Helping Hands of Springfield will have to find another location for their planned homeless shelter and it could be a place that doesn't need a zoning variance. This, after the Springfield City Council voted to deny their zoning variance for a proposed 4th Street location.
During Tuesday's City Council Meeting, a packed chamber heard from proponents and opponents of the measure that would have the Ace Sign Company selling a third of their N. 4th Street location to Helping Hands.
The shelter says they plan 40 beds in that location. Counsel for the petitioners say that the proposed location is a perfect fit because it is around other social service agencies in downtown, including medical care. Opponents says Helping Hands in that location would increase problems for other area residents.
Aldermen Steve Dove and Sam Cahnman said there is another alternative to work with the Springfield Housing Authority to keep Helping Hands in their current location, but Rod Lane from Helping Hands says that would be continuing in an uncertain location that would need substantial upgrades.
Lane says he will have to meet with the Helping Hands board to go over the options which could include getting property that doesn't need a zoning variance, including a parcel that's around the corner form City Hall in downtown.