This was a proposal to create a men's shelter in the same small facility that was already running programs for inner city children. Who thought these two groups would be compatible together? What politicians supported this proposal? The Children's Gospel Mission owned the building and had been working with underprivileged city kids for 100 years at this site.
The Children's Gospel Mission Board had to be convinced to sign a long lease with St Stephen's who would then run the men's shelter as a tenant of the Children's Mission. So, shelter advocates wrote a proposal that stated all men staying at the shelter would be part of a higher expectation program requiring sobriety, employment, and savings*** and that all men would be "hand picked by staff." AFTER receiving the cautious approval of the Mission Board and the local community, the proposal was rewritten by shelter staff. The final documents filed with the city now described the project as "an extension of the shelter at St. Stephen’s" with most beds given away by a nightly lottery. Surprised by the revelation of this lottery the Mission Board felt they'd been misled and in the end voted to turn down the proposal.
*** The author of this City Pages article, Paul Demko, also reported these same program requirements; "Residents would be required to sign up for at least a 30-day stay at Love Power Church, hold down a job, save 40 percent of their earnings toward permanent housing, and attend classes focusing on life skills such as personal finance and nutrition." City Pages "Zoned Out" November 2000.
I'd like to clarify this point; the Children's Gospel Mission Board was told that their children's programs could coexist in the same facility with homeless men because the men would be carefully screened by shelter staff. Chemical dependency and mental health issues in the male homeless population should be a serious consideration as to where these shelters are located. A random nightly lottery for beds would not have provided screening of the men staying in the Children's Mission building.