Published December 16th, 2019 at 11:46 AM
As it turns out, the city of Lenexa and Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church will not engage in a church-state legal battle over a proposed homeless shelter.
Instead, the church now has the right to operate a shelter for single adults, after the two sides settled a case the church filed against the city in federal court.
The church was contesting the city’s rejection of its plan to open the shelter this winter at its building, a former elementary school at 9400 Pflumm Road. The church will operate the program in collaboration with Project 1020, a nonprofit that for many years has worked with churches to house homeless adults during the winter months.
Key terms of the settlement say that:
The church has also agreed to have a Project 1020 social worker on site to help the residents, and to abide by Project 1020’s policies and procedures for intake, security and safety.
In an email, the church’s attorney, Dan Dalton, said the congregation looked forward to “partnering with the (city) to craft a mutually agreeable ordinance.”
Lenexa City Manager Beccy Yocham said in a statement that the city “wants to be part of a comprehensive solution to the homeless issue in Johnson County.” The agreement, she said, will give the city time to work toward a zoning solution “that serves the entire community.”
Mike Sherry is senior reporter for Kansas City PBS. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816.398.4205.