Davenport City Council discusses the fate of Timothy’s House of Hope

 

DAVENPORT-- Davenport aldermen are still trying to decide if a Davenport church can continue its mission to help the homeless despite zoning restrictions.

The city decided to shut down Timothy's House of Hope after a zoning issue. 

But after a heated council discussion on May 2nd, members are working on a plan to address those issues.

That includes speaking to neighboring businesses and community members and amending the zoning ordinance.

"There's two sides to to this issue on Washington street and it's extremely important that the city council and the Timothy's House of Hope take the time and listen to the neighbors," says Alderman Ray Ambrose.

"Some community members are afraid that they will have people loitering around or other public nuisances and if those issues come up will certainly make sure those are dealt with but we also want to make sure we're not shutting down a community resource," says Alderman Maria Dickmann.

Both Aldermen say they've talked to neighboring business that are in support of the Church and other businesses that are not so sure.

"We have a lot of businesses that have been there for generations that are extremely concerned," says Ambrose.

"I've definitely spoken with different community members in the area, there's been a lot of support. It's not just homeless people, it's people who have limited income that might need a meal to make it from one pay check to the next or [...] lonely and want to share a meal with some of their neighbors," says Dickmann.

Dickmann says the Church could provide as a benefit to the community comparing it to other programs around the area.

"There are many meal sites that are similar to this that don't have any problems and are actually great benefit to the community they're providing meals and companionship to nearby neighbors," says Dickmann.

Both council members agree with a plan in place it will put the neighborhood at ease.

"I think this is a good step and we'll see what happens," says Ambrose.

"We've definitely gotten a start and resolved the immediate crisis that we could work into larger discussions," says Dickmann.

Aldermen say it could take up to six weeks to decide if the church can operate an outreach center for the homeless.

The church building still needs to be inspected by the fire marshal to make sure it meets fire codes as well as other inspections.