Biloxi council rejects plan for homeless shelter - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi council rejects plan for homeless shelter

Biloxi City Council members voted down a proposal to convert the former Beauvoir Elementary School into a temporary shelter for homeless families. (Photo source: WLOX) Biloxi City Council members voted down a proposal to convert the former Beauvoir Elementary School into a temporary shelter for homeless families. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Biloxi City Council members voted down a proposal to convert the former Beauvoir Elementary School into a temporary shelter for homeless families, as well as a "one-stop" service center providing access to a variety of social services. 

The plan had a powerful proponent in Mayor Andrew "FoFo" Gilich, who said the problem of homelessness is only going to get worse given the ongoing budget cuts to mental health agencies and social services.

But Biloxi Councilman George Lawrence believes the city has no business opening or running a homeless shelter. During last week's debate, he expressed concerns about the costs involved. 

"Pay the insurance, pay the lights, the water, all the utilities. That's going to be expensive. You have to staff it 24/7," Councilman George Lawrence said last week. "That's taxpayer money that's going to foot this bill. So, sometimes you have to look at what they think."

During that same debate, Police Chief John Miller said his department already spends between $250,000 and $350,000 a year on salaries alone to address issues related to homelessness.

The proposal to convert the school into a shelter was rejected after failing to get the support of a majority of the council. The final vote was a 3-3 tie. Councilman David Fayard was absent.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly