05 November 2007

Homeless Shelters Banned from Covington?

Maybe I missed this story, or maybe, no one locally is covering it. The Lexington Herald has an article and it mentions that Covington rewrote their zoning code to specifically not allow homeless shelters anywhere within the city. Existing shelters can remain, but cannot expand. Can that be true?
... organizers looking to re-establish northern Kentucky's only emergency shelter have been unable to find a suitable facility.
The shelter shutdown earlier this year amid complaints from local officials and the neighborhood. Raterman's group has pledged to run a managed shelter, but has yet to find a location.

It may be impossible to resettle in Covington after the city commission changed the zoning code last year, specifically banning homeless shelters within city limits, said City Manager Jay Fossett.

...The closest other shelter, the Drop Inn Center in Cincinnati, is operating beyond capacity, said general coordinator Pat Clifford.

...(the Drop Inn Center) often exceeds its 250 limit, averaging 270, with guests sleeping in the center's lobby, and that was when the Emergency Cold Shelter in Covington was open.

..."Everyone thinks there should be 'somewhere' for people to go" he said. "But its always somewhere else."


Anonymous said...

I believe the zoning change may be correct, but I drive by an operating homeless shelter everyday on my way to and from work in Covington (on Pike Street).


Nice blog, btw.

CityKin said...

Yes, existing shelters can stay, but they cannot expand, apparently. It has me wondering whether this is common in other surrounding jurisdictions. I suspect it is.

To me it seems like zoning laws are over-reaching and perhaps unconstitutional, (not to mention mean spririted) if they completely disallow a certain use in the entire city. In the entire city, they don't think there is one area that is suitable for emergency shelter?

Anonymous said...

I guess the tension I wanted to highlight was the inaccuracy between the statements of 'grandfathered in' and 'the closest shelter is the Drop In'. There are closers shelters that don't require a trip across the river. It is something reporters do all the time that really bothers me.

I have a suspicion about what this all might be wrapped up around, but am not going to irresponsibly throw around an accusation about who might not what a particular facility in a specific location in public, but I have one in mind. It seems like just another example of bureaucrats using a hammer to kill a fly.

ThatDeborahGirl said...

I don't know if this has been on the news either but my Old Matey came the other day telling me that the theater and a few restaurants at Newport on the Levy have been shut down because they're infested with bed bugs.

I know the bed bug thing here has been bad and there have a been a few cutesy articles in the Enquirer along the lines of cicada coverage, but it seems to me that public buildings shut down due to bed bugs should be major news.

I think I'll do a blog post on bed bugs soon. But I also wonder if this has anything to do with the shelters being limited right now? Seems like a practical if not silent step if it is one of the reasons.

CityKin said...

I have never heard of a public place such as a restaurant being closed because of bedbugs. I know a bit about them, and they can be easily killed if you have hard surfaces and not much upholstery. A restaurant should be able to clean every surface in one night and be ready to open the next day. Theater seats could get them I suppose. If this is turns out to be true, you certainly broke the news.