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Grand Haven's city council to vote on ordinance allowing homless shelters | News

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Grand Haven's city council to vote on ordinance allowing homless shelters

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Haven's city council is expected to decide on an ordinance allowing and regulating homeless shelters within the city.

The ruling would allow local ministry Love INC to finalize its plans for the city's first shelter. 

Love INC Executive Director Eric Morgan says the facility will offer future residents everything they need to get back on track and require a big commitment in return - a step toward a new life.

"They will have their own room and bathroom and that is different than a typical shelter," says Morgan. "This is not a place for someone to bunk for awhile. I am also willing to take that next step."

Morgan says he's envisioned the center at a former, vacant hospice facility on S. Despelder for nearly two years. But he says there are many in the community who don't like the idea.

"I suspect there's people not in favor of having a shelter in our community because of all the stereotypes of a shelter," Morgan said. "There's resistance in our community by people that don't feel we need sheltered housing, that we live in such a pristine area... That homelessness doesn't exist here."

Love INC needs to raise $1.8 million to buy, renovate, and operate their homeless shelter for the first three years.

Currently, people in the tri-cities area who currently need temporary shelter, bust be driven to facilities in Holland.

Morgan says the plan for his center has already been approved.

Monday's city council meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.  We will have an update on the meeting Monday night on WZZM 13 News at 11 p.m.