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City Walk looks to provide more services

Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-02 20:31:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City Walk leaders say instead of shutting down their shelter, they're ramping up to offer even more services and activities to the community.

"I quite honestly think that the city is just grasping at straws, at anything that they can do at this point to make our lives miserable, and we're not going to let that happen and we are not deterred," said Pastor Renee Miller, executive director for City Walk Urban Mission.

Miller said City Walk is in the process of appealing code violations from the city of Tallahassee that could accrue a daily fine of $250.

At issue now: the stability and fire safety of a second-floor room.

The city said a recent inspection of the property revealed that certain conditions found do not comply with City Code.

"It's fine it is stable yes," Miller said. "There is a room that is our community room and it's a big open space and I guess it's not on the original plan."

This follows an order by the city for the shelter to close after their permit to continue running the space on Mahan Drive as a shelter was denied in March. The shelter originally opened in 2020 to care for those who did not have a place to stay during cold nights.

"I see a need and I am hoping to help and be supportive for the process," said Indaba Theatre Director Donna Cotterell.

Despite the fines city walk faces, the organization is now welcoming community partners like Indaba Theatre to use part of the 30-thousand square feet they have available. Cotterell says, as long as she can, she'll use the space to help empower those who seek shelter there.

"I want to be able to help folks and I'm going to say stand in the gap for them and to again create that self-confidence and to build their self-esteem and to know that somebody cares."

City Walk appealed the code violations and now wait on a decision in a second public hearing before fines begin. Repeat offenses can double the fine from $250 to $500.