Permanent homeless shelter delayed until January

By Michael S. Hoey


The Delavan Common Council considered an application Aug. 21 by the Spirit of Hope Homeless Shelter to establish a permanent location at 337 S. Eighth St.

The council voted to table the issue until January to provide more time for aldermen and neighbors of the proposed shelter to get questions answered.

The shelter for men has been operating from October until April on a traveling basis since 2005 with the help of several churches in the county, said Spirit of Hope Executive Director Lynn Curtis.

“It is time to move forward into our own building so we can provide continuing support 12 months out of the year,” Curtis said. “We have proven ourselves to be an asset, not only for the men we serve but the community as well.”

Curtis said the Spirit of Hope has a very strict set of rules and policies that residents must follow, and a supportive Christian community helps the men move forward and return to their families. She said she understands the proposed permanent location is at the edge of a residential neighborhood and is hopeful the organization can work with the neighbors to ensure the shelter is a positive change for the neighborhood.

Curtis said she is aware some neighbors have concerns for the safety of the many children who live nearby, but she said the men who would stay at the shelter are not deviants. They are people who have had things happen to them, and they want to get back to their families and find employment.

Comments from Common Council members as well as people in favor and against, the shelter moving to the proposed location in Delavan can be found in the full story in this week’s Southern Lakes Newspapers publications.

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