A coalition led by the Downtown Development District (DDD) is planning to build an outdoor homeless shelter in the downtown area.
DDD President/CEO Kurt Weigle says the shelter is modeled after one in San Antonio and is designed to centralize the homeless population for outreach workers and offer mental health and addiction services.
“It has a roof on it to protect folks from the rain and from the sun, but it does not have walls,” Weigle said.
Some components of the shelter would be indoors, such as a dining area, a seating area and showers and laundryfacilities, Weigle said.
A site for the shelter has not been selected yet. Prospective sites are being evaluated. Weigle says some people have expressed concerns about where it will be located.
“Folks are always concerned about, you know, is there gonna be a homeless shelter in my backyard, so to speak, and so there’s a little bit of hesitation around that,” Weigle pointed out.
The so-called “low-barrier” shelter would accommodate about 200 people. It would cost about $4.5 million to build. The goal is to begin construction in one year.