Tallahassee community members gathered at the Kearney Center to celebrate collaborative efforts while addressing neighborhood challenges.
The event titled, “Unity in the Community” – Walk and Talk included group discussions and a bus tour of the neighborhood’s challenges.
In an effort to to reduce unlawful behavior, members in the community addressed issues like illicit drug use, trespassing, loitering and the increase of Kearney residents during the cold weather.
Community member, Wendell Moore, said that some of the strongest issues discussed includes public urination amongst the plethora of problems the neighborhood is facing.
“It hadn’t escalated, it came with the center because before the center opened we had a quiet sweet little neighborhood and now it’s difficult,” Moore said.
The Shelter relocated from Tennessee street to Pensacola street at the Kearney Center in April. The Shelter is a 24 hour agency that provides shelter, food, clothing and medical assistance.
Jerald Murphy, a client at the Kearney Center stated, “The community is looking at this place in a negative light when in fact what goes on here is very positive. If people came down and actually looked for themselves they would actually see a lot of programs that try to help people.”
Other topics included preserving what once was present in the neighborhood before the center opened.
Brian Dean, a business owner on Pensacola street said, “ the neighborhoods aren’t going anywhere and the center is not going anywhere so we have to discuss how to move forward.”
Possible solutions to the issues presented includes a neighborhood crime watch, an increase in officer patrols and placing “No Trespassing” signs on private properties.
“My biggest concern is that this facility will lose funding or be shut down. You have 270 people here today being helped by the center and that would put those people out into the community doing these things,” Murphy Said.
Members in the community also shared their opinions on the decrease in property value by approximately 30 percent.
“I just hope that people understand it’s not us speaking against the homeless, it’s how can we improve our neighborhood and bring our property value back up,” Moore said.
This is the second meeting held discussing the recent community changes.