Federal judge hears arguments in Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist case seeking right to operate homeless shelter near Old Town Lenexa

first_imgProject 1020 is providing motel rooms for clients experiencing homelessness, like this man who asked not to be named.A federal judge on Thursday oversaw a hearing in a lawsuit filed by Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church against the city of Lenexa, which has denied the church’s request to house clients of Project 1020, a cold weather homeless shelter previously based in Olathe.Because Project 1020 has no permanent space, it is putting clients in motel rooms. Some are declining a room to save money for Project 1020; in those cases, the organization is providing sleeping bags and tent supplies.Judge Daniel Crabtree, a United States District Judge, heard arguments from both the church and the city on the case. The courtroom at the Robert J. Dole Courthouse was filled with orange, as about 75 supporters of the homeless shelter came out in support of the church.The church is asking the courts to grant a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, which, if granted, could allow the church to begin operating a homeless shelter for a certain period of time while the case is ongoing and pending a full trial.The church’s argument for a preliminary injunction asks the courts to maintain the status quo — the status quo being that a homeless ministry is core to the church’s beliefs and should be protected as a First Amendment right.On the other hand, Lenexa has asked the courts to dismiss the case, arguing that the church did not exhaust its options by going through the city’s appeals process to reconsider the request or by coming up with alternative solutions.The city’s argument for a preliminary injunction makes a similar request regarding the status quo — only it argues that the status quo is that throughout the church’s history, it has not operated a homeless shelter at that site.The church property, located at 9400 Pflumm Road in Old Town, is zoned residential. Surrounding it are commercial and retail properties for businesses, single-family homes and train tracks to the north. The church is the former home of Bonjour Elementary.Dan Dalton, the attorney representing the church, said the church “didn’t have any other options” besides moving forward with a lawsuit. In his oral arguments, he said the city of Lenexa doesn’t have any zoning districts that allow for homeless shelters, which means it’s up to the discretion of city staff to grant or deny the church’s request to operate a homeless shelter.Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 9400 Pflumm Road in Old Town.“In a lot of communities throughout the United States, that’s intentional, the idea being is if they don’t define, they don’t conditionally permit it, then they don’t allow it,” Dalton said. “It really discourages homeless shelters from trying to apply to be in a community because they’re not even allowed.”In a letter Oct. 23 to the church, Magi Tilton, planning and development administrator for Lenexa, had noted that the high density of the proposed homeless shelter operation — 40 people each night — is similar to the density of a hotel, which would make it too dense in comparison with the neighboring single-family homes.When Crabtree asked if the city had proposed alternative locations, David Jack, assistant city attorney, said no, but that they had thought conversations with the church would be ongoing. City legal staff said the city had hoped to work with the church on finding an alternative location for a homeless shelter and was therefore not expecting to be served the lawsuit.Additionally, the city argued that overnight parties and temporary crisis shelters (like in the event of a natural disaster) would be permitted at the church, but a homeless shelter is considered to be permanent, like a home.“The city is willing to try and work with the church to see if we can find some alternatives,” Jack said. “We just don’t think this use in a residential area is appropriate.”Barb McEver, co-founder of Project 1020, said they hope to operate a cold weather shelter from the beginning of December through the end of March. Clients would arrive in the evening, eat a hot meal, and have a place to sleep. All she needs is a building.“In my mind, it’s just so simple. People need to know they matter, and I think that is the first start,” McEver said. “I want to provide an environment where they come in and they feel some reprieve, they feel welcome, and they feel like they matter.”Project 1020 has been looking for a space for a homeless shelter since the city of Olathe denied its request to operate in a building on West Park Street.There is one shelter in Johnson County that offers four beds for single adult women, but no shelter for single adult men, according to court documents. Last year, Project 1020 served 240 homeless individuals.In an email to the Shawnee Mission Post, city spokeswoman Denise Rendina shared the city’s goal moving forward.