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Board Approves Purchase of Property for Homeless Shelter

by Katie Pyzyk | November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am | 7,242 views | 111 Comments

(Updated at 11:25 a.m.) At its meeting on Saturday, Nov. 17, the County Board unanimously approved the controversial acquisition of an office building (2020 14th Street N.) in Courthouse that will house county offices and a homeless shelter.

The shelter, which will occupy two of the building’s seven floors, will be open year-round and will replace the current emergency winter shelter, located about two blocks away. Like the winter shelter, it will be operated by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN).

“Arlington is making good on its declaration that in this county, every person is important” said County Manager Barbara Donnellan. “It’s not enough to merely provide beds in an inadequate emergency winter shelter during the coldest months of the year. It is not enough just to keep the homeless alive. We want to give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives.”

County staff recommended the Board approve the deal, because they found that particular building to be most suitable for county offices and storage. Staff members also said they found a portion of the building adequate for renovating into a homeless shelter, to replace the emergency winter shelter located at 2049 15th Street N.

County staff had been working to reach a purchase agreement with the property owner since November 2010, and last year the County Manager was authorized to acquire the property for $25.5 million by purchase or eminent domain. The price finalized at the Board meeting on Saturday was more than $27 million. Staff said although the cost is greater than the county’s appraisal, it’s less than the seller’s appraisal.

More than a dozen people took turns speaking to the Board about the controversial issue, both in favor of and against the building purchase.

Kip Laramie, who owned Santa Fe Cafe (1500 Wilson Blvd) in Rosslyn, said he hasn’t had trouble with homeless people at any of his businesses in Arlington throughout the years. He likes the idea of helping homeless people and giving them a place to go.

“The homeless population was much lower when the emergency winter shelter is open than when it’s closed,” Laramie said. “It would be nice to have that year round lower level of people on the streets.”

Safety was a concern of many residents who live near the shelter.

“I don’t care if my property values go down, what I care about are people outside of my building threatening the safety of my wife and my daughter,” said Nathan Kleekam. Supporters of the homeless shelter argued that the shelter’s location — directly across from Arlington police headquarters — will actually improve safety. Also, they say, A-SPAN has done a good job of addressing safety concerns with the existing shelter.

Another topic of concern was the financial impact of the county purchasing the property.

“I’m not necessarily against the homeless shelter. I do think $25 million in order to build the homeless shelter is quite a lot of money, considering that Arlington County is having a very difficult time building enough schools to educate its children,” Kleekam said.

One common theme that emerged was that neighbors did not feel the county had taken adequate steps to work with them throughout the entire process. Some residents said the county did not do a good job of notifying them about meetings regarding the building purchase.

“You promised to be a good neighbor to us and you have not been,” said January Holt. “Here we are at Thanksgiving time, and the holiday season, and you’re shoving this down the throat. I’m just enraged by this whole process. You have not done what you have promised, and I’m disgusted.”

Some neighbors say they’ve been trying to meet with Board members to get answers to questions, but the Board has not been responsive.

“Every attempt by my neighbors and I to get answers on this project, meaningful answers on this project, have been met with a brick wall,” said Asieh Kehyari. “Why aren’t you renovating the existing building? What other areas have you looked at? Why aren’t they suitable? Why is this the only location? And why are you spending millions and millions in purchasing this building for renovations?”

Joseph Putty spoke as someone who has used A-SPAN’s services and is in favor of the building purchase. He explained that he fell into a deep depression following the death of his daughter several years ago and lost his job and home. He sought out help, and believes the homeless shelter would help others in similar situations to his own.

“I believe the comprehensive center will be beneficial because it would give individuals like myself a chance to get on their feet and become stably housed while receiving the support that’s needed to succeed in life,” said Putty.

As far as the current tenants in the building, the county plans to offer new leases to those on floors five, six and seven. Those on floors two, three and four will have to relocate. They will be offered financial and advisory assistance for relocation.

The retail currently in the building — Ragtime, Courthouse Deli and Highland Shoe Repair — all want to stay and will be offered new leases with the county as the landlord.

The County anticipates closing on the deal will happen tomorrow (Tuesday).

