Lawrence Community Shelter
This earmark request is for the 2010 fiscal year.
Rep. Dennis Moore (KS-3) requests $600,000 for:
Lawrence Community Shelter, Inc.
214 W. 10th St.
Lawrence, KS 66044
There are about 400 homeless individuals and families in Lawrence/Douglas County, Kansas
staying in the shelter, camps, cars, and with friends the Lawrence Community Shelter, the
single emergency shelter in Lawrence, sleeps 31adults Due to the closing on May 1, 2009 of
the Salvation Army's emergency shelter, there are 50 or more individuals and families unable to
find emergency shelter each night in Lawrence/Douglas County.
The Lawrence Community Shelter has identified a building for purchase and renovation. This
request is in keeping with the federal goal of reducing homelessness in the United States. In
keeping with the HUD goal to reduce homelessness in America, the Lawrence Community
Shelter is requesting $600,000 in HUD Appropriations to assist in the purchase and renovations
of a building to house the shelter and related programs for people experiencing homelessness in
Lawrence and Douglas County, Kansas.
The Lawrence Community Shelter is the primary agency working with the chronically
homeless, including individuals and families, in both its day and night programs and the main
point of entry for all people experiencing homelessness in Lawrence/Douglas County. It served
632 separate individuals, in both the day and night sections of the shelter, in 2008 of which 309
were first time users of the shelter. Demographics of the Lawrence Community Shelter are 69%
male; 31% female; 69% white; 16% African American; 10% Native American; 1% Asian; 9%
Other; 5% Hispanic; 95% Non-Hispanic; 7% veterans; 55% dealing with substance abuse; 42%
disabled; and 39% with mental illness.
The Lawrence Community Shelter divides its programs into day and night services. The day
shelter offers daily living services (laundry, storage, telephone and mail, breakfast, AA, art
therapy, chiropractor, health education; refuge from extreme weather); and case management
with programs for housing, employment, benefits, and intervention (medical and substance
abuse). The night shelter offers sleeping space for 31 individuals, evening meal, showers,
storage, and substance abuse counseling.
The current building for the Lawrence Community Shelter is inadequate. It is small, old, and
cramped. It is not fully handicapped accessible and it is not sufficiently large for the numbers
who need a sleeping space each night. The Salvation Army in Lawrence was provisionally
sleeping the excess people each night but will permanently close its emergency shelter on May
1, 2009. This means there will be an additional 50+/- people, including some families, on the
streets of Lawrence after May 1 with no place to shelter. When the Community Shelter moves
into a larger, adequate building it must be able to sleep 100 each night and to provide program
support space aimed at moving people out of homelessness.
The current shelter is in downtown Lawrence and on the edge of a historic neighborhood. As a
result, it is not in a popular location for businesses and residences and it is not close to the
important services for homeless people. It is imperative that the shelter move as soon as
possible to a larger facility that will allow for better programs and more humane space (for
example, a bed instead of a two inch mat on a cement floor).
The federal government has made a commitment to reducing homelessness in the United States
yet funds are limited at all levels of government for bricks and mortar costs. The purchase and
renovation or construction of shelter facilities falls heavily on the individual donor, churches,
Page 17 of 29 Office of Congressman Dennis Moore (KS-03)
The Lawrence Community Shelter's current operating budget is $576,000 ($366,000 direct;
$210,000 indirect) of which 75% is raised from individuals, foundations, and religious groups.
There is no support from the State of Kansas. 13% of the budget comes from the City of
Lawrence. Federal support comes through Community Development Block Grant, Emergency
Services Grant, and FEMA funds comprising 12% of the total budget. The operating budget
will increase by 50% on May 1, 2009 when the Salvation Army closes and the Lawrence
Community Shelter assumes responsibility for all emergency shelter needs in the city and
The Lawrence Community Shelter is seeking to relocate to a larger, more efficient building to
sleep 100 or more individuals and families each night and to provide support space for
programs to move people out of homelessness. The projected cost of the main building
renovations and a construction of a smaller second building for jobs and employment programs
is $2,862,000 including furnishings, bathrooms, showers, commercial kitchen, laundry, beds,
tables, chairs, and lockers.
A 17,000 square foot building has been identified for which negotiations are underway for a
purchase price expected to be $1,000,000 at a minimum. The projected $2,862,000 includes,
also, architectural, legal, and engineering fees, and contingency. The renovated building will
have sleeping space (emergency and transitional) for single adults and family units, kitchen and
dining room, day room(s), meeting room, showers and bathrooms, laundry, storage rooms, and
offices for shelter staff and representatives from Kansas Legal Services, the Regional Alcohol
and Drug Assessment Center (RADAC), Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center,
ECKAN (East Central Kansas Community Action Agency) and other collaborating
organizations. Especially important, there will be a second building with space for the
Lawrence Community Shelter's strong program for onsite employment through its Good Dog!
