The Hope Community Center’s role as an evening homeless shelter is coming to an imminent end, its founder revealed today at a 1pm press conference at the center on 341 11th St. NW. The official announcement followed comments he made at a 6pm meeting at Region Ten the night before. According to Pastor Harold Bare, their finances are beyond tight and continued opposition from the city has worsened the bind. Just last week, the shelter was cited by a city building official for a number of fire code violations and had their maximum guest occupant load set at 20 per building.
With only a couple more days to comply, Hope’s shelter director Josh Bare said over 30 men stay there on a regular basis. "How am I supposed to tell 10-15 guys they can’t sleep here tonight?" he asked.
Josh Bare, the closest thing we’ve seen to an angel on earth in a long time, could not keep Hope alive.
That is no concern of the neighborhood surrounding the shelter apparently. At the 6pm session at Region Ten with the city, 10th and Page residents blasted Hope for not getting their approval to house the homeless. "I’m sorry, I apologize, what else can I say," Pastor Bare offered, promising to close in a month’s time but begging for some leniency from residents who saw racism in the shelter’s defiance of proper zoning and the city’s seemingly tacit approval.
Today’s announcement makes it all but official. Now the Bares are focused on trying to find a place for the 45-60 residents they serve on a regular basis. At a 4pm session with area service providers yesterday PACEM’s Dave Norris proposed forming a committee—a "triage"—to help Hope’s homeless with their various issues, be they housing or mental illness. The Bares are also hoping to get a reprieve of sorts from the city so that they can stay open until the end of May. That availability will also depend on funding and according to Pastor Bare the offering plate is being passed around.