Later this summer, a new drop-in center for homeless people will open at Centenary United Methodist Church on Plaza Square.
It will be a place at which homeless people can get a meal every evening. It will have restrooms and showers the first time such things has been available to the homeless here. It will have a kitchen from which volunteer groups can coordinate their efforts. Eventually, services available at the center will include employment services, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse counseling.
It will improve a bad situation.
Right now, churches from throughout the region bring food to homeless people at Lucas Park, a public park and kids playground adjacent to the Downtown Children’s Center. Some days, no church shows up. Other days, several groups show up.
This is not a good service.
Lucas Park is a City park. It lacks a roof and walls. Because it is a public park, no other services — like showers, bathrooms, or counseling are provided there.
Homeless people need a service center, not a park.