Gourmet Biscuits and Treats project which distributes to area stores and clinics dog treats made
and packaged by homeless residents of the shelter. The projected cost of the secondary
building, included in the $2,862,000 total projection, is $534,000. The majority of funds for the
buildings purchase, renovations, construction, and furnishings must be raised without city or
state financial support. Matching Funds provided by the State of Kansas, Local Governments,
and/or private Foundations or Individuals There are no matching funds provided by the State of
Kansas nor the City of Lawrence, Kansas, with the possible exception of Kansas State Tax
Credits for individual donors which are awarded to nonprofit agencies on the basis of a
competitive process once a year. Application will be made in May 2009 for these Kansas State
Tax Credits which, if awarded, are to be given by Lawrence Community Shelter as a match to
individual donors. The majority of the $3,000,000 project goal will come from individual
donations and foundation grants. A professional fundraiser, Greenwood Consulting, has been
hired to develop the capital campaign for the shelter's relocation. Application will be made to
the Mabee Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma for matching funds up to $500,000 once half of the
goal, $1,500,000, is achieved. While Lawrence is a reasonably affluent community, it will be a
challenge to raise the necessary funds for the shelter in these difficult economic times.
The Lawrence Community Shelter is the primary center for individuals and the chronically
homeless in Lawrence/Douglas County, Kansas. It has a staff of 12 (5 full time and 7 part
time). The director has over 30 years experience working with the homeless population in
Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Missouri, and Lawrence. The 11 member board of directors
has three relocation subcommittees devoted to site, program, and funding. In addition, there are
more than 100 volunteers who do many of the tasks demanded at a shelter.
Page 18 of 29 Office of Congressman Dennis Moore (KS-03)
The board has a buyer's agent to help negotiate with the sellers of the identified building, and a
fundraising consultant to develop a capital campaign. Assistance in the form of an
Appropriations item would help provide shelter for a nearly desperate situation in keeping with
the federal HUD goal of reducing homelessness in American communities.
The Lawrence Community Shelter has a record of successfully raising its operating revenue for
its growing programs over the past ten years. For example, the shelter's FY 2005 budget was
$268,600 and for FY 2009 it is $576,030.
The Lawrence Community Shelter is a member of the Lawrence Community Commission on
Homelessness (appointed by the Mayor), the Coalition for Homeless Concerns, and the
Interfaith Initiative on Homelessness. The shelter is the lead agency for organizing meetings
and trainings of the HUD mandated HMIS database for Lawrence/Douglas County.
The shelter has four case management/program areas aimed at solving problems and
developing skills to get people out of homelessness. The subtitle of the Lawrence Community
Shelter is a path to a positive future. The programs are:
- Job development/employment -- Back to Work job coaching, day labor, and the Joseph
Project partially funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to start an
entrepreneurial company to employ homeless individuals. The Joseph Project's major
product is Good Dog! Gourmet Biscuits and Treats distributed to stores, veterinarians,
farmers' markets, and church and public fairs.
- Housing: on site emergency shelter, housing applications to the Lawrence Douglas
County Housing Authority, referrals and collaborations with local landlords, and an inhouse
savings programs for guests to accumulate sufficient funds for initial deposits,
rent, and utilities
- Benefits: ID replacement, food stamp, disability, Medicaid and other applications,
Kansas Legal Services, Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Administration,
and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS).
- Intervention: alcohol and drug counseling, transportation to detox and rehab programs
in Topeka, Johnson County, and Kansas City, KS, AA meeting onsite, referrals and
collaborations with DCCCA, RADAC, Valeo, Johnson County Adult Detox Unit, Bert
Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, and others.
In response to the need and due to the extensive presence of substance abuse with people
experiencing homelessness, the Lawrence Community Shelter has chosen to be an open
facility. It does not administer a breathalyzer which means people who are drinking or taking
drugs may sleep at the shelter if their behavior meets the shelter standards. The Community
Commission on Homelessness (mayoral appointees) has developed a Vision for Housing the
Homeless with stages from Emergency to Permanent Supportive or Independent living. The
Lawrence Community Shelter has been designated by this Community Commission on
Homelessness as the single emergency level facility for Lawrence's individuals
and families. With the closing of the Salvation Army's temporary emergency shelter, the
Lawrence Community Shelter is immediately faced with housing a number of people
experiencing homelessness that is double its capacity. Through its various programs,
experienced staff, fundraising achievement, and caring approach, the Lawrence Community
Shelter has become the trusted provider of services in Lawrence/ Douglas County to people
experiencing homelessness. To meet this responsibility and to have a better long-range
structure for achieving the HUD goal of reducing homelessness, the Lawrence Community
Shelter is requesting this Appropriations assistance.