The City Council last night deferred a decision on where to erect this year’s winter homeless shelter, citing the limited scope of the analysis of potential locations.

By a 5-2 vote, the council rejected the mayor’s office’s proposed sites and asked that the search be expanded beyond downtown.

The location of the temporary homeless shelter is an annual political football, with council members arguing about which district should bear the responsibility. At the meeting last night, District 1 Councilman Kevin Faulconer called the annual decision to site the shelter downtown “a self-fulfilling prophecy,” attracting homeless people to his district.

Homeless services coordinator Amy Benjamin said the search had focused there because of the area’s concentration of social services. The shelter must be located within walking distance of these services in order to be successful, she said.

My colleagues Kelly Bennett and David Washburn have both written about the homeless shelter in previous years. Click here to read her coverage, and here for his.


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