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Neighbors raise concerns over City Walk homeless shelter

City Walk Urban Mission
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-30 17:01:27-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — What was supposed to be good for the community, now has some neighbors in East Tallahassee asking for change.

City Walk Urban Ministry opened its doors to a new emergency shelter in December, but now neighbors and even the mayor are asking to shut it down.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, housing the homeless has become tougher.

With local shelters having a waitlist and more people becoming homeless, Renee Miller with City Walk opened a shelter where people can get housing and food immediately.

But many say the location on Mahan Drive near Capital Circle Northeast is not ideal.

Miller said the majority of the people nearby are happy with the work she's providing, but others want it to close.

"I've been on Mahan, doing errands and stuff. I've seen several people panhandling at Blairstone and Capital Circle," said Miller. "They don't receive services here. Just because someone is seen in the area and it looks like they're unsheltered or they're panhandling, it doesn't mean they receive services here."

While Miller said it's not a goal to make the shelter permanent, she intends to keep it open as long as COVID-19 guidelines make it harder for people to find shelter.

This year's Point in Time survey suggests homelessness has doubled from last year.

Right now, there are an estimated 400 people living without shelter in Tallahassee.