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Love INC hopes Soldotna will house homeless shelter

Posted: Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Before election results are certified at tonight’s Soldotna City Council meeting, the group is slated to get a look at plans for a homeless shelter proposed for the city.

None of the candidates for the open city council seat received the required 40 percent of the vote Oct. 3, so no winner could be declared. Betty Obendorf and Sharon Hale received 38.93 percent and 38.45 percent, respectively. Candidate Shea Hutchings got 13.4 percent and John Smallwood got 8.56 percent.

Adding in absentee, questioned and special needs ballots could put one over the top. Final results will be made known tonight.

If neither candidate nets more than 40 percent, a runoff election will be conducted Oct. 31.

A homeless shelter, modeled after the Safe Harbor Inn in Anchorage, is being presented to the council by Love INC as a 30-unit, two story facility to be built on city-owned land next to the Alaska State Troopers E Detachment post on Kalifornsky Beach Road.

“The facility will accommodate single-parent families, intact families, single adults, people with disabilities and veterans,” said Love INC Executive Director Ingrid Edgerly on Tuesday.

“Everyone staying at the Family Hope Center — as we’re calling it — will come through case management and will be housed there on a month-to-month basis,” she said.

The shelter will not be for women in crisis or teens alone, Edgerly said.

As planned, each of the 30 units will have two double beds or a combination of bunk beds and a double bed, a full bathroom, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker and television set.

The building will include a kitchen, eating area, lounge, play room for children, community center, laundromat for guests and office space.

Love INC is presenting the idea to the city and hopes to fund the multi-million-dollar facility with grants, Edgerly said.

Although Love In the Name of Christ is a Christian organization, Edgerly said the shelter will be run on a nondenominational basis, open to anyone in need, as long as they are referred by a case manager. No walk-ins will be admitted.

The Soldotna council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and the public hearing on the homeless shelter is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Phil Hermanek can be reached at phillip.hermanek@peninsulaclarion.com.



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