- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Some business owners are uneasy about a planned temporary homeless shelter in Iowa City aimed at keeping people warm during the winter.

Earlier this week, the Iowa City Council approved spending up to $20,000 on the project that will be housed in a former grocery store building. It will be open only in January and February and is expected to have at least 20 beds.

Owner Jim Rogers of Jim’s Instrument Manufacturing said the short-term housing solution could draw more criminal activity to the area. While he said he’s sympathetic to their plight, he notes there’s already another homeless shelter in the area.

Paul Young, who owns Sweet Livin’ Antiques, told KWWL-TV (https://bit.ly/1zzGxas ) that he supports helping those in need, but worries the temporary shelter could become permanent.

“We know the term ‘not in my backyard,’ but we’ve got a facility here like that in our backyard,” Young said. “I think the city should spread some of these services and locations for these services.”

Jack Rockafellow, who has been homeless for nearly a year, said he’d like to tell business owners not to be worried about their shops. He said “actually some of these homeless people will probably help out in making sure nobody was damaging their businesses.”

Last year, the Iowa City police station and part of the City Hall lobby were used to house people during cold nights.


Information from: KWWL-TV, https://www.kwwl.com

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