Safe Harbor shelter proposal faces public hearing Tuesday

Oct 6, 2014

A controversial plan to build a homeless shelter off Eighth Street, near the troubled Traverse City business corridor, faces a critical Tuesday night. The Planning Commission will take public comment and possibly vote to move the proposal to the city commission.

Christie Minervini, fundraising chair for Safe Harbor of Grand Traverse Inc., says she’s been rallying supporters ahead of the meeting. But she worries some will stay home because of a confusing headline on the front page of the Traverse City Record-Eagle Monday.

It said the shelter has been given the “green light.”

“The headline in the Record-Eagle, as much as I would like to think it’s a prophecy for us, is actually a little more damaging,” she says.

The paper mistakenly re-printed an article from July. At that time shelter leaders were given the go ahead to submit the current proposal.

Safe Harbor still faces at least two public hearings and lease negotiations for the city-owned building.

City Manager Jered Ottenwess says a final decision will come no sooner than November 17th.

The group is asking for permission to use a city-owned building on Wellington Street near the main branch of the public library.

It would be the first shelter building within the city limits. It’s been a divisive proposal, with both strong supporters and staunch critics.