Danville homeless shelter for women and children closer to reality

City planning commission recommends approval

DANVILLE – Currently, 717 Jefferson Street in Danville is a rundown, boarded up old home.

Present Help Ministries hopes to turn it into a homeless shelter for women and children under the age of 18.

On Monday, the organization moved one step closer to achieving that goal.

"The actions taken [by the city's planning commission] were recommendation of approval, so the items will then carry on to city council," said Danville senior planner Renee Burton. "One being the actual homeless shelter itself, the other being an adjacent parcel to be used as a parking lot."

More specifically, the planning commission recommended approving a rezoning request for the home and approving a special use permit for the parking lot.

Stephen Anderson runs House of Hope, the city's only homeless shelter. He said he frequently gets calls from women who have multiple children, but because the shelter only has four beds for women and children he sometimes has to turn them away.

"I would say we get at least two calls like that a month. Sometimes, it may be a week," Anderson said.

WSLS 10 reached out to Present Help Ministries on Thursday, but was told that no one wanted to comment because the Danville City Council hasn't voted on the recommendations yet.

Anderson said he welcomes the organization to come and talk with him and tour House of Hope to learn how to make their shelter run as smoothly as possible.

"I've been doing this for nine years now, almost nine, and I'll show them how we run our shelter and maybe they can take some of that away," explained Anderson.

At the May 2 city council meeting, council will vote on the planning commission's recommendations.

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