By Saeed Villanueva |Staff Writer|
Mary’s Village (MV),”homeless shelter for over 100 men in San Bernardino” was set to be built in the third ward of the city and lacks support from city council members to hold a public hearing for construction.
Unfortunately, as a result a homeless shelter for over 100 men failed to gain city approval.
The project was approved in July when members voted 4-2 in favor of the project, but afterwards a few members flipped their stance and started to oppose the shelter.
Members who disapprove feel the project doesn’t provide a solid enough plan that would permit people from other cities from using the shelter.
“We are seeing an influx of homeless into our city, and until we find a way to stop that it, I cannot support projects that simply allow
anybody who applies to get the services that are being offered by a particular provider,” said council member Henry Nickel.
Mary’s Village is being funded by Mary’s Mercy Center (MMC), a public nonprofit organization in San Bernardino founded by Father, Michael Barry, who is the President and Chairman of the Board.
“There’s only one good reason to put this thing back on the agenda; because it’s the right thing to do,” said Father Barry.
MMC has already successfully established a homeless shelter for women called Veronica’s Home for Mercy, which was founded in 2010 and has tried to help women restore their dignity and get their life back on track.
According to Dailybulletin.com, the original plan for the project was to provide housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and other services for homeless men.
Plans for the construction of the project was slated to be on Walnut street between Pico Avenue and San Marcos street, less than two miles from the other shelters that MMC runs.
MMC bought the land for the shelter and spent more than $100,000 over a two year span working with architects and city planners to come up with an adequate plan, according to The Sun.
MV was going to be completely funded by the community and would have cost the city nothing.
“This is a $12 million project that isn’t going to cost the city one solitary dime,” said council member Fred Shorett who supports the project.
The amount of homeless has been an issue that has been plaguing the city for years now.
This year it has been reported that there have been 238 unsheltered people in San Bernardino.
Out of those, 143 are either chronically homeless or have a alcohol/drug problem and 116 had health or disability issues, according to Dailybulletin.com.
“They should put their differences aside and build it. Worrying about other people from other cities shouldn’t hold them back. They can implement rules later on for that if it becomes a problem,” said student Vishaal Raju.
“Our point of being here tonight is not to judge this project one way or the other, its more to ask the council to please bring this back at a later date so that we can work with the council to answer their questions,” said Terry Camp at the city hall meeting. ???
Plans for Mary’s Village remain at a standstill while city council members continue to debate the plan.