“We acknowledge that homelessness is an issue for our county and we would like to be part of a permanent solution for the county as a whole,” she said.Rendina noted that the Lenexa city council on Tuesday, after its meeting in executive session, unanimously agreed to accept the filing of an appeal by the church, so long as it does so by Feb. 3, 2020.One client asking for temporary housing; neighbors share mixed feelingsOne client who let the Post visit his motel room Thursday evening shared his frustrations with being homeless. He asked not to be named because it could damage his relationship with his employer. Even though he had a full-time job, a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and grew up in Overland Park (he’s a 1991 graduate of SM South), he lost his home after back-to-back tragedies stunned him.He lost his wife in a car accident with a drunk driver, and his son to suicide about a month later. Because of his savings, it took two years for him to lose everything else he owned, including his house in Overland Park.“It’s a hellish existence,” he said. “It consumes you when you don’t know where you’re going to stay the next night.”He noted that he has a new full-time job now, but it’s not enough to pay for housing on top of other expenses. And his situation grew even more precarious after his employer found out he wasn’t getting good rest because he didn’t have a steady place where he could sleep each night.“Nobody else at my job has to prove they had a place to sleep last night,” he said. He said a homeless shelter in Johnson County would help him get him back on his feet and let him save up for permanent housing on his own.Neighboring residents and business owners have shared mixed feelings on the homeless shelter. In person, homeowners and businesses close to the church told the Shawnee Mission Post they support the church’s initiative.“If there’s people on the street around this area and they’re willing to find a home for them, I have no problem with that,” Heidi Seman, a neighboring business owner, adding that she hasn’t seen homeless people in Lenexa. “Why is it going to bother me?”“I think it’s perfect for them to have a better future, to have a place to sleep at night so they don’t have to worry about tomorrow,” said neighboring resident Carlos Alvarez.Neighbors on Nextdoor, however, raised concerns and said they wanted more information from the church.“As a Christian, I feel we need to help the less fortunate,” said Michael Elliott, a resident of Old Town who ran for city council in 2017. “I’m glad that they’re doing that, I just have a problem with the place.”Elliott said he thinks it’s not an appropriate area because he believes the clients being served are not from the area.In response, McEver said Project 1020 only serves clients in Johnson County, including some who are from the area but have day jobs in Kansas City, Missouri.Crabtree said he may make a decision on the church’s request for a temporary restraining order sometime early next week. A hearing for a preliminary injunction may occur at a later date. In the meantime, he told both parties to try to work things out, noting that once he rules, “one of you is going to walk away disappointed.”last_img read more

April 1, 2017 On the Move

first_img On the Move Raymond (Ray) L. Schumann has joined the Rice Law Firm as the partner in charge of the real estate and business transactional sections. Garrett P. LaBorde has joined Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer as a partner in Pensacola focusing on intellectual property law, internet and technology law, and corporate and commercial law. Jason Breth has been elected a shareholder of Bryant Miller Olive in Tallahassee. He focuses on financing transactions. Gary Birnberg has joined JAMS in Miami and will serve as a mediator and arbitrator in a variety of disputes including business/commercial, class action/mass tort, construction, employment, financial markets, intellectual property, professional liability, and real property. Daniel Fleming and Philip Mokris have joined GrayRobinson in Tampa as shareholder and of counsel, respectively. Fleming is board certified in civil trial law. Mokris focuses on insurance defense and estate planning matters. Marc E. Brown has opened Attorney at Law Marc Brown, P.A., in Ft. Lauderdale and has acquired and is now president of All Florida Title Company. Douglas Stein has joined ALG in Miami as a senior partner and will head the firm’s appellate litigation practice. Jeffrey R. Cooperman has become a partner with Solomon, Furshman & Cooperman in Miami. Cooperman focuses on developer representation, with a niche focus on HOA and condominium matters. Seth Alhadeff has joined Lewis Brisbois in Miami and Noel Johnson, Stefanie Phillips, Brian Goldenberg, and Ravika Rameshwar joined as associates. Alhadeff