The neighborhood is towards the placement of the Metropolis Stroll Shelter
The Brookwood Drive Neighborhood Association is opposed to the location of the City Walk Urban Mission-managed low-barrier homeless shelter currently located on 1709 Mahan Drive and within 1,000 feet of our neighborhood.
The shelter makes the environment unsafe for residents and businesses. Self-defense is in danger of losing stability in an area with many well-established neighborhoods and businesses unless moving the shelter is a priority. Because of this accommodation, families are already moving out of these districts.
The shelter houses unstable and dangerous people. A search of the FDLE database on Jan. 22 found two sexual predators and five sex offenders who registered the shelter’s address as permanent residents. Hilltop Academy, a school for young children, is across from the shelter.
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The shelter’s intentions were misrepresented to neighbors, who were told it would only be a temporary cold-weather shelter. We now know that City Walk Urban Mission intends to apply for permanent status and an extension.
We reject any Type B rededication request that the shelter may submit to establish a permanent facility at this location. The facility has undoubtedly created fear among residents and businesses and adversely affected the character of the surrounding community.
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To reiterate our grave concerns:
- We can support the mission of the shelter; We do not support the current location.
- There are many problems that affect not only our safety but also the way we live.
- There is a strong sense of discomfort, loss of security, and unwanted intrusion into the neighborhoods surrounding the shelter.
- There was no prior announcement that neighborhoods of this shelter should be placed in close proximity. We only became aware of this when we could physically see the effects of his operations in mid December.
- There was no obvious impact assessment or planning this shelter would have on the area.
We need to know that our voices are being heard and that our city and county officials take this matter seriously. We look forward to hearing what plans both groups of commissioners will put together to address this problem as a national problem – and this plan must be a holistic solution.
While I expect our elected official to lead the effort, it should be implemented by the various agencies and ministries that are doing the work they already know how to do.
Sean Nyberg is an IT manager working for the state of Florida. He has lived in Self-defense since 1979, is a neighborhood community member and is President of the Brookwood Drive Neighborhood Association. He submitted this column on behalf of his and other neighborhoods surrounding the shelter.
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