill's New Community House page on Facebook.



Regarding the proposed site for the IFC Community House, there are two ways neighbors can approach the issue.  We can oppose it until someone proves that the worst fears will not be realized, or we can support it until someone proves that the worst fears will be a reality.  Given the town's need for the facility and the advantages the site would offer, I'm choosing the latter approach.  It seems unlikely to me that the extreme negative consequences expressed by some about the new Community House will become reality.I attended last night's community discussion.  The meeting, led by impartial moderators, was an excellent forum for getting information and sharing/hearing diverse views and concerns.  I encourage anyone interested in this issue to attend one of the upcoming sessions (April 5 and April 13, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Southern Human Services Center on Homestead Road).Disclosure:  I am a Parkside neighborhood resident and IFC volunteer.

The wait & see approach it ignoring the facts. When a terrible incident does happen who will take responsibility? Mr Moren? I doubt it he has alreayd stated he it i snot his responsibility. It like saying, well we know that intesection is poor design, dangerous, high risk, but we won't make changes until there is/are many fatal accidents then we'll take action to change it.So I ask again WHO will take responsibilty for the actions that occur. Nobody at the IFC or Town has stepped up to that. Who will face that parent of a child molested & tell them well its just statistics, it could happen anywhere even thouhg we contributed to the likelihood it would happen. The wait and see approach, playing with peoples lives as though it was a game is simply horrible especially when it deals with defenseless children. You all should be ashamed of yourseleves in placing innocent children at such risk.

Thanks so much for this report, Terri.  I've promoted this to the front page and added the remaining two meetings to the OP calendar at http://www.orangepolitics.org/eventsI thought ths was kind of funny: "Several groups recommended that to be a good neighbor, the Community House should be located at a different site."  Isn't that like saying 'you could be a good neighbor to me by not being my neighbor?'

It's no less logical than saying, as Rebecca McCullough of the IFC did, "This is not an emergency shelter.  Now let's talk about the emergency part of the shelter."  The point is that MANY are not willing to accept the shelter as a potential neighbor.  And if it is not a done deal, as Chris Moran says it is not, we will not entertain it as one.   

What I said is that it is not PRIMARILY an emergency shelter!  There are 17 emergency cots and 52 transitional bed.  I outlined the differences between an emergency shelter and a transitional shelter -- 

This is the Kurt Vonnegut/Dilbert part that makes me crazy!  I am not saying it is not also a transitional shelter.  But that means the IFC has to admit that it is also an emergency shelter, which no one who is for it seems to say out loud.  Instead we keep hearing that the "primary focus" is not emergency.  But see, that means that the secondary focus IS emergency.Partly I just want to hear someone from the IFC say, "yes, there is an emergency component to the shelter too."   I'm getting a lot of flack (in my opinion unjustly) about being unreasonable and not worth talking to in my red shirt (very far from the truth), but how can I be expected to give a high level of trust when the group I am being asked to trust won't even admit what we all know--that yes, there is an emergency component to this shelter.  How we all feel about this emergency portion is debatable, but let's acknowledge  at least that there IS an emergency component to it, be the focus on it primary or secondary.

I was in Terri's small discussion group. We had 2 Parkside residents (a youth and her grandfather who did not speak English) in the group and the rest were people who worked with IFC or the homeless or both. Other groups had mostly red-shirted people, so we were a bit suspicious of whether the counting-off was followed.I felt that, for the most part, the discussion was very civil. Although, you are right Ruby, several of the groups talked about having a lot of compassion for the issue as long as the Community  House was sited elsewhere. Also, there seemed to be less worry about what happened inside the walls of the facility as compared to what may happen outside them. Several of the groups cited the statistic that there were 206 White Flag days this past year - I thought that number seemed high.Chris Moran said the IFC would submit their Use Permit on June 8th. 

Thanks, Molly.  The counting off was followed.  I counted 50 people (a few more straggled in), 30 of whom I personally recognized as opposing the site.  There were others I did not recognize in opposition.  With at least 60% of the room in opposition, it makes sense that every random group had at least 60% of the people opposed.  We hope the IFC heard that MANY MANY MANY peopel are opposed to the location.  Did Chris ever you answer you about your question to him on the 206 white flag nights?  I saw that post  the other day.  I wish he'd tell us how many there were in 2009. 

