Lawrence homeless shelter move comes with concern

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Like cities all across the country, Lawrence, Kan.. has found more people needing a place to stay. Rick Lauffer is one of them. He's been living in the Lawrence Community Shelter for about a month.

"They have people there that really help out with things you're trying to change, changes you're trying to make in your life," Lauffer said.

He's glad for the roof over his head, but says it's crowded.

"There's so many homeless and only so much space," Lauffer said.

In 2011, 780 were served. Through May 2012, already 480 different people have stopped in. Space is at a premium and director Loring Henderson said there's no privacy.

"People have severe emotional and personal problems and they don't have any place to go and talk to counselors about it. It's just awful," Henderson said.

By the end of the year though, the shelter's moving to the eastern edge of town into a much bigger building.

The only problem is the current shelter is also a drop-in center, providing homeless people with the basics like a bathroom, shower and telephone.

But those services won't be available at the new location. Henderson said there needs to be a replacement.

"Where is there going to be a drop-in center, and who is going to run it?" Henderson said.

Henderson said some are worried homeless people will start going into downtown businesses to use the phone or bathroom.

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