Thursday, June 26, 2008



Hearing Update

We have secured a letter of support from the mayor's office for the Mission's 432 East Jefferson Operations and the final legal documents for an offer on the Market Street property are being prepared. The Hearing is still scheduled for 5:30 today. Updates will be coming hourly.


At this point the public hearing will take place, so please plan on attending. We are hoping to know something more definite by noon today. We are diligently negotiating with a possible buyer and the board has approved an offer on the table, with the condition that the Mayor's office give us written assurance that our Jefferson Street property will be protected for our homeless services.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Emergency Request To Our Supporters

We are facing a problem and need your help. The Mission has been planning the construction of our new Women and Families’ building since 2000. We have worked with and agreed with the neighboring business association leaders to move the men to a separate location and construct a new building for women and families in the 800 block of East Market Street. Nina Moseley presented the plans to the business association during a meeting in 2005, which required removing three of our older buildings. The only suggestion made was to try to save the facades of the two Victorian buildings that were to be torn down. The plans were revised to include the facades, and then Nina presented the plans again to the group and received applause; no one objected. These plans were also printed twice in full page ads in the Courier-Journal during 2005 and 2006, with no objections. A couple of weeks ago we filed notice of demolition of the three buildings to make room for the project. Since then the business association leadership told us that they did not have an agreement with Wayside and that they never formally approved the plans that were presented. They voted on Tuesday, June 11th, to resist the demolition of the buildings. One member filed a petition to designate the three buildings, plus two other Wayside buildings as historic landmarks, thus stopping our plans to tear down the buildings to make room for the new construction.

You can help the Mission to overcome these objections BY TAKING THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS TODAY!!!
Fill out the post cards enclosed and make extra copies for friends or spouses and SEND THEM IN TODAY. One will go to Mayor Abramson, one to Councilman Tandy, and one to Richard Jett of the Landmarks Commission.
Contact the following people through email or phone TODAY
Mayor Jerry Abramson, ( 574-2003)
Councilman Tandy, ( 574-1104)
Richard Jett, (574-5210)
Metrocall, (311)
ATTEND the Landmarks Hearing that should be held during the week of June 23rd (location, date and time TBA) – better still, ATTEND with your family and friends – or a bus load of supporters-we must have supporters present (dates will be announced in the legal classified section of the Courier-Journal, or check our website for updates at Email me (see below) and let me know of your commitment to attend or speak or call 742-9487.
IF YOU CAN help in some other way please email or call me at 502-345-6100.
Please keep this issue in your prayers.
I am truly sorry it has come to this, but we need your help to fight this legal move preventing the construction of the new women and families building that we have worked so hard to build. All of our plans have been completed and the contract has been bid. YOUR ACTIONS ARE VERY IMPORTANT.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Wayside's Expansion - A letter to the East Downtown Business Association

Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As most of you are aware by now, Wayside Christian Mission is about to begin construction of a new family and women’s building. The new building will be located between our 800 and 822 East Market Street properties. We will be razing three older buildings located at 804-6, 808, and 812 East Market to make room for the new building. Two of these buildings, 808 and 812, have Victorian-styled fronts and the facades of these buildings will be salvaged and incorporated into the new building streetscape as agreed upon. The new building will house families and women who are homeless and/or in one of the Mission’s programs. The total square footage of the new building is approximately 45,000 square feet. The east half of the building is a two story structure and the west side is three stories, all heights keeping in line with the existing East Market streetscape. QK4 is the architect firm that developed the plans over the past four years, and Wehr Construction has been engaged to build the building. Both of these companies have impeccable reputations in our community and beyond. Wehr Construction has engaged a number of subcontractors to build the new building and will have a full time supervisor on site soon. The building construction will start this summer and will be completed in about 12 months. To date our cost toward this project in both cash and donated services has been about $400,000.00. The projected construction cost will be $4.1m, bringing the entire project cost to about $4.5m.
On Friday, May 30, I met with Gill Holland who is also a member of the East Downtown Business Association (EDBA) and discussed the above plans. After a full discussion he suggested that I send you this email to help clarify some possible misunderstandings of our intentions. He also suggested that we meet with any members interested and discuss our plans. We contacted Bill Marzian, the current EDBA president, and agreed to have our architect, property committee chair, Nina Moseley and myself meet and present our plans. This meeting will take place Tuesday, June 3rd at 4:00 PM in our Men’s Campus, located at 432 East Jefferson Street, at the southwest corner of Jefferson and Jackson Streets. Parking is available in the front. Please come inside the glass double doors and you will be directed to the conference room.
Most of you know the history of the project, however many of you are new to the neighborhood and/or may not be regular attendees of the EDBA meetings and may not have a full understanding of our (Wayside Christian Mission and EDBA) mutual agreements. I will outline these below.
History Summary: In 1999 Wayside purchased the old “Disney property” located in the 700 block of East Market Street. When we began the planning stage for a new building on that property, several EDBA members objected. Through a series of meetings with EDBA officers Brad Ogden and Stuart Goldberg, we made an agreement that we (Wayside Christian Mission and EDBA) could live with and was deemed a “win-win” compromise. Following are the tenets of that agreement.
Wayside Christian Mission’s (WCM) Agreement
· In 2000, WCM agreed to halt the preliminary planning of a new transitional building that would be located on the “Disney lot”.
· Also in 2000, WCM agreed not to develop a shelter with sleeping quarters on the “Disney lot” for a period of three years; however WCM was free to develop other uses. In April of 2007, WCM was approached by a new property owner of an adjacent building who needed the property for his development plans and we agreed to sell that entire lot.
· WCM agreed to search with EDBA for a location that might better serve our population and not be in the 700 block of East Market. After an extensive search we purchased the closed “Pavilion Health Care” building, located at 432 East Jefferson Street. This facility was well suited for our family and or transitional program. WCM, however agreed to move the men to the new location and reconstruct the Market Street site for families and children. This was a compromise with the EDBA allowing for a softer impacting client group for the Market Street location (it should be noted that families at times will include fathers/husbands and sons). After a year of asbestos abatement and renovation, the Jefferson street property was used to house Katrina families and individuals and then soon afterward, Wayside’s men’s programs were relocated to the new site in April of 2006.
Outside of the above agreement on WCM’s part, we also in good faith as good neighbors took several steps to reduce problems that either in reality or were perceived to have resulted from homeless men in our area. Below are a few of these efforts with which you may not be familiar. Some of these efforts go against my feelings as a person and brother to those less fortunate, however they were implemented out of a sincere effort to support our neighbors and find peace in the community.
· WCM developed a common area with picnic tables and benches behind a privacy fence that would allow clients who normally might wander the streets with no place to rest or socialize and that would not be not visible to area businesses or those passing by.
· WCM developed rear entry doors for many of our programs so that clients would not typically be lined up on the street in front of the Mission, again less visible to all.
· WCM formed a litter patrol that picked up everyone’s litter and trash whether it was from one of our clients, from a resident at Clarksdale, or neighboring businesses’ customers. We did not discriminate; we just picked it up and it made a difference.
· WCM started a community clean up day once a month, enlisting our clients and staff to comb the neighborhood and pick up trash, cut grass in sidewalk cracks, trim alley trees and bushes and pull weeds from tree planters. Over the years I must concede that some of the weeds we pulled from planters were not weeds at all – (sorry).
