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City Walk Homeless Shelter Permit Application Denied

City Walk Urban Mission Mahan Drive.jpg
City Walk Urban Mission has operated at Mahan Drive as a regular overnight homeless shelter since late 2020.

City Walk’s application has been denied.

Tallahassee’s Development Review Committee on Monday voted against granting the homeless shelter the necessary permits to continue housing people.

“Staff did our own independent research of contacts to businesses," said Keith Burnsed, a land use development manager at the city. "While we acknowledge that this particular use has issues regardless of location, we did find that it would constitute a private nuisance to the adjacent properties as well as the surrounding areas."

Burnsed added that staff looked at Tallahassee Police Department data to determine it was causing a private nuisance.

The fate of the City Walk Urban Mission shelter, located at Mahan Dr., has sparked debate from residents on both sides of the issue.

Those who've spoken in favor of shutting down the shelter have described increased instances of vandalism, theft and public urination since it began housing people nightly last year.

Others have urged city officials to allow the shelter to continue sheltering people. They say it’s needed to help the area’s homeless population from sleeping outside.

The move comes at a time when city officials are working to find permanent or individual housing for those in need.

The Big Bend Continuum of Care works to end homelessness in eight counties in the region. The continuum's lead agency estimates about 800 Leon County residents are considered homeless.