For several years, the 10-Year-Plan to End Homelessness was regularly featured in the local news. But it has not been in the spotlight for the past year or more. So it was a disconcerting to me to hear Chris Moran say that the emergency housing needs of the community would need to be served by the 10-year plan group. Does anyone know where the plan stands today? Do they have funding? Are they looking for a facility to fill in the gap when Community House opens? What will happen to those men who don't want to participate or are not accepted into the transitional housing plan when the Rosemary St facility closes?

Terri - I have been wondering that myself -  is the plan written down anywhere? I've, perhaps erroneously, assumed that on nights of severe weather, the churches will open up with emergency bedding.  That was what they did a few centuries ago when I was a child. If that is not the plan, what is???  Anyone know?  Thanks for bringing this up. We do need a plan.

I got to the meeting late tonight. The group was in the middle of a tense discussion about whether or not there would be any questions answered. The facilitator was standing up for the current process of small group discussions with report outs while a couple of audience members were objecting to not having a question-and-answer session. The facilitator prevailed, and once again attendees were asked to count off to create 10 small groups. Each group was asked to address the same questions as the groups last week were given.During the report out sessions, I heard these themes:1. Why would the community build a facility smaller than the current facility?2. Continuing concerns regarding sex offenders, including questions about where those men would go if they couldn't be served by the IFC facility.3. Continuing concerns regarding the 17 emergency beds, including the expectation that the number would grow to meet need, and questions about what would happen if someone came in drunk and was kicked out in the middle of the night.4. The desire to have a publicly vetted process to develop site selection criteria and then pursuing a new search.5. Despite the IFC's efforts to draw the Community House as a rehabilitative center rather than as a shelter, those who showed up to this meeting (and last week's) cannot divorce the current facility residents/problems with the new facility. 6. Continuing emphasis on the need for an impact study. (I asked what data would be used in my small group and was told that other communities with similar facilities have done these studies and the impact is always negative. However, when I asked about the impact of having Freedom House and Project HomeStart in their neighborhood, I was told there is none.)The majority of the people attending these two meetings have worn red shirts to announce themselves as immediate neighbors and, by association, opponents of this site. Several of the small groups were primarily composed of these red shirts, and when they report out it sounds like they are speaking from previously developed talking points. No one would have known that in the small group I was assigned to tonight there were 2 individuals in support of the facility who asked questions that were outside of the talking points. Some contradictions: A couple of groups reported concerns about property values. Those same groups concluded that the facility should stay downtown. However, property values have gone sky high in the neighborhoods surrounding the Rosemary St facility. Also, there is great concern about having the shelter by a child care facility on Homestead Rd. However, there is a daycare facility run by a church 2 blocks from the Rosemary St facility. I don't recall hearing of any problems with men from the shelter bothering those children, but maybe I missed something.In general, I really, really believe more members of the larger community--not just those immediately adjacent to the proposed site--need to be participating in these meetings. I was glad to see Will Raymond and George C there tonight. It's time to get this facility sited and built. The IFC needs to hear from everyone. If this is the wrong site, we need to make that decision not just from fear but from informed, considered, and compassionate community input.

I haven't been able to attend these meetings, but I am guessing that the reason the rest of the community isn't involved is because like everything else with Homelessness and addiction:Out of Sight. Out of Mind.As for property values, I don't think any place is rising anymore. I doubt Lot 5 will break ground, which is why they are moving the Shelter in the first place.The bottom line: there was no public process. Kicked out people will sleep in the park. People in Homestart will be spending a lot of time with their non-recovering friends, which anyone with direct experience with addicts knows is a great way to prevent recovery.Only a fool believes that an addict can be forced to spend time with their old drinking buddies and recover. 

such as "I doubt Lot 5 will break ground, which is why they are moving the Shelter in the first place" and "Kicked out people will sleep in the park" are detrimental to the community dialog. First off, the shelter moved to Rosemary St in 1985 (or thereabouts) and was never intended to be a permanent facility.  There has been discussion and desire to relocate it from the beginning. Lot 5 has nothing tto do with it. Second, after 4 years of counting homeless people, I can tell you that never once did we find anyone sleeping in the park in Northside.Third, the new rehab facility is trying hard to work with neighbors to establish what would make them a good neighbor. If you believe that having friends visit their men (not all of whom are addicts or alcoholics) would create problems, then come to the public meeting and raise the issue. But PLEASE, do not make such blanket statements of fact. You have a right to your opinions, but your opinions are not (as evidenced here) always accurate. A big part of the problem with the community dialog is that "facts" are circulating and those circulating those "facts" won't even listen to explanations about their erroneous assumptions. Your opinions have merit--and the IFC has made it clear that they want to hear opinions.

