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FIFTH-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 21, 2006
Salvation Army


City Director of Policy Development Bill Lyons convened the meeting with introductions at 12:10 p.m. at Salvation Army, welcoming everyone, including City Councilman Bob Becker, who is attending today. He noted that Councilman Chris Woodhull had arrived at the meeting but was not feeling well and would not be attending. The next meeting will be August 3, location has not been determined.

The following members were present:

Bill Lyons, City of Knoxville
Mike Dunthorn, City of Knoxville
Erik Hoglund, Knox County Community Development
Patrick McInturff, 4th and Gill Neighborhood
David Nix, Parkridge Neighborhood
Judy Holder, City People
Roger Nooe, Ten-Year Plan
Gordon Catlett, Knoxville Police Department
Steve Misenheimer, St. John Lutheran Church
Ginny Weatherstone, Volunteer Ministry Center (VMC)
Ola Blackmon-McBride, The Salvation Army
Major Don Vick, The Salvation Army
Daniel Schuh, Old North Knoxville
Bert Rosen, Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM)
Mark D. Hipshire, Historic Fort Sanders Neighborhood
Renee Davis, Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC)
Ken Adams, Graning Paint Co.

Also attending were:

Bob Becker, Knoxville City Council
Duane Grieve, Grieve Associates Arch.
Mary Waggoner
Kathryn Waggoner
John Jacobs
Bill Murrah

Bill reported that the City had met with the Fourth and Gill neighborhood on Monday night to discuss some questions they had for the City, and some additional people from Fourth and Gill were in attendance today. He reviewed the strategies of the task force, and the ground rules.Bill also shared that VMC and KARM would have people cleaning the area under the interstate, that we wanted to do more than that which TDOTwas able to do and they had obtained a key.

Capt. Gordon Catlett of KPD reported that they had in creased patrol in the area, tangible results included 15 arrests during the time period since the group's last meeting. He also reported that approximately 20 people who frequent the area had frequent citations within the judicial system, such as alcohol, drug, property crimes and prostitution. The judges know the record of these people, but they to not be detained long-term, and receiving a citation for loitering on the sidewalk will not change their behavior. Short-tem the police presence (enforcement) will make a different, but long-term, more innovative things are required. Much of the group's discussion centered around what could be done.

One participant asked if they could get mug shots of the people and post them in neighborhoods, but the Capt. Indicated that even the sexual predator list has been controversial, for a misdemeanor offence such as the homeless generally commit, courts would almost certainly not want to release much information. The group wondered how noticeable it would be if these 20 people changed their behavior, and it was reported that because they participate in anti-social activities, they encourage other people to join in with unacceptable behavior, by showing that the consequences are minimal. A participant asked if the judges could tell people to get out of town or spend 11 months-29 days (max time allowed for the offense). The records indicated that almost all the arrests for order crimes like public drunkedness and disorderly conduct ended in a person spending a few days in jail and followed by a sentence of time served. The realities of what could be done were discussed, including the situations facing elected sessions court judges shortage of jail space (communities do not want additional facilities to be built), and costs to detain people.

The revolving door problem was discussed, and it was noted that the cost to detain chronic alcoholics and mentally ill in jails was higher than the average cost to keep someone per night.

Dr. Nooe indicated that a criminal justice committee, including the District Attorney and Public Defender, was part of the Ten Year Plan, and that law enforcement was also represented. Wet-housing (a place to drink) was mentioned as being very effective in getting people off the streets, and is used in some places but not Knoxville. Dr. Nooe noted that taking the most aggressive stand is very expensive, they need to find something that tax payers are willing to pay for. Knoxville has not been competitive in getting grants, but they have formed a grant committee – they are trying to be creative, use money wisely, and reach out for more dollars. They are also going to Nashville, trying to get the state to stop discharging mental patients to the streets. A participant mentioned that years ago there was talk about a police station in the area, when the bank building was vacant, and asked what people thought of a facility. Consensus was that people would react negatively to anything that would be further concentration. A participant indicated that when their neighborhood had a problem with kids playing in the street, because they didn't have anywhere else to play, instead of punishing them they developed a park. Ginny Weatherstone reminded the group that although spaces can be provided, gathering during the day – doing nothing but sitting outside- is not something VMC encourages.

The group discussed targeting that heavy system users with more aggressive outreach. They want to talk to the judges about this 20 person group, and talk about this "subculture" group separately than the homeless population genuinely trying to get off the streets. Capt. Catlett will check with the law department about what can be released. Enhanced service programs for them might be a possibility. Burt Rosen reported that KARM had a limited amount of space to respond. He shared that at the neighborhood meeting, he was asked if they harbored criminals. He provided the scenario: 1) Sorry, you've got a record, you're not staying here…and asked - Would you rather have them at KARM or on the street?

One of the attendees from Fourth and Gill asked about what cities with very few homeless were doing, expressing the sentiments that Knoxville's programs bring more homeless to the area. It was shared that there was a list of the top ten cities that are not friendly to homeless.

At the end of the meeting, there was more discussion on feeding the homeless, and enabling. Duane Grieve asked if we could get beyond that, and move on to other things, like how we can improve the area's appearance, mentioning the City's façade grant program as an opportunity, along with TDOT funding that is available. Bill mentioned that we would start discussing redevelopment scenarios at the next meeting.

Daniel Schuh requested that we open up the yahoo group to a couple more from each neighborhood, and Bill Lyons asked people to think about who else may want to be added.

As the meeting adjourned, Bill reminded everyone that they are looking for a host for the next meeting, and the group will be notified of the location as soon as it is determined.
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