Adair County officials discuss homeless shelter proposal

Board members of the group A.M. Housing met with Adair County officials Monday morning. (KTVO/Ashley Hoak)

For the time being, the closest homeless shelter to Kirksville is in Milan.

But, one group is now working to change that.

Board members of the group A.M. Housing met with Adair County officials Monday morning.

A public hearing was held to discuss pros and cons of establishing a shelter in town.

A.M. Housing President Glen Moritz says there is a great need in the area for a shelter.

He says the idea would be to help people get back on their feet and find a job.

Essentially, the shelter would provide emergency housing for three days.

After that, people will be expected to begin a job search in order to stay for a longer period of time until permanent housing can be afforded.

"We are looking to help others on a long-term basis to bring them into our shelter so they can have a safe and warm secure place to stay while we will have hopefully helped them find a job and helped them save up their money in a trust account so they can be able to leave and have enough money for housing and utilities."

Despite that, Adair County officials had a few concerns.

They questioned who would be able to utilize the facility.

Moritz says background checks would be completed on those that wish to stay at the shelter.

Questions were also raised on how the facility would be funded and how many employees would work in the building.

Right now, Moritz says they hope to have a "house family" that remains on-site at all times.

Adair County Commissioner Mark Thompson says Moritz asked if county officials would be interested in supporting a homeless shelter.

"Mr. Moritz approached us not long ago and asked us about our opinion on whether or not we could support that. We had some concerns so we queried other public officials, elected officials and other public entities."

Adair County Commissioners say they plan to continue the discussion with Moritz.

The two entities also hope to reach out to surrounding shelters to learn more about how they operate.

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