focuses on insurance, construction, securities, and criminal law. Johnson, Phillips, Goldenberg, and Rameshwar are members of the general liability practice with focuses ranging from complex commercial litigation to insurance coverage. Aleas Koos has joined Broad and Cassel in Orlando as an associate in the real estate practice group. Heather A. DeGrave and Thomas C. Valentine have become partners of Walters Levine & Lozano. DeGrave focuses on construction, collections, and business litigation. Valentine practices in the areas of commercial and construction litigation and insurance disputes. Jennifer Powers has joined Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger in North Palm Beach focusing on real estate and finance transactions. Luis Santos of Tampa and Amy Turci of Jacksonville have been named partners with FordHarrison. Santos focuses on the representation of employers in matters related to labor and employment law. Turci concentrates on litigating employment cases in state and federal courts. Brinkley Morgan has relocated its downtown Ft. Lauderdale office to 100 SE Third Ave. The new offices will occupy the 23rd floor of the One Financial Plaza building. Jameson Rice of Holland & Knight has transferred from the firm’s Washington, D.C., office to the Tampa office. Rice focuses on matters pertaining to the transportation industry. The Law Offices of Keith A. Seldin, P.A., has relocated to 270 South Central Blvd., Suite 203, in Jupiter. The firm focuses on real estate law, title insurance, corporation and business law, wills, probate, guardianships and trusts, first-party insurance claims and insurance law, and commercial litigation. Linda Worton Jackson is merging her Miami bankruptcy and corporate practice into Pardo Gainsburg’s real estate and construction law firm. The new firm will be known as Pardo Jackson Gainsburg, PL, with specialties in real estate, corporate, construction law, bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and hotel/hospitality law. Joseph A. Cafaro and Roger C. Simmons have joined Kelley Kronenberg in Ft. Lauderdale. Cafaro focuses on third-party insurance defense and general liability. Simmons focuses on workers’ compensation defense. Allison M. Stevenson joined Hill Ward Henderson in Tampa as an associate focusing on health litigation. Ralph P. Douglas and David R. Terry have joined McConnaughhay, Coonrod, Pope, Weaver & Stern. Douglas focuses on workers’ compensation defense and health- care reimbursement disputes. Terry focuses on insurance defense, with an emphasis on employment law, general liability, and appellate Law. Scharome R. Wolfe has become managing partner of ROIG Lawyers’ Orlando office. Wolfe focuses on commercial litigation, real property litigation (premises liability, construction defects, fraud, and general liability arenas), and bad faith defense litigation. Ryan B. Cappy has opened The Law Offices of Ryan Cappy in Tampa focusing on plaintiff personal injury. Luis Salazar has launched Salazar Law, LLP, in Coral Gables. Formerly known as Salazar Jackson, the firm will continue to focus on complex commercial and business matters. Salazar also launched Sword & Quill Consultants, which focuses on providing law firms with guidance on cybersecurity compliance, harnessing artificial intelligence, and adopting project management techniques. Kalpesh “Kal” Mehta and Aaron D. Silvers have joined Gutterman Trial Group in Ft. Lauderdale as associates focusing on the representation of insurers and their insureds in all aspects of first- and third-party insurance matters. Laurie A. Thompson has joined Fowler White Burnett in West Palm Beach as a shareholder in the commercial litigation practice group. Michael P. Sampson of Orlando has established Sampson Collaborative Law and will be handling exclusively collaborative family law cases. C. Hunter Rawls has joined Fisher & Sauls in St. Petersburg as a member of its wills, trusts, and estates team. Hunter also focuses on probate and trust litigation matters. Wifredo A. Ferrer has joined Holland & Knight in Miami as a partner and will lead the firm’s global compliance and investigations team, which focuses on corporate compliance and government investigations within the firm’s white collar defense practice. April 1, 2017 On the Move April 1, 2017 On the Movelast_img read more

China nCoV surge tops 17,000 as more vaccine support announced

