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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

July 6, 2006
Knox Area Rescue Ministries

Councilman Chris Woodhull and City Director of Policy Development Bill Lyons convened the meeting with introductions at 12:10 p.m. at Knox Area Rescue Ministries, welcoming everyone, including City Council members Marilyn Roddy and Joe Hultquist, who are attending today.

The following task force members were present:

Chris Woodhull, City Council
Bill Lyons, City of Knoxville
Cathy Chesney, City of Knoxville
Mike Dunthorn, City of Knoxville
Grant Rosenberg, Knox County
Patrick McInturff, 4th and Gill Neighborhood
David Nix, Parkridge Neighborhood
Judy Holder, City People
Roger Nooe, Ten-Year Plan
Alvin Nance, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation
Gordon Catlett, Knoxville Police Department
James Pierce, Old North Knoxville (sitting in for Dan Schuh)
Ginny Weatherstone, Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC)
Ola Blackmon-McBride, The Salvation Army
Major Don Vick, The Salvation Army
Bert Rosen, Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM)
Duane Grieve, Grieve Associates Arch.
Mark D. Hipshire, Historic Fort Sanders Neighborhood
Renee Davis, Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC)
Bruce Spangler, KARM

Others at the meeting included:

Marilyn Roddy, City Council
Joe Hultquist, City Council
Anne Lorino, MPC intern
Ken Adams, Graning Paint Co.
Helen Morton, University Liquor and Wine
Thea Peterson, St. John Lutheran Church

Chris Woodhull asked if anyone would like to make any reports, sharing recent news. Burt Rosen shared that KARM had received a voice mail message Saturday with very bad language, and Bill Lyons indicated that the Mayor’s office had received a similar message.

Chris warned the group that they were in the middle of an issue with strong feelings, and it is going to be tough. He reported hearing optimistic things – hopeful, but mixed with skepticism, that people are glad we are doing this but are frustrated because there has not been a venue for opening up and discussing the issue. Bill Lyons said that they online dialogues are expressing a lot of anger, as well as some hope. Some are cynical and highly skeptical. He reminded the group that our approach is both short and long term and he asked to continue to think “Big Picture” (long term) along with getting as much done as possible in a more immediate short-term time frame. Mapping where we are at, both figuratively and literally, is necessary. Working with KCDC to see if we want to pursue a “redevelopment area” route is one option for the long term. Bill noted that the loitering and some of the activities that occur are highly irritating, with real impact on people’s lives while also being symbolic and make a statement to people coming into downtown and to those living and working close to the area.

Bill and Chris asked everyone to share their thoughts on opening the Yahoo group to anyone who wanted to join, regardless of whether or not they were on the task force.

Questions included:

Is it moderated? (Yes, by Bill, Chris and Patrick McInturff )

Fair to open it up if it is moderated, people could be evicted if they don’t follow the ground rules. Would generate more ire by removing someone – want to open it up but need to gel as a group first. It might get us off-task, but we don’t to exclude people.

This group is positive - talking and looking for solutions, don’t want to become a gripe group. The meetings are open to the public and the minutes are posted– let people know that they can attend meetings and email concerns, wait before opening it to the public.

Open it up, but there will be some “personal attacks”

The task force wants to open the Yahoo group eventually, but most prefer to wait - since group members are just beginning to get to know each other. It was decided that it will not be opened at this time.

Capt. Catlett of KPD reported on what the police department has been doing in response to comments brought up, including expanding the patrol of central business detail officers. He noted that when allocating resources, the first priority is calls for service. The central business detail officers have fewer calls than the beat cops. Capt. Catlett asked that the group provide KPD with a clearly defined priority and the geographic area that is a priority. He suggested a target-specific approach for the police department to strike a balance, noting the larger the area the less time for routine patrol. He requested clearly defined objectives, reached by consensus, in a small, defined area to start with – concentrating resources in a core area although we know there are issues further out. He closed his report by reminding the group that the police department wants to know what the community sees as a priority.

It will be a short-term goal of the task force to reach consensus on prioritizing which specific activities will be targeted, and where.

Mike Dunthorn reported that a frequent question is how much “taxpayer” money goes into homeless efforts. Most of this money comes through the City’s Community Development Office, and is either Community Development Block Grant funding (CDBG) or emergency shelter grants, both from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $460,000 from CDBG funds last year (2005) by far dwarfs the rest of the budget.

