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Archive Material - Data Not CurrentFIFTH-BROADWAY COMMITTEE
Fifth-Broadway Committee
June 22, 2006 - Committee to focus on Broadway/Fifth Avenue area
September 28, 2006 Meeting
September 7, 2006 Meeting
August 17, 2006 Meeting
August 3, 2006 Meeting
July 21, 2006 Meeting
July 6, 2006 Meeting
June 20, 2006 Meeting
June 8, 2006 Meeting
Next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 12th at 12 noon at St. John's Lutheran Church.
Broadway-Fifth Task Force Meeting Notes

June 8, 2006
St. John Lutheran Church

Councilman Chris Woodhull and City Director of Policy Development Bill Lyons convened the meeting at 12:15 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church.

Task Force Representatives were present from the following entities:

Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) - Renee Davis
City of Knoxville Community Development - Michael Dunthorn
Dixie Kitchen - David Grider
4th and Gill Neighborhood Association Patrick McInturff
Parkridge Neighborhood Association David Nix
Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association - Daniel Schuh
Fort Sanders Neighborhood Association - Mark Hipshire
City People - Judy Holder
Knox County Office on Neighborhoods - Grant Rosenberg
Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness - Roger Nooe
Knoxville's Community Development Corporation - Alvin Nance
Knoxville Police Department - Captain Gordon Catlett
St. John Lutheran Church - Reverend Steven Meisenheimer
Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC) - Board Chair Peter Keese
The Salvation Army - Ola Blackmon-McBride
Knox Area Rescue Mission (KARM) - Burt Rosen

KARM was recognized for providing lunch for today's meeting.

Councilman Woodhull explained the group purpose was to identify our interrelated issues and how we proceed in resolving those issues. Councilman Woodhull commented that the group would be sharing information and improving relationships, noting all the different people in the area – neighborhoods, businesses serving customers, people without homes, and agencies trying to help.

Bill Lyons, provided an example of solving problems by improving relationships. He reported that KARM and VMC had volunteered to assist with the trash issue but due to bureaucracy were not able to. That was resolved by determining who owned the property (TDOT) and going to them to discuss the problem. As a result, TDOT offered to pick up the trash. Also, a trash receptacle has been placed in the Broadway area.

Bill requested that the task force agree that no solutions would be reached in today's meeting. The task force would just have a discussion of what everyone was experiencing to get a good feel for what the situation (problems) are. Representatives present were asked to talk from their own experience, and also listen to what others are experiencing. Problems identified and general experiences shared were:

The map for the meeting is too small. It was noted that map of the Broadway –Fifth area, which didn't show Fort Sanders and parts of downtown and East Knoxville, was too small to capture the scope of the problem. MPC is preparing a larger footprint for the next meeting.

Homeless aren't in the shelters when the weather is good, they `fan-out' across a huge area, using the railroad tracks to branch off into Oakwood Lincoln-Park. There are reports that the homeless steal and take stuff to TN Metal Works to sell.

Problem has gotten worse over the years, the homeless is becoming a more bolder and aggressive population. They are not willing to take "no" for an answer. Behavior was described as knocking on doors to ask for money, not just on the sidewalks. Some of the businesses' customers are afraid – they do not understand.

Panhandling. People will make decisions not to go to places where they know they will be panhandled.

Are the homeless coming to Knoxville because of the level of homeless services available in Knoxville? Dr. Roger Nooe shared that that smaller surrounding counties don't have the same level of services as Knoxville. Therefore, some may come to Knoxville looking for employment, to improve their situation. Dr. Nooe commented that you are going to get a more aggressive and bolder population when you turn people out on the streets from mental facilities unmedicated.

Lighting on Broadway. Rev. Steve Misenheimer provided the group with information about the St. John's Urban Mission Ministry, and their commitment to take on the challenge. It was reported that the City's Community Development office had secured a grant for historic lighting to be added to the Old Gray Cemetery, and they'd like to see it extended to the 4th and 5th blocks of Broadway.

Peter Keese gave a brief history of the Volunteer Ministry Center, including how it consolidated with the Refuge, which provided crisis consulting for the near homeless.

Capt. Gordon Catlett of KPD reminded the group that homelessness has always existed, homeless used to be called hobos. When flight out of the cities into the suburbs occurred, in major metro areas, the remaining population tended to be heavy users of social services. We are seeing a resurgence of attention and investment in the older neighborhoods, and going through some growing pains. Cooperative effort is needed, and many of the issues are not criminal in nature.

Homeless are living in condemned houses, which lack bathrooms facilities, and camping out in residential areas.

Ownership Issues. Captain Catlett talked about trespassing, explaining that the owner of the property needed to be the one to report it before they could take action. There was some discussion on solicitation laws and if they could be used to limit panhandling.

The meeting concluded at 1:30 p.m. and the next meeting was set for noon on June 22 at KCDC. Thanks to Ola Blackmon-McBride and Renee Davis for taking the notes on the meeting.
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