Thanks for the summary of the meeting. Related to your point #6, the supposed unfair burden of having a concentration of social service facilities in a small area of town has been one of the main talking points against the new Community House site. This is not a viable argument because, as you heard, there have been no significant negative effects from the existing facilities. There is no current “burden” on our neighborhood that the Community House would add to. The proposed site should be discussed on its own merits.

In my mind, the only line of questioning from opponents that needs more discussion relates to the feared negative effects of men who may be attracted to the facility but not accepted into the rehabilitation program. The IFC makes a good case that the Community House will not be a drop-in center, residents will be motivated and not be "arrest-prone", and center security will be maintained. Neighbors are concerned about the men that will go to Community House for emergency shelter services only and men that will ask to be enrolled but will be turned away for whatever reason. Perhaps the IFC could talk more about the referral, intake, and discharge process. How will men get referred to the Community House? What percentage is not expected to pass the initial screening? What instructions will be given to men when they leave the facility? And neighbors should remember that just because men need to use Community House services, it doesn't mean they are bad or dangerous people.

Rex,The Emergency Shelter component simply cannot work side-by-side with Homestart. Only a complete fool would believe it could.I, personally, would have no problem with Homestart, just as I believe the actual problems with Friendship House were the constuction workers not the program participants. So, I want you to remember that while I love my cousin (once addicted to Heroin), I also would never consider letting her and her old boyfriend stay for a week in my house.Even my friend, who took in his friend (a recovering alcoholic) had to kick him out when he started using again. Why did he start using again? He started hanging out with his old friends.The bottom line is that if you have the same people not committed to recovery sleeping and eating with those who are, it is too much temptation for the people recovering.An Emergency Shelter should never be located next to a park. Why doesn't the County and the Town and the IFC step up and get the Emergency Shelter sited downtown where it is needed?Homestart cannot work if you don't separate these men from those not willing to recover. 

Would you mind refraining from the name calling please?  I don't think Chris Moran (for example) is a "complete fool". And don't appreciate you making that statement here.

Rex--you are aboslutely wrong about this.  There are negative effects from the current facilities.  Parkside and North Forest Hills have more crime than other suburban neighborhoods in Chapel Hill, with the public facilities sited there as contributing factors.  See www.nccrime.usThere are dozens of anecdotal stories about conflict between neighbors and Freedom House residents.  I am glad you have not experienced this, but others have.  Don't minimize their safety concerns because you have been lucky enough not to experience them.  Freedom house detoxes 850 drug addicts per year in these neighborhoods.  They provide rehab and outpatient services to thousands per year and only half of the detox patients are even from Orange County.  The current shelter has the 2nd highest number of arrests of any place in Chapel Hill.  Only the soup kitchen from the current shelter is not coming to Homestead, so we are planning to move quite a locus of crime to the site.  Social Services bring risk.  More services equals more risk.  I am struck by the irony of Rev. Robert Seymour who spoke passionately for the shelter at Homestead at the Oct 09 town council meeting, but opposed it when it was proposed to go next to the senior center that bears his name back in 2007.  On 6-9-07 the Chapel Hill news reported that Rev Seymour felt he had to stand behind Jan Wassel of the council on aging who said that seniors were concerned for their safety.  She cited published connections between homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse.  She also expressed concern about the PERCEPTION of crime (which she said was very real and would keep seniors away).  Thus the Senior Center opposed the shelter because of both crime and the perception of crime.  Why do we cheerfully allow the seniors to be concerned about their safety, but then villify the "red-shirted neighbors" who share the very same concern for their children?  And the risk to a child who cannot take care of himself is far greater.  Curious. 

