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ALTON - Alton residents are once again speaking out against a homeless shelter proposed by the Salvation Army, this time in a different neighborhood. With a public hearing on the matter set for June 11, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Alton City Hall, some residents already made their opinions known at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

“I’m here to speak against establishing a homeless shelter in Alton,” Resident Jackie Monroe said. “In the last two years, so many bad things are happening in the Alton area because of people who mysteriously are attracted to Alton.”

Monroe suggested city officials use their “police power” to investigate the cause of “non-Altonians” being drawn into the city. She then recalled a series of unpleasant personal experiences within the past two years, including an encounter with a “vagrant” woman from Michigan who Monroe said began residing on the front porch of one of her properties on Salu Street.

“No citizen in this city should have to be going through the things that I have witnessed and the things that I have been a victim of,” she added. “Until this council and the mayor use their police power to find out why these people are being attracted to Alton … and what the consequences are to everybody who lives in Alton, you should not be even thinking of establishing a homeless shelter.”

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Mike Drake, another Alton resident, correctly pointed out that the current proposed site would not be eligible for a major source of funding from the county.

“What was once thought a dead issue - the Salvation Army’s [New] Hope House project - is still breathing,” Drake said. “Although I’ve recently heard that to get Madison County funding, it has to be built within five miles of Edwardsville; the Salvation Army’s preferred site is the 1000 block of Oakwood.”

According to a HOME-ARP Notice of Funding Opportunity filed by Madison County Community Development on June 7, 2024, in order for the project to be eligible for up to $2.5 million in non-congregate shelter (NCS) funding, any proposed site “must be located generally geographically central to the County (meaning within a five-mile radius of the County Administration Building).”

The Salvation Army’s proposed site for the temporary shelter is listed as 1000 Oakwood Avenue on the Alton Plan Commission agenda for June 11, 2024. Given the Madison County Administration Building’s address of 157 N. Main St. in Edwardsville, the Oakwood Avenue site would not be eligible for such funding.

“This issue is to come before the Plan Commission tomorrow, June 11, to amend the zoning ordinance and issue a special use permit for the shelter,” Drake continued. “I hope the Plan Commission scuttles this plan and then the council accepts that negative recommendation, so that Alton does not get back-doored again.”

Two items related to the Oakwood shelter proposal are on the agenda for the Alton Plan Commission meeting on June 11, 2024 at 6 p.m. at Alton City Hall. The items appear on the agenda as follows:

  1. PC 24-007 (Text Amendment) A request by the Salvation Army for a text amendment to the Alton City Code amending Title 11 Zoning Ordinance to allow Temporary Shelters (NAICS 624221) as a special use within the R-4 Multiple Family Residential District and establish supplemental standards regulating the use.
    1. Motion to Open Public Hearing
    2. Staff Report
    3. Public Input
    4. Motion to Close Public Hearing
    5. Motion to Recommend Approval
  2. PC 24-008 (Special Use Permit) A request by the Salvation Army, applicant, on behalf of Morrissey Family Limited Partnership III, owner of record, for a special use permit to operate a Temporary Shelter (NAICS 642221) at 1000 Oakwood Ave. (PPN 23-1-07-01-10-101-014).
    1. Motion to Open Public Hearing
    2. Staff Report
    3. Public Input
    4. Motion to Close Public Hearing
    5. Motion to Recommend Approval

A full recording of the June 10, 2024 Alton Committee of the Whole meeting is available at the top of this story, on the Riverbender.com Facebook page, or on Riverbender.com/video.

More like this:

3 days ago - Alton Commission Amends Code, Rejects Specific Shelter Plan

Apr 15, 2024 - Letter To The Editor: Alton Resident Provides His Views On Proposed Hope House Changes

Mar 26, 2024 - Alton Homeless Shelter Indefinitely On Hold, New Location Sought

Mar 30, 2024 - Overnight Warming Locations to Host Fundraiser on April 6

Apr 22, 2024 - Letter To The Editor: A View About Alton's Recent New Hope Center Presentation At Salvation Army