[Hpn] Bloomington, IN - Homeless shelter plans put on hold - Pantagraph Publsihing - July 18, 2002

H. C. Covington H. C. Covington" <icanamerica@bellsouth.net
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 20:36:32 -0500

Homeless shelter plans put on hold
Salvation Army completing study
By Karen Hansen - Pantagraph Publsihing -  July 18, 2002

BLOOMINGTON, IN  -- The Salvation Army has delayed plans for a new homeless
shelter and shelved a second proposal to modify its current Safe Harbor shelter.

Salvation Army Maj. James Beardsley said the need for homeless housing may be
greater than initially anticipated last winter, when his agency announced plans
for a new, $1.4 million shelter.

The facility would be built on land the Salvation Army owns at Jefferson and Oak
streets, a few blocks from the current Safe Harbor shelter, 212 N. Roosevelt
Ave. in Bloomington

As a result, the Salvation Army has postponed the kickoff of a capital campaign
set for this fall until an Illinois State University research unit completes a
study of long-term homeless needs.

Following that, plans will be finalized and fund raising could begin early next

The study, likely to begin next month, will provide the agency with a "good
picture of the size of shelter we need," Beardsley said. "We don't want to have
to go through this five or 10 years from now."

Initial plans for the new shelter called for a facility with space for 30 to 50
men, 12 to 17 women and three private rooms for families of three to six each.

Beardsley said a new shelter may need to house 100 or more people if it is to
meet future needs.

Safe Harbor currently has space for 40 men and 12 women.

The Salvation Army had also hoped to make some modifications this summer to Safe
Harbor that would have allowed it to provide housing for homeless families.

The facility has not regularly housed parents and children since January 2001,
primarily because of safety and security concerns.

Officials were unable to resolve those problems sufficiently, however.

The organization was reluctant to sink too much money in a facility that could
be replaced in a short time.

"We just couldn't overcome all the problems within the current facility,"
Beardsley said. "There's just too many nooks and crannies. We'd just hate for a
child to be hurt."

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H. C. [Sonny] Covington, Editor
Homeless and Housing News