Forum Held to Discuss Emergency Shelter Needs

The Council of Service Providers to the Homeless held a public forum on Thursday, July 14 to discuss the recent loss of 95 homeless shelter beds for men and the impact on the community. WCIA covered the event and provided interviews regarding homelessness in our community. Panel members consisted of representatives from United Way, Salvation Army, CU at Home (Chair of the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless), Greater Community AIDS Project (Chair of the Continuum of Care) and the Canteen Run.

The audience included approximately 75 people representing local law enforcement, churches, concerned citizens, non-profit agencies, homeless shelters, Veteran’s Administration, Junior League, Champaign County Board, City of Urbana, and City of Champaign. A panel from Council of Service Providers to the Homeless (CSPH) presented information regarding the recent loss of beds and an analysis of what might be needed going forward. In reviewing data from the annual point in time survey and shelter data, they estimated 30 new beds (20 for men, 10 for women, both year round) would likely serve the needs of the community. This was better news than anticipated compared to the number of beds recently lost (95 for men only). The group was optimistic that this was a need that the community could partner to fill.

This dialogue will continue as those interested registered their email information. Neighborhood Services staff will continue to monitor and invite others as members of the CSPH and Continuum of Care. Questions regarding this issue can be directed to Kerri Spear at [email protected] or by calling (217) 403-7070.