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Neighbors oppose planned homeless center near Mohawk Park golf course

Neighbors who live near a planned homeless shelter do not want it there.

The city of Tulsa announced last week that the temporary shelter would be located near the Mohawk Park golf course.

According to the city, this old nursing home is the best of 50 sites that were considered as a place where homeless people could live temporarily until they find housing.

“Safety is our biggest concern. It will not be safe for us,” said Christie Matthews, a neighbor.

That’s Matthews’ concern about plans for transitional housing for the homeless in the neighborhood she lives in. The property is right behind her yard.

“And then there are all these people who have nothing to do, no work, so there is great concern, great anxiety,” Matthews said.

Repairs have begun, and the city said it could open in late fall. The building is in a remote area between a city water treatment plant and a golf course.

Dan Polak hopes to spend the rest of his life there.

“So I’m leaving. My way of life is gone no matter what they open there. And once it’s open, it’s a big problem to close it again,” he said.

The city says the building will be guarded and manned 24 hours a day and people will be housed in individual apartments that can only be accessed by referral. Until last week, however, it was always called a “homeless shelter with low entry requirements,” but now the city is calling it a nursing home.

“There is nothing here for these people, no amenities, the nearest grocery store is eight kilometers away,” Polak said.

Polak and his neighbors are concerned about increased traffic and a possible bus stop, but most of all they are unsure of what is coming, who will live next door and what impact it will have on them.

“If this is actually barrier-free housing, it’s terrible for this area. There’s nothing here for these people,” he said.

The city is holding a meeting for residents tomorrow evening in the auditorium of the Mohawk Water Treatment Plant, just up the street. City staff will be there to answer residents’ many questions.

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