There are three meetings planned to address public concerns about the building and the homeless shelter. They will be held at Key School and include a listening session on December 5, a workshop on December 17 and the presentation of renovation plans on January 14. There will also be a public hearing on a necessary use permit for operating a dormitory, which is expected around March.

In addition to the homeless shelter, the county plans to use the property “as a base for facility maintenance operations, and for vehicle fleet and computer storage.” The county expects renovations to the building and the cost of tenant relocations to total about $15 million.

Photo via Google Maps

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  • http://URL Stitch_Jones

    Can’t…stop…laughing!

  • Rick

    $25 to $50 million budget shortfall? Why not spend 25 million on a homeless shelter!

    THIS IS WHY WE CANT HAVE NICE THINGS

    • speonjosh

      Just out of curiosity, do you think that the $25 million for the office building will be paid in one lump sum, in cash?

    • http://URL geezer

      Actually we already have nice things. And we have an aquatics center coming soon!

  • TomFrank

    Will take a wait and see but the homeless are a serious problem — those that harass the public for money, many of them aggressively. If it becomes an issue, I will avoid Courthouse proper and the county has just hurt local business.,

    • http://URL Anne

      The current shelter is already in Courthouse proper–at 2049 15th Street North.

      • TomFrank

        yes, but this will be a full-time one and larger. So prehaps it will work better in that it will take all the annoying homeless (agressive) from the rest of the county and bring to Courthouse, thus making Courthouse the place to avoid.

        • KalashniKEV

          Once they open it, the new term will be “Outhouse.”

          (on the bright side of this, I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to urinate on THEIR doorstep for a change!)

    • http://URL drax

      There’s already a shelter there. This new one is apparently designed to help the homeless stop being homeless, year-round. That approach has reduced the homeless population in the state as a whole by 8 percent.

      http://www.dailypress.com/news/virginia/sns-ap-va–homeless-rate-20121114,0,6163866.story

    • http://URL arlfedup

      There goes the nice new movie theater. The stench from homeless people peeing and hanging out in the little arcade next door was unbearable. I avoid Courthouse now—the CVS is full of undesirables. We will have more DC homeless in addition to the panhandlers of Rosslyn. This brings crime to the area. It brings mentally ill people. This area was fastly becoming a ‘family area’. The influx of families with young children to the Clarendon/Courthouse/Rosslyn area—you know the ones that bring all of those property taxes—will soon be fleeing. Hey–at least you will solve the school capacity problem.

      • speonjosh

        “undesirables”

        It’s so easy to judge, isn’t it?

  • nom de guerre

    Don’t forget about the “estimated” $15.1 million dollars to renovate the building in addition to the purchase price.

  • http://URL Meow

    May the board he held personally financially liable for any damages to persons as a result of this. if they aren’t prepared to do this, then they shouldn’t be imposing this risk on the community.

    • TomFrank

      blood on their hands

    • http://URL drax

      Should they be responsible for criminals being in the Courthouse area because they put the jail there too, and they walk through after being released?

      • http://URL DCBuff

        Actually, it is an interesting comment–holding board members personally responsible for decisions. After all, they did it to the head of the commonwealth’s transportation department for the 395 hot lanes, and we are still paying for that.

        • Thes

          Only in theory. In practice all his costs were paid for by the government.

          • Lou

            Well when I see him over Thanksgiving, I’ll ask about that.

          • South Awwlington

            And who pays to clean up the man’s record after being named as an individual in this law suit? It was a dirty move and you know it.

        • speonjosh

          I’m all for holding individual government officials accountable for their actions. It would nice if we could hold individual corporate officials accountable for their actions as well.

          But to get the point of Meow’s comments – what exactly is s/he talking about? What culpable actions are relevant here?

        • KalashniKEV

          I want my money back from ArtisFAIL. You know- that giant check Fisette was holding. I want it back personally. From him.

    • speonjosh

      I think you may not fully understand risk.
      It exists every second of every day in your life. Not all of it is quantifiable and hence not capable of being mitigated. I would think that the “risk” to you of the government buying an office building would perhaps fall into that category.

