LAWRENCE, Kan. — A day after Lawrence announced it planned to close a temporary site for the houseless, leaders say the location will remain open.

Leaders said they made the decision after hearing concerns from people who have lived at the North Lawrence encampment for months.

The site was established over the summer as the number of houseless people grew across the community.

The city now plans to keep the site open through March 12, 2023.

People using the North Lawrence location will be able to also use the city’s Winter Emergency Shelter on cold nights, as space allows. The winter shelter will also be open through March 12.

The houseless became concerned when staff started to try to move them to a community building for the winter, according to a statement from the city.

We understand that people have individual needs and we will work to accommodate the variety of needs of those experiencing homelessness. This has and will continue to drive our decisions. With our recent effort to get people to warmer and safer environments, we recognize that we lost sight of this guiding principle.

City of Lawrence

City leaders also apologized for not communicating changes in advance to the people it impacted the most.

Lawrence is also working on a longer-term site for its unsheltered population.

The city is working with the Housing Initiatives Division and Douglas County to end chronic homelessness and make sure everyone has a safe place to live in the coming years.

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