Professor At Odds With Shelter Task Force

by Gabe Bullard on January 15, 2010

A University of Louisville professor walked out of Firday’s homeless shelter task force meeting after his request to speak was denied.

The task force was formed to address a gap in zoning laws that leaves homeless shelters without a clear definition. It’s a response to Wayside Christian Mission’s attempt to establish a shelter downtown.Dr. John Gilderbloom says the task force does not have the proper representation and should be looking at more than just zoning for shelters.

“There has to be certain guidelines just like we have a restaurant, just like we have car protections, just like we have home protections and right now we’re not getting that at all,” he says.

Gilderbloom walked out of the meeting after he wasn’t allowed to speak.

“I’ve been working with enough homeless people and have done enough interviews with homeless people to know what they want,” he says. “And we’re going to do our own committee and we’re going to go right to the zoning and to the city council.”

Assistant Director of Metro Planning Dawn Warrick says only task force members may speak at certain meetings, though the body will ask for academic input at a later meeting.

“Obviously Dr. Gilderbloom is one of the top people doing that in this area that we could draw from as a resource, so I would hope that’s something that he’d be willing to do to bring his valuable information to the task force for his consideration,” she says.

She adds that the task force can vote to add more members and representation to the body.

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