  • Anne

    I really don’t understand all of the opposition to this project. First of all, it’s not a $27M homeless shelter–the building will also house county offices, which are included in that price.

    Secondly, the new building is only blocks away from the current emergency winter shelter. This won’t be bringing any additional homeless people into the Courthouse area who aren’t already clients of A-SPAN. And if you don’t like seeing the homeless on the streets, wouldn’t you rather have them sleeping indoors year-round?

    • http://URL dd

      ^ the most reasonable response here ^

    • Crystal Lite

      I can understand why the neightbors are upset. They paid a premium to purchase a condo in the R-B corridor and their location could be less attractive to prospective buyers. Additionally, the Board seems to have steamrolled over them throughout this process. This is further evidenced by the county closing this deal 2 days after a (to my knowledge last-minute) Saturday board meeting right before a holida. When they announced this deal a few years ago, I recall the had informaton meetings right around Thanksiving or Christmas as well.

      • speonjosh

        Not sure the deal is closed.

        Also, pretty sure that there are NIMBYs throughout the county. No matter where the county chose to set up a year-round shelter for the homeless, people would have complained about loss of property values. There is only so much that the county can do to address that concern.

      • KalashniKEV

        There are still ways to block this. This situation is unacceptable.

        • http://URL ArlRes

          I’m sure the new homeless shelter will have the same horrifically destructive consequences as the apocalypse that ensued after the affordable housing project was built in Clarendon… oh wait, nothing happened. Oops.

          • KalashniKEV

            Let’s pay to put bums on every corner in the corridor. If we lower the property value in North Arlington and attract enough vagrants and criminals, maybe South Arlington can catch up!

            Sadly, all productive people of Arlington will be paying to bank roll these welfare rats.

            As was suggested before, how about, “Not in ANYBODY’S backyard?”

          • Corey

            The bums are going to go in the homeless shelter, Kev, not “every corner in the corridor”.

          • LarsJones

            Nothing happened with the Clarendon affordable housing project because like most of the affordable housing projects in the corridor, the housing is either not truly affordable or the management keeps it a secret, or the affordable housing is rented to graduating students, who qualify. Rest assured — the occupants of the homeless shelter will actually be homeless.

      • http://URL arlcitizens

        I think we should organize an uprising. Lets picket the Board. Let’s get active. Let’s let somebody finally advocate for the homeowners.

        Unless you are a dog (million clarendon dog park) or homeless or in need of affordable housing–Arlington doesn’t care what you think.

        • KalashniKEV

          They have to be voted out. They have consistently made decisions *against* the safety, prosperity, and quality of life of the citizens of Arlington. They enjoy doing Wrong. It makes them feel powerful.

        • http://URL torch and pitchfork wielding mob

          This will not stand! whose with us?

          • speonjosh

            I like how you misspelled “who’s” – nice touch, torch and pitchfork wielding mob.

      • http://URL Just the Facts

        “Steamrolled over them” = rich white people who had a Board decision not go their way.

    • Easy as ABC

      So, A) turn the existing shelter into the year-round shelter (saves money), and B) spend some of those millions on fixing the problems at the current county offices so they don’t need to buy a new building (saves money), which would C) allow the current office building to remain for offices and retail and tax revenue (makes money).

      • brown before green

        Sorry but I have some facts for you. (a) the existing building is going to be torn down to produce bigger better building, which will increase tax revenue, (b) there are no ‘problems’ at the current county office property, rather, this new site will take place of offices in a building that will be torn down and redeveloped for a larger better buildign (more tax revenue), and (c) the existing building they’re buying is a much smaller tax generator than the new ones that are coming.

        • http://URL Easy as ABC

          You are not fully informed. There are infrastructure problems at the current building.

          • Fedupwithbailingeveryoneout

            There are other locations that these county offices can go. Look at the hole in the wall facility that is off of 4 Mile Run. I’m sure there are much cheaper locations that these offices can go, they don’t need to be in prime real estate spots just because they are County employees. I own, pay my mortgage and have to work harder to pay for these folks so they don’t have to, they SHOULD NOT have nicer things than me. Selfish, don’t care, I was raised to be responsible for myself as these people should be. I need to move from Arlington, this area is starting to make me sick.

          • http://URL drax

            I’m sure some homeless people are lazy and selfish. But others, as the testimony showed, are not. They are just normal people with big problems who need help. The idea that you couldn’t possibly be homeless someday and unable to get yourself back on your feet is naive. Nobody is immune to life. Mental illness, disability, financial ruin due to a combination of factors like job loss and catastrophic illness — these happen to everyone. So enough of this “selfish bums” talk already.

          • http://URL Just the Facts

            Bye, Fedup

        • CW

          I tried to argue this before but people handily gloss over the fact that the county, by liquidating its current asset and allowing the site to be redeveloped, will handily recoup much of the cost of this project.

          Frankly I attribute much of this misinformation to sensationalist, skewed headlines like this one. The county bought an office building. 2/7 of that will be used to replace a homeless shelter IT ALREADY HAS and the rest will be used to replace an office building IT ALREADY has. The consolidation will allow the existing assets to be liquidated on the open market for $$$$.

          • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

            “Board Approves Purchase of Property for Homeless Shelter” is a sensationalist headline?

          • Anne

            @ARLNow: “Board Approves Purchase of Property for Homeless Shelter and County Offices” would better reflect the article.

          • speonjosh

            Yes, because it implies that the Board purchased a homeless shelter. Which is not the case. Also, because you know full well that it’s a controversial issue among your readers and wording it this way only serves to poke a stick at a bee hive. Which is fine by you since it drives up page views, etc.
            So yes, a little sensationalist.

          • CW

            Yes. You chose to emphasize one aspect of the project – that being the provocative part. The building is 71% NOT homeless shelter, and is allowing the County to restructure its holdings and liquidate existing assets, but your headline didn’t reflect that smart business decision. Instead it just feeds the trolls.

          • rjp82

            Also, to clarify, the County will be selling the existing building to JBG, who owns the rest of the block next to the shelter. Last time I checked the County was supposed to have developers provide benefits in exchange for site plan approval, not the County spend $40M+ so a developer can come in and reap the majority (I’d say all, but I know someone will chime in that the County will get higher revenue to then spend on other wasteful projects) of the benefit.

    • http://URL Kevin

      I agree it’s not strictly a homeless shelter we are getting for 27 million, but I’d like to see them breakout the price for how much goes into each project. I can’t see any monetary efficiency to placing a homeless shelter in an office building and why these projects are being lumped together. The fact that the county won’t break out the relevant prices for each and simply states “no your getting more than just a homeless shelter for 27 million” makes it seem like they are trying to pull a fast on.

    • Fedupwithbailingeveryoneout

      $27M to buy a building when we are having a $50M shortfall in Arlington. Do you see the correlation now? If they didn’t buy this we would only have a $23M shortfall, which is still ridiculous but it’s do to all the programs we provide to those less fortunate.
      It’s blocks away from the “current emergency winter shelter” again you are missing the point this will be YEAR round, unlike the current situation which is only during the winter. I’d rather them sleeping indoors, but not paying for them to do so. Also what is the likelihood they will sleep indoors???

      • speonjosh

        Major logic fail.

        The $27 million for this building is not a line item in the FY13 or 14 budgets. The shortfall happens regardless of whether this building is purchased.

    • http://URL Ahhlington

      + 1,000

      • http://URL Ahhlington

        Ugh, that would be + 1,000 to Anne’s comment above.

    • rjp82

      It’s $40M+ for a homeless shelter, computer storage, and swing space to accomodate county offices until they can develop the Courthouse parking lot. The County could rebuild a brand new shelter for significantly less than the shelter’s portion of the project, could rent computer storage space somewhere other than the expensive R-B corridor and could rent swing space in any number of buildings in the area (including the building they bought or the Verizon building across the street). Renting would mean more tax revenue for the County versus buying a building that not only wastes money but decreases the County tax base. There is no way to look at this project and not believe it is a colossal waste of taxpayer money, particularly as we go into a year with a $25M-$50M budget gap.

