Pioneer Park residents and the alderman representing them said "no" to a homeless shelter expansion that could leave dozens out in the cold come 2013.
Patricia Davis, who's lived in the 1500 block of East Adams Street for 20 years, says the existing homeless shelters in the area cause problems -- further expansion will make them worse.
"The area has more than done its part in housing the needy," Davis says. "Other parts of the city need to step up to plate and be willing to shoulder some of this burden."
The city council denied a zoning variance request to Helping Hands, which wanted to move to a larger facility at 11th and Capitol -- two blocks from its current location. The group's lease expires December 31st -- and it's unclear if it can be extended further.
The denial comes despite assurances from Helping Hands that they'll keep loitering and otherwise nuisance behavior under control. That did little to assure business owners and Springfield Public Schools, the latter of which says the location directly across from Lincoln Magnet School is a bad idea.
"Every time, it comes back to Ward 2. Why?," Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson asked the Council before the vote. "Because it's easy. Because, for the most part it's a throwaway part of the city. No more."