Emergency Shelter Small Meeting, Public Forum Held

Neighborhood Programs Manager Kerri Spear convened a small meeting prior to the public forum to review zoning, building code, and fire code procedures that could assist volunteers with the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless with their larger forum discussion.  Zoning Administrator Kevin Phillips provided information regarding the zoning ordinance and outlined the various zoning districts where a shelter could be located. Building Safety Manager Larry Happ and Deputy Fire Marshal Janet Maupin provided basic information relating to fire and building codes, but also stressed the importance of the final site being appropriately reviewed by a design professional prior to any renovation or occupancy.

The third public forum for emergency shelter in Champaign County was then held on August 16 with a focus on serving homeless men only. A different group is now working to develop year-round women’s shelter.  The Council of Service Providers to the Homeless continues to chair these meetings with the hope of finding emergency housing options for men since the loss of 95 men’s beds this earlier this year.  The group’s goal, based on studying need in the area, is to locate 20-30 beds for men by this winter.  For additional information, please contact staff Kerri.Spear@champaignil.gov (217.403.7070) or CSPH Chair Melany Jackson at melany@cuathome.us