Home News Local News Homeless Coalition allowed tents inside fencing on shelter property

Homeless Coalition allowed tents inside fencing on shelter property

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The men’s shelter on East Albuquerque Street already has installed a screened fence, one of the requirements for having tents on the property. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Roswell Homeless Coalition can allow tents inside the fencing of their men’s and women’s shelters in the south part of the city.

The Roswell Planning and Zoning Commission voted Oct. 22 to approve the variance applications filed by the coalition. No appeal was made of the decision by the deadline last week.

Community Development Manager Bill Morris said that no one at the public meeting spoke against the requests. The women’s shelter at 400 E. Bland St. received one verbal comment in support prior to the meeting, while a property owner who lives out of town did make a verbal comment indicating some concern about the plans at the men’s shelter, which is at 112. E. Albuquerque St., Morris said. He chose not to elaborate on those comments.

The city staff recommended approval of the requests, as long as tents stay inside solid fencing. The men’s shelter already has screened fencing installed, while the women’s shelter would need to permit and build a screened fence. Right now it has a chain-link fence.

In general, tents are not allowed as long-term accommodations within the Roswell city limits.

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“Anybody can always file for a variance but support would depend on the circumstances,” Morris said.

The Roswell Homeless Coalition took over the shelters from the Rivers of Life organization in December 2017. They reopened in winter and spring 2018 after some repairs and renovations were made. The men’s shelters can house 16 men at any given time, while the women’s shelter can hold about 20 women and children. The coalition works with various community organizations on the goal of helping men, women and families secure permanent housing in 90 days.

Representatives with the Roswell Homeless Coalition did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.