Tuesday, September 24 2013 8:53 PM EDT2013-09-25 00:53:52 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A major facelift is on the way for a Louisville homeless shelter, after building plans were approved by the zoning commission Monday. Due to freeway expansion plans associatedMore >>
The city has approved expansion plans for Wayside Christian Mission in downtown Louisville.More >>
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Like all other large cities, one of Louisville's significant problems is homelessness. Fortunately, Wayside Christian Mission has done great work over the years providing shelter and counseling to those who might otherwise be left to the streets.
I appreciate what they do. But I'm conflicted about their plan to expand their shelter at Jefferson and Jackson from 360 to 640 beds, and here's why:
While homeless individuals shouldn't be viewed simply as "problems," the concentration of too many in one spot is indeed a problem. Residents and businesses in the neighborhood surrounding the current shelter already deal with plenty of loitering, panhandling and public intoxication, and nearly doubling the number of Wayside clients can only amplify those problems.
It would be a shame to jeopardize the recent revival of businesses and quality housing in that neighborhood by making it bear more than its fair share of what should be a community-wide responsibility.
But therein lies the rub. While the responsibility should be shared community wide, I really can't imagine residents or merchants in any other part of the city clamoring to have a shelter on their block. Which maybe means Wayside's expansion at its current location should be allowed.
One thing I'm sure of is that the homeless aren't going away anytime soon. So what's the most effective way of dealing with them?