    • MDP

      I’m confused as to how you don’t how a brand new $15M 24/7 All-year-round Homeless Shelter will not attract more homeless people then a run-down part-down emergency shelter? Have you ever walked by the Courthouse Metro station when the current homeless shelter is open? No? Well, my wife and I had and some bum in a wheel chair ask us for money as we walked out of the CVS. When we ignored him, he said, “You and your little blonde C*NT GIRLFRIEND CAN GO F*** YOURSELFS.” Yes, the police station is down the street, but that didn’t prevent this incident from happening. Do you really think that they simply go to the homeless shelter, and then lock themselves inside all year round without leaving?

  • http://URL Stink

    Any word if the county is getting a deal on bulk purchases of febreeze? The foul body odor stench is about to go up 100 fold in that area.

    • http://URL sunflower

      what, no showers in this new facility??

    • http://URL drax

      This is a shelter that will be open in the summer too, to replace a winter-only shelter. The stench should go down, not up.

  • John Fontain

    The shelter portion of this building will cost us around $7.7 million. Add another $3 to $4 million to renovate this portion of the building and also add another $2 million in NPV of lost property taxes. All in (but before ongoing maintenance and operating costs), the shelter portion of the building will cost us approximately $13.7 million.

    I suspect that for less money we could have bought townhouses in Dumfries for each of the homeless who use Arlington’s shelter. Or we could have constructed an entirely new facility in a less expensive part of the county for a lot less.

    • http://URL drax

      Buy townhomes? The shelter will serve lots of people over the years, not a single group. It’s not permanent housing.

  • http://URL Ahhlington

    Funny how some in Arlington think they’re so liberal and care about the plight of others, until that plight shows up at their front door.

    Seriously though, I wonder how many of the people who were so dead set opposed to having the shelter two blocks down the street from them because they might have to (shudder) come in contact with a dirty homeless person voted Democrat in this election?

  • T.O.

    Arlington is really trying hard to be just like San Francisco.

  • RosslynM

    I don’t have a problem with the location, but the threat of using eminent domain seems excessive. Is there no other suitable building with a willing buyer?

    • RosslynM

      ^willing seller.

  • Narlington

    Why can’t Arlington just stop spending money. They claim they are going to be short this year, cutting police – fire staff and pay, but yet they want to spend 70 million on a pool in an area that no one will use since the school pools are closer. 250 million on a trolly that they can’t tell if it will work or what the final cost will be. But they are not spending money on the infrastructure improvements pr school replacement. what the hell

    • speonjosh

      It’s more complicated than that.

      • KalashniKEV

        It’s really quite simple. Just addition and subtraction, really.

  • http://URL Mike

    I would just like to say that there are some horrible, thoughtless people that comment on this site.

    Carry on.

    • Exactly

      Anonymity and the internet bring out the best in people.

    • dd

      But not all.

  • http://URL Thes

    In an urban high-rise neighborhood, there can be a big difference between something being two blocks away and being on your same block. Furthermore it is unknown what the effects will be once this shelter becomes year-round. Right now every summer, the homeless people who had congregated in Courthouse in the winter disperse. Once the shelter is year round, the shelter may become a permanent magnet. By comparison, the DC shelter at D and 2nd Street N.W. has resulted in a large permanent colony of homeless people loitering during the day in the sidewalks immediately adjacent to the shelter. Even at the Arlington winter shelter, the park benches immediately outside the shelter are effectively “reserved” for homeless people who camp on them during the months the shelter is open, and the panhandling outside the CVS near the existing shelter is pretty aggressive by Arlington standards.

    I think it is appropriate for Arlington to upgrade its homeless shelter facilities, and this new location and facility seems more or less reasonable to me. Also, I think the fears that this will somehow put nearby residents at increased risk of sex crimes is overblown. At the same time, I think it is naive to think that without aggressive management of the area *outside* the shelter, there won’t be meaningful impacts on the community.

    We should compassionately accept that homeless people are not a single stereotype — many are employed, most are homeless only temporarily, and most homeless people are invisible to us (meaning, among other things, that they do not cause neighbors any notice or trouble). And even those homeless people with severe mental illness or drug addiction do need a place to go to minimize catastrophic outcomes such as death, injury or crime, and have an always-open door to treatment or recovery.