first_imgChinese health officials reported 2,892 new novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases and 57 more deaths, while Hong Kong reported its first instance of local spread and India reported its third case.In other developments today, the World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled two new key resources, an online Q and A to answer some of the most common questions and knock down some myths, and two groups announced more support for vaccine development.China deaths reach 361With the addition of the new cases, China’s total now stands at 17,205 confirmed cases and 361 related deaths, according to a statement today from the country’s National Health Commission (NHC). The number of serious cases rose by 186, putting that total at 2,296.More than 11,000 of the cases are reported from Hubei province, home of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter. Four provinces have more than 500 cases: Zhejiang (724), Guangdong (683), Henan (566), and Hunan (521). Of the major cities that aren’t part of provinces, Chonqqing has 300, Beijing 212, and Shanghai 193.In other China developments, not much is known about the impact of the disease on pregnancy and newborns, but China’s media today reported that an infected mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl who tested negative twice for the virus.Tweets from China Global Television Network (CGTN), a state media outlet, showed the medical team in full protective gear cradling the baby following delivery by Caesarean section. CGTN said the mother and baby are in good condition and are being kept in separate rooms.Hong Kong, India confirm new casesThe WHO said no new countries have reported cases over the last 24 hours, but some already-affected areas have confirmed more infections.In announcing its first case of local spread yesterday, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) said the patient, a 72-year-old woman with underlying health conditions who is the mother of a woman confirmed as an earlier case. As one of her daughter’s contacts, she was placed in quarantine on Feb 1, the same day her symptoms began. Four of her household contacts are still in quarantine but are asymptomatic.Hong Kong has now reported 15 2019-nCoV cases.Elsewhere, India’s health ministry today reported the country’s third case, which—like the previous two—involves a patient from Kerala who had traveled to Wuhan. The patient is isolated in the hospital and is in stable condition, according to a health ministry statement.The WHO said today that 153 cases so far have been reported in 23 countries.Symptoms, protection, other common questionsThe WHO’s new online 2019-nCoV dashboard is similar to the one that it uses to display the latest totals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak,In its Q and A today, the WHO addressed many common questions it has received from groups and individuals. For example, the document answers many questions about transmission, clarifying that there’s no evidence that cats and dogs transmit the virus to people and that it’s safe to receive packages from China or other places where the virus is present.It also described clinical symptoms and treatment. In addressing asymptomatic transmission, it said recent reports suggest it may be possible to transmit the virus before showing significant symptoms, but current data suggest symptomatic people are fueling most of the virus spread.The group also said it is working with experts to develop and prepare “2019-nCoV kits,” similar to treatment kits used in earlier outbreaks. The WHO said it developed the kits with expert input and will be putting them together in the coming days. The concept appears to be similar to cholera kits distributed to responders in cholera outbreaks.Vaccine supportThe Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) today announced a new collaboration to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, which will leverage GSK’s pandemic vaccine adjuvant technology, GSK said in a press release today. The adjuvant is designed to reduce the amount of antigen needed per patient and can help stretch vaccine supplies.The company said access to its adjuvant technology will support early-stage research into a “molecular clamp” vaccine platform under development by the University of Queensland in Australia, which inked an earlier 2019-nCoV vaccine development agreement with CEPI.In a separate development today, the United Kingdom today announced £20 million ($26 million) in additional funding for CEPI.In a statement from CEPI, Richard Hatchett, MD, its chief executive officer, said, the extra UK support comes at a crucial time as the world races to respond to a new coronavirus. “The rapid global spread and unique epidemiological characteristics of the virus are deeply concerning. Our hope is that, with our partners, we can get an investigational vaccine from gene sequencing of the pathogen through to clinical testing in 16 weeks.”See also:Feb 3 China NHC updateFeb 2 Hong Kong CHP statementFeb 3 Indian health ministry statementFeb 3 WHO daily situation reportWHO 2019-nCoV online dashboardFeb 2 WHO Q and AFeb 3 CGTN TweetFeb 3 GSK press releaseFeb 3 CEPI press releaselast_img read more

Watch the info video on Springs of Life’s building fundraiser here