Tina,You state " There are negative effects from the current facilities.  Parkside and
North Forest Hills have more crime than other suburban neighborhoods in
Chapel Hill, with the public facilities sited there as contributing
factors.  See www.nccrime.us"In looking at the 2nd to last graph in the above link, it would appear that there is essentially the same amount of Current Neighborhood Person Crime in Southern Village as in Parkside and North Forest Hills.  And there is almost as much in Chandlers Green (my neighborhood).  So I don't understand how this data proves that the existing public facilities sited in Parkside & North Forest Hills contribute to the Person Crime if neighborhoods without such facilities have as much, or nearly as much Person Crime.  Can you explain to me what I'm missing here?  Thanks.

Can you explain to me what I'm missing here?  

Look near bottom of www.nccrime.us main page where total crime was shaded with crime from at-risk & public facilities.

Mark,This is the graph I'm referring to (click to enlarge):

These neighborhoods have the most person crime and have at risk and public facilities that have added crime.  It is not appropriate to continue to add at risk facilities when these neighborhoods have more crime than anyone else with all of the at risk overnight facilities which add risk.    Crime is a siting consideration along with existing at-risk proximity.

Mark,If a neighborhood that doesn't have such facilities has just as much crime as one that does, then the argument that the facilities cause the crime is flawed.  It doesn't mean that it is wrong but it does mean that the data does not prove the correlation.

I strongly disagree.  The more at risk facilities that are added with crime increase risk.  Chapel Hill doesn't map crime because it is politically not in the politicians interest to do so.  We should be using this data to plan rather than acting like crime does not exist. If NFH and Parkside were middle to bottom, then maybe you would have a point.  But they are not.  They are at the top and therefore should be avoided when placing at risk facilities, particularly since the town has chosen Homestead and MLK area as the exclusive location for at risk overnight social services for the county.

To add to my previous point, it is ludicrous that we map snow removal progress and not crime in Chapel Hill.

Mark,I'm not using this data to plan, I'm simply trying to see if it tells me something.  I look at it from the perspective of the scientist I am.  And if I have three pieces of data, two from neighborhoods with at-risk sites and one from a neighborhood without at-risk sites, and all three have similar rates of crime then my conclusion would be that I can't say there is a correlation.  That doesn't mean there isn't one but the data doesn't allow me to say there is.  And I know that isn't the conclusion you want me to reach but that is the conclusion the data allows me to reach.  Maybe you have a lot more statistical experience than I but I use statistics routinely in my everyday work and I don't see any other interpretation of the data presented.

George, Southern Village has over 800 homes; Parkside has about 140 homes.  That makes the per household crime rate for Parkside (a true apples to apples comparison) much higher than the per household crime rate for Southern Village.  North Forest Hills has even fewer homes (Mark P. could tell us this definitively).What you can see for sure is that a large portion of Parkside's and North Forst Hill's crime is directly trace-able to social services facilities. 

Tina,If we're going to look at the crime per household figures then I'm in trouble because Chandlers Green only has 84 homes.  That would seem to make it the highest crime per household area of the top 4 on that chart.  So what do we attribute the crime to in Chandlers Green?  It would seem that the common denominators shared by all four of the top crime neighborhoods are parks and schools.  So maybe that is the correlation we should be looking at.  :-)

(catching up from being at a dad-daughter weekend as well as finishing taxes)

The comparisons are for the areas around a neighborhood.  To compare apples to apples, I compared half-square-mile and square-mile areas.  These are areas in which active people walk, play, and travel.

If you register and login to nccrime.us, you can use the map to readily see that there is crime at the high school (similar to this week's discharge of a firearm in a school bus that locked down four schools while they searched for the perpetrator).  Thus, this "crime load" should be considered when siting other facilities which have a history of crime at their existing address. 

Crime is just one consideration on top of considering the concentration of existing higher at-risk facilities in one area such as a large drug detox facility.

George--I am not sure what graph you are looking at.  Are you sure you are looking at person crimes?  Under person crime, North Forest Hills and Parkside lead the pack with 32% and 39% more person crime than the next neighborhood (Briarcliff).  They had 261% and 276% more person crime than Chandler's Green and 214% and 226% more person crime than Southern Village.  In numbers: Parkside has 178 person crimesNorth Forest Hills had 188 person crimesBriarcliff had 135 person crimesChandler's Green had 68 person crimesSouthern Village had 83 person crimes

Rex has had incidents at his house, but perhaps lucky enough not to be related to at-risk social services.

