EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County officials announced on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, that after receiving a new letter from the Salvation Army it will be indefinitely deferring its application of the $2.5 million grant for a proposed 48-bed homeless shelter in Alton while a new location is sought.

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The non-profit organization sent a letter requesting that Madison County Grants Committee defer any action on the $2.5 million HOME Investment Partnership - American Rescue Plan grant so it could find an alternative location for the project. The Grants Committee, which is set to hold its next meeting at 4 p.m. on April 2, will not take any action on the grant.

“I’ve been working with Travis Widman, who is an advisory board member to the Salvation Army, and I’m glad that they are now going to find a new location for the shelter,” County Board member Valarie Doucleff of Godfrey said. “The proposed location, which is directly adjacent to schools, homes and business and in one of county’s premiere historic downtowns is not an appropriate location for such a massive new homeless shelter.”

Doucleff first found out about the plan to build the shelter on March 11. The plan was pulled before it went to County Board for a vote on March 20.

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Doucleff, who grew up in the historic Middletown neighborhood where the Salvation Army’s Booth House was located until it was torn down in 2021, said 525 Alby St. is no longer the spot for a homeless shelter. Doucleff’s County Board district encompasses north and western parts of the city.

Doucleff said since learning about the new $7.1 million facility she’s spoken to more than a hundred residents who live in the neighborhood and a majority of them do not want to see the shelter rebuilt at the same location, especially one far larger than the previous shelter.

“Frankly, if this will be funded by a county grant I would like to see the Salvation Army look at the entirety of the county for such a project and consider a more centralized location and not just Alton,” she said. “A plan that should be away from homes, business and schools. Even so any new proposal will be scrutinized by the County Board for its impact on neighbors.”

Doucleff said county officials discussed a need for a shelter last year following a Community Development Needs Assessment. She said if a proposed shelter comes before the committee again she would like to be kept informed.

Capt. Cassy Grey with the Salvation Army stated in the letter “they are working diligently with the community to find a new location for its planned New Hope House.”

“Once the desired location is found, we will submit our amended proposal for the consideration of the grants committee,” Grey said.

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Apr 3, 2024 - Madison County Grants Committee Hears Support for New Hope House

Mar 21, 2024 - 'New Hope House' Shelter Proposal Stirs Debate Among Alton Ward 1 Residents

Apr 19, 2024 - Salvation Army Answers Questions, Concerns About New Hope House at Alton's 4th Ward Monthly Meeting

Apr 15, 2024 - Letter To The Editor: Balancing Compassion and Prudence: An Alderman’s Perspective on the Proposed Salvation Army Shelter

Mar 26, 2024 - Salvation Army Addresses Concerns And Future Of Hope House