    However, we also must realistically recognize that a facility that attracts some severely ill or addicted individuals (even if they are the minority of homeless people) requires management both inside and outside the facility. It would make sense, for example, to adopt a stricter ordinance forbidding camping or panhandling within a specified distance (say, a mile) of the facility. We can probably learn from the experiences of other communities like San Francisco, which was so compassionate that eventually became a nationwide magnet for homeless people, and has since become more sensible in its approach.

    • Ricardo

      I’m sorry, but this is just not an acceptable forum for civilized and thoughtful comments.

    • http://URL Reality

      “We should” “we also must” “it is appropriate for Arlington”

      Really? These are personal opinions attempting to be thrust upon everyone else as facts.

  • KalashniKEV

    More of the same due diligence we saw in Trolley Folly.

    Not surprising.

  • Claire

    I think that it is a very good point that having the shelter will give people who are experiencing homelessness a place to go, so there will be fewer homeless people on the streets or around the Metro and local businesses.

    Many people are experiencing homelessness because they suffer from a mental illness. A disproportionate amount of people experiencing homelessness are veterans. Whole families – children, mothers, fathers – can find themselves homeless when they least expect it. On the whole, homelessness is not a choice. I respect these individuals’ right to work towards a better quality of life and I know that this shelter will help them.

    By addressing the needs of people experiencing homelessness, this comprehensive facility will help them move out of homelessness. It will make Arlington a better and safer place for all of us.

    As a lifelong Arlingtonian and someone who has formerly worked in a shelter that provides services to people experiencing homelessness and poverty, I am very excited to support this project.

    • http://URL Tre

      Thanks for providing some balance to these comments.

    • Why

      Why do you assume that the homeless will spend all of their time hanging out in the shelter? I could see them coming to the shelter for a meal and/or to sleep but during the daytime hours hanging out where they always do, pan handling for money.

      • MDP

        What is going to stop them from pan handling for money outside of Ragtime, CVS, Boston Market, Four Courts, Wendy’s, Bayou Bakery, Cosi, etc.???

  • http://URL sunflower

    Many homeless (and many with homes) stop taking their anti psychotic meds when they start to feel better. If we can orchestrate getting homeless people who are, or should be on such meds to stay on them, we will have fewer threats to the public by halucinatory people.

    • http://URL Cole Sear

      I see homeless people!

    • http://URL Claire

      Yes! Access to case workers at homeless shelters will be a great help with this, in addition to so many other things.

  • Tom

    I ride the 38B to work everyday and there are many homeless people that ride the bus back to DC. Despite what the county may think, these homeless shelters draw people from more than just other parts of the county. Unfortunately, many of them are intoxicated at 9am and harrass and yell at people just trying to get to work.

    • KalashniKEV

      A lot of people see this as a coping mechanism to deal with what they feel is their unearned success in life/ white guilt.

      The fact that they can bank roll these drunkards, sex offenders, schizo’s, and worse, helps them sleep at night… so long as they don’t have to be personally involved in really-actually-helping them.

      Sadly, for those in the affected area, this will mean much more than a tremendous loss in property value and a new bleed on our budget- there will be Victims in the next year… and they can thank the Progressive Agenda.

      • http://URL Malaka

        “A lot of people see this as a coping mechanism to deal with what they feel is their unearned success in life/ white guilt. ”

        By “a lot of people” you mean yourself and NovaSteve.

      • http://URL drax

        If you’re going to psychoanalyze your opponents, they get to do the same to you, Kev. And you don’t want that.

    • http://URL jen

      +100

  • http://URL Just Venting

    Random fearful statement full of hyperbole and unsubstantiated generalizations!!! :-O

    ok .. I feel better now.

    • MDP

      So this just happen within the last 5 days. So, where’s the unsubstantiated generalization?