Date/Timesort icon Street Address Description Reported Incident ID Person Crime
2009-06-10 23:21:00 xxx NEW PARKSIDE DR SUSPICIOUS PERSONS 0914987 No
From www.nccrime.us

Teenagers.  Not relevant to this discussion.  And I don't think sharing this level of information in this forum is necessary.

But Rex, this does show the quality, extent, and detail of Mark's research.  Again, we are not making up safety data.  Hard number crunching has been done.  Concerns for safety are based on high quality specific data obtained from the Chapel Hill police. 

It's really that simple.There are two issues:The Homestart programThe Emergency ShelterThe current proposal suggests that we will have FEWER beds available for the 200+ White Flag Nights. So this serves neither the Homeless nor the Park. I wish we would stop playing the PR game and start actually talking about the Emergency Shelter, I believe there could be common ground. As someone with one branch of my family tree ravaged by drugs and alcohol, I know that a secluded area to rebuild your life does not include having your old drunk crowd sleeping on the floor in your residence.Homestart is a fine program, but only a fool, with no experience with addicts would believe that interrupting that program 3 times a week with people not committed to recovery can work.I am also in Parkside and I while I admire people who treat drug addiction and homelessness with an academic coolness - either for or against. I have seen how hard it is for addicts to recover under ideal circumstances. I also have witnessed the difficulties they encounter when their old, non-recovered friends are hanging around.If you want to build a true Homestart program, there is absolutely no way that you can have an Emergency Shelter component that allows in addicts. I have lost too many relatives to drugs and alcohol to think anything else.

As illogical and counter intuitive as it may seem, an emergency shelter and transitional program can work well together.  The Healing Place in Raleigh has one of the best success rates in the country and their program intentionally has an emergency component as well as a staged recovery component.  The Healing Place is a well established and well respected program and hardly foolish.   The Healing Place is a social recovery model and has been influential in the design of the IFC Community House program 

Note that the 2 Healing Place locations in Raleigh are 10 miles apart, are not adjacent to or near schools/preschools, are not near athletic fields, and drug detox facility distances are measured in miles.

Chapel Hill covers roughly 20 square miles. Raleigh covers about 127
square miles. What Raleigh can do with their greater space is not
feasible for Chapel Hill. Plus, Raleigh town leaders have not pursued
high density development as stringently as Chapel Hill town leaders.

Terri's assertion that Chapel Hill is pursuing density with far greater vigor than Raleigh is inaccurate.  First, while both Raleigh and Chapel Hill are becoming more dense, Raleigh is already more dense than Chapel Hill.  Chapel Hill is becoming more dense via extremely slow in-migration and virtually non-existent land area expansion.   Raleigh is becoming more dense via moderate but decreasing land area expansion, and very high in-migration.   The adopted Raleigh 2030 Comprehensive Plan identifies several areas throughout the city where dense development should occur.   While the Greenbridge building and East 54 are more vertical than we have seen in Chapel Hill before, they are not close to the scale of the 33-story RBC Tower that was recently completed in Raleigh, or the West at North building, or the under-construction Charter Square building. Raleigh is also welcoming higher density development in the North Hills area as well.   Chapel Hill has been more successful at urban containment along the edge of the community, mostly through the joint planning agreement with Carrboro and Orange County. 
Raleigh has been more successful at saying where growth SHOULD go rather
than where it shouldn't via the comp plan, and the Raleigh Council deserves credit for that.  Both Councils deserve kudos for having successfully brought forth appropriate projects in their downtowns.  A fair assessment would be that both municipalities have found opportunities for denser, environmentally friendly infill projects inside and outside the core of their communities, at a scale that is appropriate for each community.  I recognize that this is off-topic from the thread main topic, but the notion that the Chapel Hill Town Council is on some outlier path in terms of infill development, especially compared to the region's largest city--is simply not true.

What is relevant is, given Raleigh's size, there is more diversity in
it's available spaces and therefore it is more likely than Chapel Hill
to have sites that would meet the criteria for which some are calling.

Most municipalities which do more than simply define the term "shelter" require them to be 2500 feet to 2 miles apart and restrict proximity to schools and many restrict proximity to parks.

