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New Homeless Center in Springfield

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New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby fsu813 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:01 pm

Springfield Residents,

Mayor Alvin Brown will be proposing that a new homeless center (daycenter/shelter) be placed in our neighborhood, in the old Armory building on Market Street (next to our Springfield dog park).

It will attract many hundreds of homeless to the area on a daily basis. We already have a saturation of social services and homeless in our neighborhood, and this would mean a major increase, and all the various issues that come with it.

This will be made public soon, and the zoning is technically appropriate.

Obviously, this could set the Springfield (and Eastside) neighborhood back immeasurably, and be counter productive to all the hard fought progress we have earned over the last decades.

For those new Springfielders, the neighborhood was seen as a dumpig ground for social services and "undesirables" of all types for many decades. Thus, the neighborhood deteriorated into a slum. Slowly but surely, we have fought to change that trend, and been mostly successful. Several years ago, a large rehab facility planned to set up shop in the neighborhood, and through our loud voices they eventually decided to move elsewhere. A new mass homeless feeding was also persuaded to go elsewhere just a couple years ago, because of our enthusiastic input.

You need to let our City representatives know how you feel about having a new homeless center in our neighborhood - ASAP:

Mayor Brown
mayorbrown@coj.net
(904) 630-1776

Councilman Gaffney
gaffney@coj.net
(904) 630-1384

Councilman Lumb
rlumb@coj.net
(904) 630-1387

A coordinated effort will be needed as well, stay tuned.
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby PCollins » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:21 pm

Just a reminder to everyone, from someone who witnessed the River Region/Jewish Center debacle years ago, that we need to keep it civil on the Forum as your written words may come back to haunt you...used against you and your cause.
---Phil
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby jbm32206 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:26 pm

If this is what mayor Brown considers as being supportive of a historic district, then he sure doesn't need to see a second term. :roll:
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby AMacris » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:42 pm

Got this back from Councilman Lumb:

Dear Mr. Macris:
I have not been able to confirm reports that Mayor Brown is considering the use of the Old Armory as a homeless day center. At this point the only thing they will admit to is that they're reviewing a list of potential locations.

At a hearing last year on Hemming Plaza I made it clear that I thought it would be a very bad idea to send any of our homeless north of State Street and that the Old Armory should be considered "off limits" for this purpose.

Let me assure you that I will vigorously oppose any effort to divert the homeless into Springfield.

Best regards,
Robin Lumb
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby movedsouth » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:44 pm

The homeless day center is on the agenda for a while, and something we need very much to move forward in areas like downtown. What are the alternative locations? I have heard something in the Tallyrand area mentioned as well. A spot in the Davis Street/4th Street area was discussed a couple years back too (not exactly sure of the exact address).
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby macboots » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:33 pm

Thanks so much for bringing this to the community's attention.

Jacksonville definitely continues to ignore the situation and needs to constructively approach assisting our homeless. However Springfield certainly has more than its fair share of social services; I completely agree that a continual influx of homeless on a daily basis is more than our community can support without going into a prolonged decline.

Cheers,

- Will
Last edited by macboots on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby markusic » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:50 pm

First, this is not in Springfield. It is well outside of the historic district. Historic Springfield rising up As Bill would like it too will hurt us all more than help here.

And Bill, the real history is that Springfield became a slum FIRST and then the social services came in because they were needed. History is history and we need to use it truthfully. And if that other "rehab facility" had been allowed to open, the old Jewish Community Center would have been used and still here for the day a more "desirable" use was found for it.

A real day center is badly needed in Downtown, and that is exactly where this one seems to be headed. And if you think the vast majority of the councilmen will share your distaste for the homeless, you will be exactly right. So where exactly do you think it will be? The suburbs? Riverside? It will be downtown. Want someone to blame for that, blame either white flight in the sixties or consolidation.

Perhaps it would serve all of us better if instead of crying how terrible it is to have one downtown we actually said, Hey, great! Now prove that you will run it properly. Prove that the programs will help get the homeless off the street and get them the help they need so that we all can live in our city together. Let's make sure that it is a good center and that as it helps alleviate the issues downtown, it can be moved to where it will be most needed next.

Just maybe by helping WITH the center, we will actually be helping ourselves more.

Help not hinder.
Save the Earth, it is the only planet that has chocolate!
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby fsu813 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:24 pm

Everyone knows where the Springfield Dog Park is. It's directly next to that, including the new children's play ground. That's our neighborhood.

I know you are more sympathetic to having our community house an abundance of social services, but they destroy community investment, fabric, and destablize neighborhoods. Hence, no one wants one in their backyard. Also hence, an area (a) with little residential close by or (b) a location that already provides services would be logical...not expanding the foot print of major homeless services to a revitalzing neighborhood.
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby fsu813 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:26 pm

Possible site of homeless day center raises ire of Springfield neighbors

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is considering putting a day center for homeless people at the edge of the downtown Springfield neighborhood, a suggestion that has area residents — and the local councilman who wasn’t told about it — up in arms.

Setting up such a center has long been a goal of Brown, who promised during the campaign that establishing one would be a priority for his administration.

Brown reiterated that pledge six months ago during a meeting of a coalition of local churches, saying he wanted the site to be open by the end of the year. Plans call for a facility that would contain no beds but would have access to service providers, showers, mailboxes and the like.

Now, discussion has centered on one of two sites the city is looking at: The old armory building at the intersection of State and Market streets, adjacent to the area’s dog park and across the street from the Veterans Affairs’ Vet Center.

Brown’s office didn’t make any announcement, but word leaked out to residents Tuesday morning and they called City Councilman Johnny Gaffney, who represents the district. He said he had no idea the armory was being considered for the day center and called Brown’s office for confirmation.

“I was very disappointed to hear something like this through the grapevine,” Gaffney said. He blamed the mayor’s staff for being less than transparent.

“On something that’s as critical as this is and as sensitive as this is,” he said, “you should at least speak with the district councilperson.”

The idea is “incomprehensible,” said JoAnn Tredennick, vice president of the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Council.

“We and a lot of other people have invested a lot of energy, time, tears and money to get where we’ve gotten, with very little help from the city,” she said. “To have the city kick us in the teeth like this is repulsive.”


Article continues:
http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012 ... -neighbors
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Re: New Homeless Center in Springfield

Postby DougV » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:43 pm

My email to the Mayor (copying Councilmen Gaffney and Lumb).

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I was surprised and concerned to learn that plans are being made to convert the historic Armory for use as a day center for the homeless. As a ten year Springfield resident, and a community activist (former CPAC chair and current ShAdCo chair) I know how hard we have worked to make  our community, and Confederate Park specifically, safe.  I hope the word that this decision is already made is premature, and that there will actually be opportunity for Springfield to weigh in on this matter. Frankly, I'd generally expect that most of my neighbors, if asked, would oppose this proposal.

Sincerely,

Douglas Vanderlaan

Reply from Councilman Lumb:

Doug:

I have confirmed reports that Mayor Brown is considering the use of the Old Armory as a homeless day center. At this point the they're reviewing a list of potential locations that includes the Old Armory.

At a hearing last year on Hemming Plaza I made it clear that I thought it would be a very bad idea to send any of our homeless north of State Street and that the Old Armory should be considered "off limits" for this purpose.

Let me assure you that I will vigorously oppose any effort to divert the homeless into Springfield.

Best regards,
Robin Lumb
Doug Vanderlaan

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