LAWRENCE, Kan. — The City of Lawrence is transitioning people from a temporary support shelter in North Lawrence to its new emergency shelter.
The winter shelter provides beds for 75 people to sleep overnight, according to the city. The new shelter is located at the Community Building on East 11th Street.
The city considered keeping the North Lawrence site open but decided to close the location to better help those in need with colder weather ahead.
“The team has determined it would be best to refocus resources on the opening of an overflow overnight shelter to accommodate people in need of an indoor sheltering space as the weather turns colder,” the city said in a statement to FOX4.
If the shelter reaches capacity, the city says it can also use the East Lawrence Recreation Center as an overflow location. The building could accommodate another 40 people overnight.
City leaders said its Homeless Programs Team started transitioning people last week. The team is working to move 10 to 15 people at a time from the North Lawrence location to the new emergency shelter.
Organizers say everyone at the site in North Lawrence will be given at least 72 hours of notice before they need to leave the area.
By the end of January, the city says it plans to have the North Lawrence property back to its original state. All tents, trailers, port-a-johns, trash, and fencing will be removed by then.
The North Lawrence site will continue to be an approved area for the houseless to camp if there are no other shelter options available to them, according to city leaders.
At least one Lawrence business temporarily closed this fall due to concerns about the homeless camp in North Lawrence.
Johnny’s Tavern North said employees were being hassled, and staff spent time patrolling the parking lot and diffusing situations instead of focusing on running the restaurant.
It since reopened for business.