      >>>”At 2:05 am on September 15, a female victim states she was sexually assaulted by an unknown suspect as she was walking from the Rosslyn Metro Station to find a cab. The suspect also robbed the victim of $45 cash. The suspect is described as black male with a thin build and beard. He was wearing all grey clothing and appeared to be homeless according to the victim at the time of the incident.” http://www.fairlington.org/crimereports.htm

  • http://URL Sarah

    Before people make generalizations about the Homeless in Courthouse and the facilities, why don’t you volunteer at A-SPAN’s Emergency Winter Shelter to meet some of our local Homeless and see how the program is run? A lot of the clients are trying to do things so that they aren’t homeless anymore. It’s not a hotel. Sure, it’s a free bed and free meal, but it’s not a great bed and it’s not really a great meal. Yes, there are some people who seem less mentally stable, but this is not true of the majority who stay in the shelter. There are rules to these shelters, once the clients check-in for the night (which usually occurs around 5pm), they can’t leave the facility unless they check-out. This means that if they want a bed, they come to the shelter when it’s early and they are OFF the streets by nightfall. There are showers and a laundry room in the facility so they can clean up and not (to an earlier commenter’s reply) be stinky. Being able to get ready to be presentable helps them when they have a job interview later on that day. Also, you need to put the facility in a location that is accessible to the clients since they don’t have cars to take them wherever a new location may be. So, while it would be less costly to put the shelter elsewhere, it wouldn’t be as effective in serving its purpose.

    • http://URL mrmeow

      What happens if more Leon Trailes come to arlington as a result? They don’t just have to firebomb malls, it could be other crimes of violence.

      • CW

        No homeless have done anything as horrific as what Jorge Torrez did. Where are the cries to shut down Henderson Hall?

  • Anne

    I have volunteered with A-SPAN, Sarah, and it was a great experience. Thank you for the great work you’re doing in the community.

  • fourmilerunner

    I’m looking forward to the fire sale on condos in Courthouse. Although I will be really sad if the homeless shelter blocks the view of the jail.

  • MrMeow

    So will they get free ART bus rides to bathe at the $79 million pool we’re going to get?

    • KalashniKEV

      No… because then someone would actually use it. Nobody’s gonna go swimming in a Public Pool.

      • http://URL drax

        You are one person, Kev, not the center of the universe. Not everyone thinks like you. For instance, millions of people swim in public pools daily across our great country.

        • http://URL Steve

          But, Drax, if they are out swimming in the pool, when do they find time to spend literally all day smugly commenting on and rebutting every other comment posted on their local message board?

  • MrMeow

    Keep on voting for the people on the board and similar people and be shocked at the results you get? Let’s see, we’re getting idiot trolleys, an 80 million dollar swimming pool, and now a year round homeless shelter. Thanks!

    • speonjosh

      Your argument might make a little sense if Arlington were some sort of run down pit. However, quite the contrary, it’s one of the wealthiest counties in the nation with services that most would envy. So, there is little reason besides sputtering ignorance to suggest that the board is somehow incompetent.

      • MrMeow

        They are fiscally incompetent, and are proving it.

        • speonjosh

          If you say so I guess it must be true.

    • MDP

      Thank you!!! I completely oppose establishing the homeless shelter at the location the County Board has forced upon that entire area. However, i guarantee the majority of that idiot board is going to get re-elected. It’s absolutely baffling to me as to how board members can disregard their constituents as badly as the ACB, yet still continue to get re-elected.

  • mrmeow

    I think they determined that Leon Traile was in fact homeless. So the argument that they aren’t a safety risk isn’t valid if that’s indeed the case. He did try to fire bomb Ballston mall AND was arrested by Courthouse. He was busted right in the middle of the courtyard bewteen the quickie mart and the starbucks on top of courthouse metro. You just think it might be possible that having more homeless people might lead to problems?

    • Claire

      Plenty of crimes are committed by people who aren’t homeless, too.

    • MDP

      I mean, wasn’t there a “knife-wielding wheelchair” robber arrested a few weeks ago for attempting to rob the Courthouse CVS??? This is what happens. I don’t understand why people can’t comprehend the inevitable outcome of this situation.

  • Sam the Cat

    I’m so happy this place was chosen over other areas – mainly because its far from my home.

  • ARLTHEN

    This is the perfect place for a West Virginia bar.

  • Scott

    Can’t we just move the homeless shelter into one of the underutilized sections of the soon-to-be-built Aquatic Center.

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