CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) – People in Conway are looking to build a short-term shelter to address the homeless issue, but finding a place to put it has not come easy.
The mayor of Conway appointed a task force earlier this year to address the homeless issue and to find a place to put a short term shelter.
Conway has two long term shelters right now where people in need can seek help. But David Hogue, who serves on the Soul Food Cafe Mission's board, said an emergency shelter needs to be put in place.
"Neither one of the shelters in Conway are created and built and sustained for emergency shelters," Hogue said. "If somebody needs to stay for one night or two nights, something short term they need to have a place to go."
Hogue tried to introduce a plan to put a shelter on the edge of town, but it was near residential areas. He said that residents expressed concern.
He said he then apologized to residents and backed out of the plan.
“But, that puts us back to square one, which is where can we put people up for the night?" he asked.
Phillip Fletcher runs the long-term shelter City of Hope and serves on the city's task force. He said a short-term shelter would help a lot of people.
"What is needed is something to get people off of the streets immediately or for someone that experiences a house being burned down or some type of event that destroys it," Fletcher said.
For the past year, Fletcher has been working with city council to find the best place in town to build.
"It's just being able to bring everybody together at the table and finding some compromise so we can help people that are in need here in Conway," he said.
For now, the right place to put the shelter is still unknown
"We'll be happy to build one in a good in a good location, but we can't build one if it keeps getting shot down," Hogue said.
But people like Hogue and Fletcher will continue to fight for the shelter.
"We can't lose hope. We got to keep fighting forward and believe that people are compassionate enough to address the homeless persons, men women and children here in our city," Fletcher said.
We reached out to people who were against building the shelters in Conway but none of them were available for comment Friday.
The task force is working on a new plan to find a good location.