Calling it not a hand out but a hand up, Mayor Alvin Brown announced Thursday that the city would be trying out a year-long pilot program for a homeless day center which would operate out of the City Rescue Mission in downtown.
"This is about creating a sense of empowerment, giving people hope and opportunity, those who are hopeless and homeless and voiceless," said the Mayor. Brown says it’ll cost about $70,000 to improve the Rescue Mission but he said much of that money is coming from private donors, so the center will come at a nominal cost to the city. The mayor says quelling the homeless problem has been a priority for his administration. "Success will be for me, really is, we have no veterans who are homeless. Period. Eradicate homelessness. Period." It will hold up to 200 people during business hours three days a week and patrons will have to keep a membership that is based on good behavior. They’ll offer beds, office space, telephones, washers and dryers, showers, Internet access, job training resources, and more. The mayor says depending on how the pilot goes, the resources and operating hours could increase.