Other items included a $50,000 emergency shelter grant for a day room, $30,000 CDBG for kitchen training, $10,000 Community Action Committee (CAC) for homeward bound outreach support, $10,000 to UT for the HMIS homeless management information system (as a match for a larger amount).

Some funding also comes through Continuum of Care CoC, from HUD to community agencies that apply for funding. This year it is anticipated that CoC funding will be provided to HMIS, Parkridge Harbor Apartments, Pleasant Tree Apartments, Salvation Army, and the CAC (REACH and Project SUCCEED). A new application has been submitted recently, this would be to permanently house homeless through a collaboration of agencies as a part of “Housing First.”

Bill Lyons suggested that Mike and Renee Davis map facilities related to homeless services.

Dr. Nooe added that a tremendous amount is also spent on jail rooms, emergency rooms, etc. – probably greater than the other things we spend money on. The homeless need to be into programs to stop the continuum.

The next activity was a display of neighborhoods, businesses and agencies talking to each other. The rules were tell the truth and be soft on each other, hard on issues. One person represented each, others were invited to join of they wanted by tapping the person on the shoulder and taking the seat in the center circle.

What do you see as a strong neighborhood?

Neighborhood representative: A park that I can walk through, shopping easily accessible, people aren’t afraid to be on the street, we can safely walk to downtown. We want to be safe in our home, not keep our doors locked.

Business representative: Like to be able to do business like folks do in other parts of town – not need to walk customers to their cars, guard parking lots to keep panhandlers away. I want to relax and be concerned about the business, not all the other things I need to be concerned about.

Agency representative (Ginny Weatherstone): Fewer homeless, more people housed. The shelters would be smaller, with fewer people on the street. When they were on the street, a case worker would be engaging them, trying to get them housed. Responsibility and accountability for homeless. Time limits, and for those getting a paycheck of some kind, requiring payment for services. I am a proponent of “housing first” – it works better.

Business representative: The problem is more perception, but with customers, the perception is the problem. It is more perceived that actual, but there are legitimate problems in some areas.

At this time, Burt Rosen “traded seats” with Ginny, to answer some questions, and the discussion continued.

Mr. Rosen, do you agree with housing first as the long term goal? Yes, and we also have to provide services to keep people from falling into homelessness. That is our goal. “Drunks and winos” are not the only people here. Emergency shelter is offered because there is a need for it. We want people to lead productive lives.

What do we do with the people who are out on Broadway?

Once a person leaves we have no control over where they go, can try to influence is all.

(At this point, it was noted that the discussion had shifted from talking about what we would like the area to be like).

There was discussion on whether or not the services are drawing more people to the area (it was reported that polls taken by one of the service providers show very few). The location at I-40 and I-75 may contribute.

After noting that he would like to see more resources going to the mental health facilities, people who need it most, Burt Rosen asked the neighborhood representative: What would you do if Lakeside bus pulled up and dropped three people off with suitcases and said to them - this is your new home?

The neighborhood representative replied that he would provide them with all the services he could, and would want to know who they were, and expect them to give back what they could.

The agencies are also concerned about the safety of the neighborhood and safety of the volunteers; they don’t want people accosted as they walk to their cars. Dr. Nooe added that shelters are no place for the mentally ill and the state should not be able to discharge them to the streets. Ginny reminded the group what a difficult issue it is, since they have the right to stay outside.

Final comments revolved around the KPD request, and what to ask the police to focus on. The group asked Capt. Catlett if concentrating on a certain area would push folks further out. When asked about strategy, he indicated that having an officer present will usually move someone, as a short-term fix.

For the businesses, daytime people hanging around was discussed as a priority. For neighborhoods, alleys behind the main streets of the neighborhoods. The other spots mentioned were behind businesses, in overgrown areas, campsites and abandoned houses.

The group decided there was consensus to have the police concentrate on the area closest to Broadway and Fifth. Ginny asked the police officers to please call if they thought it would be valuable to have a case manager in any situation.

Major Don Vick from the Salvation Army, who moved to Knoxville recently to replace Major Dewey Alderson, asked Capt. Catlett about the process usually used for people with mental health issues. The officer does an on-street evaluation of whether or not they are a threat to themselves or others.

KARM was thanked for hosting the meeting and providing lunch. Chris Woodhull announced the next meeting at noon on July 20th at the Salvation Army, and the meeting adjourned.

A tour of the facility was offered afterwards.
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