first_imgBy Charlotte UnderwoodJELLICO, TN (WLAF) – Springs of Life Recovery Center in Campbell County is currently raising funds to purchase the building used for its men’s recovery program in Jellico.   Springs of Life is a non profit, “Christ-centered, long term, residential recovery center for men.”  WATCH HERE. The building that the organization has occupied since establishing in Feb. 2014 has been put up for sale. The ministry is fundraising to purchase the building for $70,000. Anonymous donors have pledged to match up to $30,000 in donations, and the non-profit has already raised $16,000. They are on a tight fundraising goal and hope to have the money raised by the end of April.According to Cliff Branam, the founder and executive director of Springs of Life, the organization serves the residents of rural Appalachia that suffer from substance abuse disorder but cannot access treatment due to the lack of insurance or ability to pay for services.“These are the individuals who fall between the cracks of the healthcare and treatment industry, ” Branam said. The building houses eight individuals at a time who are going through the nine-month drug recovery program. Individuals go through three phases as part of the recovery program. In the first phase, residents focus on character qualities, biblical principles, vocational skills, basic life skills and stewardship. Phase two focuses on servant leadership while cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships.  During phase three, residents are employed full time through Springs of Life strategic partners. Residents establish after care goals and build on the foundation they obtained during the first six months of the program. To donate to this cause, visit the website at www.springsoflifeinc.org and click on the donate button.  People can visit the Springs of Life Facebook page and donate through the GoFundMe account or mail a check payable to Springs of Life to P.O. Box 893, Jellico, 37762.There is also a video in the works that is the collaborative effort of several local churches and individuals which came together to assist in the fundraising campaign. These churches include Hope & Stand, which is the host church, as well as New Horizon and New Life Ministries. Keep an eye out for this video in the upcoming weeks. It will be released on the Springs of Life Facebook page and here over WLAF.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/06/2020-6AM) Weekly drug screenings are administered during all phases of the program. Opportunities such as onsite GED classes and creative writing classes are also available. The University of Tennessee provides wellness classes onsite that include healthy menu planning and the development of culinary skills. Other vocational skills are taught through community development programs.The first six months of the recovery program are free. Residents are provided with food, housing, clothing, hygiene supplies, medical needs, transportation, education courses, counseling, job training , wellness training and much more. By month seven, participants begin employment placement with one of the ministry’s partners such as Cox Construction or Ride Royal Blue.“They begin work and pay residential fees the last three months of the program,” Branam said. The ministry is hoping to expand the program to a total capacity of 16 individuals with the addition of another location that has been donated to the organization and is currently under renovation. The new facility should be up and running in several weeks.“We want to expand with our new facility and maintain our original facility because the need in the community is there. We would also like to have long-term housing for those that don’t have a home life to return to,” Branam said.Springs of Life has wonderful’ community support from multiple churches and organizations for its recovery program. This continued support is what has helped the program grow over the last six years.  “We couldn’t do it without our many supporters and sponsors.  It’s a community effort,” Branam said.  “We are asking folks to prayerfully consider a one time donation to our fundraiser for the purchase of the building which will allow us to be the recovery program that Campbell County needs,” Branam said.center_img Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Liberty, Aduana win as Hearts and Kotoko tumble

first_imgBernard Don Bortey scored a brace as he led defending league champions, Aduana Stars to hand Asante Kotoko a two-nil defeat in their Week 10 Glo Premier League game.Liberty Professionals also put paid to Hearts of Oak’s resurgence in the league, licking the Phobians by a lone goal at the Accra Stadium. Real Tamale United remains a struggling side, beaten one-nil at home by Ashantigold SC.BA Stars managed a one-nil win over Dwarfs, with King Faisal also winning 2:1 against struggling Mighty Jets. Berekum Arsenal were held to a goalless game by Heart of Lions, with New Edubiase and Wa All Stars also settling for a goalless game to split the points.At the Sekondi Stadium, visiting Bechem Chelsea beat Kessben FC by a lone goal.Source: Myjoyonline.comlast_img read more