UPDATE: City Planners Recommend New Zoning Rules in Parramore for Men's Shelter
If Orlando Union Rescue Mission officials have their way, their new shelter will stand on a one acre lot just blocks from proposed residential and retail development. The city's municipal planning board has recommended softening a zoning code that limits where social service agencies in Parramore can go.
Neighborhood association head Vernice Cannady says the area already has enough places for the homeless; and with new homes on the way, a shelter will hurt the area’s image.
“Are you going to tell those new homeowners that the rescue mission is just a couple of blocks down the street?" she asked in a phone interview with 90.7 News. "I mean, it seems as though we’re the only area that gets this social services condition.”
Fred Clayton, head of the Orlando Union Rescue Mission, maintains that the men they house care about keeping Parramore clean and safe.
“The folks who detract from their neighborhood, who cause the problems, who threaten the kids and steal things from the yards and, in general, degrade the neighborhood. Those aren’t the men who are attracted to our programs.”
Clayton says the proposed $6 million, 150-bed shelter would enhance the area and would be more aesthetically pleasing than the current facility in Parramore. There, men are seen lining up outside to get into the Mission. The new building would have a special entrance where the line would not be visible from the street.
He also pledges that the Mission and its clients will be more active in community planning, too.
The city’s municipal planning board will recommend its decision to city council who will then make a final vote.