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Suggested site expected in June for city-funded homeless 'day center'

       One or more proposed locations for a homeless “day center” should be known by mid-June.
       The city expects to issue a request for proposals (RFP) May 1 on the facility, according to Aimee Cox, a Mayor's Office administrator whose title is senior economic vitality specialist.
       Mid-June is calculated based on what Cox said would be a six-week RFP time frame.
       The city announced in January that it will fund the center because people without permanent residences currently have no place to go during the day.
       The RFP should also narrow down currently undetermined details about the building's size and design. As part of the process, the city is seeking suggestions from area entities that provide services to the homeless, Cox said in an interview last week.
       A document that the city presented in January listed several services/amenities that the day center will have: showers and laundry facilities, case management and family connections, physical evaluations and treatment, job assistance and life skills services, community voice mail and lockers and storage bins.
       At a Westside community meeting on crime issues March 19, Police Sgt. Michael Spitzmiller briefly discussed day centers. In Pueblo, for example, the number of people using its day center has gone up noticeably in the past year, he told meeting attendees. But without such a formalized facility in Colorado Springs “it's the library downtown.” Responding to concerns about the impacts a center might have on the areas around it, Spitzmiller replied, “I don't think it's a bad thing, depending on how it's run." He assured people at the meeting that the day center being planned for the Springs "is not going to be a flophouse where people hang out and play video games all day."
       According to the city's January announcement, the day center's funding will be drawn from current federal and local money earmarked for offsetting homelessness. Other grants will also be sought.
       There will be a public input process before day center plans are finalized, Cox also said at that time.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/24/14; Community: Ongoing Issues)

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