COMPASS homeless again

  • 0 COMMENTS
COMPASS homeless again

COMPASS Day Haven, a homeless services group, is homeless themselves…again. In the second week of December, city Zoning Administrator Read Brodhead sent a letter to the owner of two houses on Fontaine Avenue that COMPASS CEO Mary Washington recently rented to provide low-rent housing for the homeless. From Brodhead’s perspective, COMPASS was trying to run an emergency evening shelter at properties not zoned as such, and as a result, the properties had to be vacated by December 15.


Monticello Ridge, which COMPASS planned as a long term housing facility for the homeless, was shut down by the city just before it was scheduled to open. Now the city has shut down another COMPASS facility for the homeless, this one on Fontaine Avenue.
Related articles:

Homeless shelter closed over permit [November 9]
COMPASS must renege promise of beds to 26 people

No direction homeless
COMPASS Day Haven was supposed to answer the daytime needs of area homeless. What happened?

Help, I need somebody
Not just anybody: local groups that help the poor

How the other 20 percent lives
Poverty sucks. Ask one out of five people in Albemarle County or one out of four in the city.

Building a homeless day haven
COMPASS hires director to bring in donations

This is the second time in two months that Washington has run afoul of city zoning. The first involved a long term housing facility for the homeless across from the Salvation Army at the corner of Monticello and Ridge, which was shut down the day before it was slated to open.

A week later, the erstwhile COMPASS residents—at least some of them—were bunked up at the Hope Community Center on 10th and Page streets. That is apparently still up and running, but the attempt to set up housing at two residences on Fontaine is already dead. According to Washington, COMPASS planned to sublet rooms to the homeless at year intervals for $400 a month. After hearing from Brodhead, however, the property’s owner, Bart Neumann, contacted Washington. The two then mutually canceled COMPASS’ two-year lease agreement with an option to buy.

"I thought it was a great thing that was going on," says James Burton, a real estate agent for the two properties. He draws attention to their zoning, which allows for up to four unrelated people per unit. According to him, four male college students lived at one of the houses previously. "They treated the place a lot worse than these [homeless] guys did," he says. "Now, we’re back on the market and back to square one."

Meanwhile, a beleaguered Mary Washington has drawn her own conclusions. "The City of Charlottesville does not want disabled homeless people to rent or live in assisted living," she says. "On the streets or in a shelter is where they want them to live."

Monticello Ridge, which COMPASS planned as a long term housing facility for the homeless, was shut down by the city just before it was scheduled to open. Now the city has shut down another COMPASS facility for the homeless, this one on Fontaine Avenue.

C-VILLE welcomes news tips from readers. Send them to news@c-ville.com.

Comment Policy