Homeless issue returns to Council

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lewisburg's City Council is to receive a report from the city manager on Tuesday about homeless shelters in Tennessee and an early interpretation of what he's found is that such social services are in larger cities.

"I'm looking to see for what communities of our size do," Fuller said with a five-page printout listing homeless shelters and emergency housing in Tennessee. "This is a HUD print out," he said before he started to call the shelters.

"Most of these are tied-in with the state, for a purpose," the city manager said. "Some are for recovery from alcohol and/or drug abuse.

"There are a lot of places out there, but for the guy who is down and out and who just lost his job and/or got kicked out of his house - I haven't found those yet" in a municipality of 11,000 people, he said. "There are more in the bigger cities."

The proprietor of an established hotel in Lewisburg spoke with the Council last month during regular and special meetings. The business is where people have been sent since its owner is perceived as having a warm heart for the downtrodden.

However, it's no way to run a business, she said. So, the city was asked to address the issue of homelessness here.

"I anticipate reporting back on March 9," Fuller said, reviewing the list, noting places like the Old Firehouse Day Shelter in Clarksville where local churches manage the service and the Harden County Emergency Shelter for Men.

Lewisburg's City Council is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 131 E. Church St.

One month earlier, a request from Jerry Freeman, a candidate for mayor last spring, was not granted by the Council. Freeman wanted a loan from a city fund created with money provided through a federal program that was originally used for industrial development. Freeman wanted to loan to rehabilitate a building that could be used to increase employment and house people.

Councilman expressed concerns that the house would not stand as adequate collateral to cover the loan if it suffered default. The city fund underwrites a revolving loan program that offered below market rates.