Mary Alice Reporting – Rezoning issues are still barring the way for the Tuscarawas County Friends of the Homeless to building on a new location.

The latest attempt was to secure open property at the intersection of Brightwood Road and Reiter Avenue. The site is listed as commercial zoned and officials on the New Philadelphia Board of Zoning Appeals voted down a request 3-2.  

Ahead of the Tuesday meeting, city council had heard from a Brightwood resident, Rod Wilson, opposing the latest site proposal and who said the shelter has changed since its inception. Wilson noted concerns over the Homeless Shelter is working to address drug rehabilitation.

“I don’t think the homeless shelter is equipped to deal with that. People that need rehab [should be] directed to a rehab facility [and] there would be a lot less homeless people at this facility and I suspect it would function a lot like it was intended and may be a lot more palatable to people in New Philadelphia.”

Plans for a new shelter would allow for more capacity for single and family accommodations. The homeless shelter has been in the local community for over 18 years helping to house individuals but also provide food and daily care items.

With the shelter, Calvin White says that they will move forward and regroup with another committee meeting set for Monday. He asks the city and its citizens to embrace the homeless shelter as a positive and encourages folks to visit the FOTH Facebook page for an informational video or to visit the homeless shelter for a tour.

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