Dick Howser Center Concerned Over Shelter Move

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By: Matt Galka
October 22, 2013

The Dick Howser Center has been serving kids aged six weeks to six years old since 1989. Some of the kids have developmental disabilities, and now the center is concerned about safety because of the new planned location of the homeless shelter. It's slated to be built right down the street on West Pensacola in Tallahassee.

"Because this is a subsidized daycare facility, I just feel like the families have a lot on their plate already, and many concerns already, and this just adds a layer of concern," said Dick Howser Physical Therapist Kelley Hutto.

Shelter Director Jacob Reiter says the plans for the new 24/7 Comprehensive Emergency Services Center have safety as their top priority.

"So everyone who enters our campus will go through an intake, an assessment, and a background check, so that's how we'll know everybody who comes onto our site," said Reiter following a public meeting on the move that was held Tuesday afternoon.

Reiter says the new center will not house registered sex offenders.

Roscoe Ellis lives nearby the proposed site and doesn't see the big deal.

"I think it's much ado about nothing, and we need to realize as Christians that homeless people are people first," said Ellis.

By: Matt Galka
October 22, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The Shelter in Tallahassee is moving to a bigger space, but many are concerned about how close it is to a daycare facility. Construction on a new shelter facility is supposed to begin in January, but folks at the Dick Howser Center are concerned because they are located right near the proposed building spot.

The proposed property for a new shelter is city owned land on West Pensacola Street. Today's meeting allowed residents to voice their opinions on the proposal.

The Director of the Dick Howser Center, Kim Sineath, has made it clear since the beginning stages of the proposal that workers and parents are concerned about the location, which is nearby to the children's facility.

Kim Sineath, Dick Howser Center Director: We serve children six weeks to six years of age, many of them who have developmental disabilities or delays, and we feel that the two populations being served in such close proximaty is just not compatible.

About 40 or so people showed up to the meeting. A lot of people said some positive things and the Shelter also said they're willing to work with everyone to try and help everybody on the block co-exist.

WCTV will have more tonight on Eyewitness News at 11.

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