Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing continues search for new homeless shelter/resource center
It looks as if the Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing (DIMH) will not move its shelter to its chosen new location.
The Dover City Council last week voted 4 to 3 to deny an application to rezone a property at 630 West Division Street slated to be the new site for the group’s shelter and transitional home for homeless men.
“I was not surprised when the vote finally came,” said Jeanine Kleimo, chair of the Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing.“I think that the - this is not my term - but one of our supporters said that we were ambushed."
Council members say they denied the rezoning application in response to petitions protesting it from nearby property owners who complained about possible panhandling, increased foot traffic and other nuisance behaviors.
Kleimo says getting a piece of property rezoned is not easy.
“Because to get anything rezoned costs thousands of dollars. So the process itself is a barrier.," said Kleimo. "And we really have to work with City staff to see if there are any properties that are zoned property that are available, which is doubtful because there weren’t any the last time we looked.”
The lease on the Dover Interfaith Mission’s current property on Forest Street at Railroad Avenue expires in December 2021.
Kleimo says they plan to spend next year looking at what other sites may be available
She adds they are under no obligation to operate a homeless shelter and in the worst case scenario, they will simply go away if that’s what the City wants them to do.