The Springfield Planning and Zoning Commission voted to deny Helping Hands’ request to purchase and use a portion of a building on North Fourth Street as a permanent shelter. On a tied vote Tuesday night, Commission Chair George Zisk cast the deciding vote.
At issue is whether Helping Hands would be allowed to purchase part of the former Ace Sign Company building to use as a 50-bed shelter.
With dozens attending the meeting, many of whom live in the nearby Sangamon Towers, commissioners listened to two hours of testimony from those who both oppose and support the project. Some residents say the homeless population in that area is already a problem.
Helping Hands Executive Director Rod Lane says operating the shelter at that location makes sense because of the availability of other social services in the area and nearby transportation hubs.
The non-binding recomnendation now heads to the Springfield City Council.