· WCM gave out a cell phone number of a Mission supervisor that could be called 24-7 in case assistance was needed to solve a problem with one of our clients or the clients of another facility. We agreed to make clients ineligible for services if we could identify trouble makers or panhandlers.
· We have at times assisted neighbors by hauling off trash, trees and lumber, removing evicted tenants’ belongings, and assisting with other clean up projects.
· WCM assigned Nina Moseley to attend all EBDA meetings and listen for concerns and take action to address issues that might be related to the Mission. She has served on EBDA’s board for the past 3 years spending countless hours assisting with issues such as the panhandling ordinance, and parking as it relates to the form district. In addition she has given without charge legal consult to several members.
· WCM developed and opened an art gallery, “Wayside Expressions” located in the 800 building of East Market Street, not only to fit into the neighborhood but to give our residents an outlet to show their creative sides. We have had showings for some of Louisville’s well known artists, some up-and-coming artists, as well as dedicating half of the gallery to show art from homeless artists. We have participated fully in the Gallery Hop, providing music and refreshments to attendees.
The East Downtown Business Association agreed to the following:
· Fully support WCM’s development of a new family and women shelter in the 800 block of East Market Street.
· Support the family and women’s shelter by helping to raise funds for the capital campaign.
Chronology of Events
· 1999 – WCM purchased the Disney property in the 700 block of East Market Street.
o 2000 June 14 - WCM agreed to delay development of a transitional shelter on that lot and worked with EDBA officers to find suitable alternative property. WCM also agreed to move the men to another location if one could be found that was deemed appropriate. EDBA agreed to gain approval from the City of Louisville for support of the Mission’s projects, and to support the Mission’s capital campaign by helping to open doors and enlisting volunteers, so that programs and the capital campaign could be completed. The campaign included the reconstruction of the Market Street campus for women and families and an alternative site for the men. This was acclaimed as a win-win agreement.
· 2001 – WCM purchased the Pavilion Health Care building located at 432 East Jefferson Street and although it was well suited for our families and women, we agreed to relocate the single men to that location as per our agreement and to rebuild for the families and women in the 800 block of East Market Street.
· 2005 – Nina Moseley presented our architectural plans to the EDBA. The membership wanted the plans to include the preservation of the facades of the two Victorian-style buildings located at 808 and 812 East Market Street. We directed our architect at that time to redesign the plans to incorporate the facades. The estimated additional cost of this action was approximated at $200,000.00 and although this was not part of the original agreement, WCM agreed to the changes.
· 2005 summer - Nina Moseley presented the completed revised plans including the façade change plans for the family and women’s building to the EDBA and it was deemed a win-win situation that everyone could live with.
· 2005 Aug 29 – WCM opened the partially renovated Pavilion Health Care building to Katrina victims.
· 2006 April – WCM moved the single men from the 800 block of East Market Street to the Pavilion Health Care building, 432 East Jefferson Street.
· 2007 April - WCM determined that the new building would not require the vacant Disney lot in the 700 block of East Market Street. This property was sold to Gill Holland. The EDBA was again pleased with our spirit of working together.
· 2005-2008 – WCM spent the next three years raising the funds to complete the project while meeting monthly with the architects during the finalization of the plans.
· 2008 spring – WCM engaged contractors to build the new family and women’s facility. Demolition notices were posted on May 15, 2008.
To date Wayside has honored our agreement and actually went the extra mile. We have reported faithfully and honestly at EDBA meetings. We plan to continue to honor this agreement. Frankly, we were taken off guard by the present flurry of email and news reporters at our doors reporting that some of our neighbors were objecting to the razing of the before-mentioned buildings and even the new building itself. WCM has had significant performance on our part of the agreement. We do not want to be in a fight with our neighbors, however, we do have a well-documented agreement and we plan to complete out plans. We also do not want to end the agreement that has worked well as we all have moved forward.
Wayside Christian Mission took up residence in the 800 block of East Market Street in 1973. Our program has drawn countless numbers of Louisvillians to downtown to volunteer, people who would have never ventured to the neighborhood without an opportunity to serve our clients. We are committed to the neighborhood although we do not agree on everything, such as the razing of the buildings in question. We even revised our plans after Nina made a presentation to the EDBA membership, and directed the architects to include the facades as was agreed upon. I think most of you will be pleased with the new plans that have incorporated EDBA’s suggestions. I believe that having a Mission in a developing art and restaurant district is reflective of a progressive and diverse atmosphere that a “World Class City” can affirm and that can be mutually beneficial.
Please feel free to reply with your comments.
Tim Moseley

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