Merced Temporary Homeless Shelter Debate

August 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The City of Merced is considering a new plan to get the homeless off the streets and into temporary housing.Monday night, city council members will vote on whether to use city funds to turn a vacant apartment building into a shelter. The city already bought the twelve unit complex and the land to make room for a new traffic project, but getting it ready for new residents would cost the city $46 thousand dollars. That's because some of the units have mold and others would have to be tested.

Even if approved, the solution would only be a short term fix. "It would only be a temporary solution though. Ultimately, whenever it is that Caltrans does give approval, we would be tearing them down. So it would be a short term solution," said Mike Conway with the City of Merced.

If council members give the go ahead, the city would still have to find a church or nonprofit organization to run the shelter.

The city has been struggling to find a way to house their homeless. One challenge is finding a place where sex offenders can live that's not close to schools or parks.

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