On Terri's point, the proposed men's shelter is very close to the other at risk facilities.  Merely stating that Raleigh is bigger does not overcome the the proposed proximity in our case.  Perhaps this youtube video will give you better perspective. Folks aren't asking for a 10 mile separation, they are asking for a fair distribution in the town.

On Rex's point, IFC's documents show that they primarily considered free land and did not do a site search like Gainesville, FL is doing.

They also walk as a group through neighborhoods two time a day and there has never been a problem reported -- ever.

I just want to register my strong diagreement with you, Steve.  The shelter is currently next to neighborhoods, parks, etc. And it will continue to be in the future because there is no place in town where people don't live and play.

I have a feeling that debating this with you (or most folks who live in that neighborhood) will not be very productive for either of us. That's probably my own fault as much anyone's. Having lived 2 blocks from the current shelter with no complaints for about 4 years (10 years ago) I just don't have a lot of patience for it. I hate to say it, but undergraduate students are a lot worse neighbors!

It is clear the Parkside folks don't want this near them.  But where in town could it possibly not be near anyone (and still be a useful place for the clients)?  Anyone who says it is a "danger" just because it is closer to them now is ignoring the fact that it has been near a community for a long time. 

All, please bear in mind that Parkside (where I live) is a rather large neighborhood.  While there is certainly a significant contingent who have organized to attempt to oppose the project, their are a variety of views in the neighborhood.  In particular, Rex Mercer who lives down the street from me, has written reasonably and eloquently on this subject both here on OP and in the Chapel Hill News.  I don't see that posting anti-Parkside generalizations is helpful in promoting civil discussion.

I was referring to a certain number of posters here on OP who oppose the site and didn't mean to include the entire neighborhood.

Ruby,What about land that the County owns on Homestead road beside the Senior Center ?  That would be a great location right next to the Senior Center . In most surrounding counties , the county takes the lead .  I think most agree that the Shelter needs to have a new location that can better serve its residents . I think most support IFC .  I don't think this site was given the typical Chapel Hill public input . It seems to be a deal was cut by Foy . BTW, I have help served over 30 meals at the current shelter over 4 years through Orange United Methodist Church  at the current location .  We need more public input and scrutiny by the Town and Council like most SUPs.

Jon, there isn't a SUP request in place yet.  All this effort is AHEAD (and therefore by definition MORE) of the regular process.  My honest opinion is that we can have a discussion about potential crime impacts and the park.  I'd love to see the town do something to make that work.  But all this "other junk" about process is really getting on my nerves as a red herring.    What's that saying lawyers use about if you can't win the case on its merits, argue process.  If you can't win on process, pound the table?   Seems we're alternating between the 2nd and 3rd phases.  

The shelter is currently next to neighborhoods, parks

Which park is 100 W Rosemary next to?  Looks like the closest park is 2,000 feet away.  Park at proposed site is 500 feet away.  Big difference.

100 W Rosemary is also downtown, which is a different land use area altogether.


I have a feeling that debating this with you (or most folks who live in that neighborhood) will not be very productive for either of us.

Interesting.  I thought OP was for discussion of issues just like this one; getting to the facts and going beyond what is being spoon fed by the media.


Having lived 2 blocks from the current shelter with no complaints for about 4 years (10 years ago)...

The shelter is not the only at risk overnight social service in the proposed location. 

You may think differently about surrounding a park with at-risk facilities in the future when your child (and his possible future siblings) are old enough that they should be able to go to a nearby park with friends.

Many of us who are following this can only discern the residents of Parkside who are involved in this process by their red shirts and vocalness at town council meetings and these public meetings held by the IFC - but as your and Rex's comments point out - there are adjacent residents who have other views.I think there are some nearby residents who are going to be against the IFC's new transitional housing being sited on Homestead until they are proven wrong when the shelter is built and the IFC shows that they are good neighbors, something the IFC seems committed to doing. 

Please note that Parkside residents are not the sole wearers or red shirts.  There is a loosely organized group of those in opposition to the site from the 13 surrounding neighborhoods.  Shirt color choice was a decision from this larger group, not one neighborhood. And the point of it is simply recognition--we want the town and the IFC to see that MANY MANY MANY people believe we need a better site. 

What site would that be?  Where in the CH area would you possibly place a residential facility that isn't near any neighbors? 



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