Talbot Interfaith Opens Permanent Homeless Shelter, Neighbors St - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Talbot Interfaith Opens Permanent Homeless Shelter, Neighbors Still Pushing Back

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)
EASTON, Md.- A former bed and breakfast on Goldsborough Street in Easton is now open to a clientele who are down on their luck, and don't have to pay a dime.

Jack Harrald, president of the Talbot Interfaith Shelter's board of directors, says the permanent shelter location is a huge benefit, because now they can help people get back on their feet year round, as opposed to just during the winter.

"We're not staying in some church basement, we're not staying in a back room somewhere.  We're providing a room and a shower and laundry facilities, and we have to think for the person who's out interviewing for a job, the sense of self esteem that comes with being able to prepare themselves is greatly enhanced," said Harrald.

Right now, five are staying in the shelter, including a nine month old infant with room for ten more. 

But they aren't expanding yet, because an appeal is pending from a group of neighbors who say the shelter does not belong in such a central part of the town.  Some are concerned for their safety, or the safety of loved ones who work nearby.

"I'm already on record to be concerned for my wife's safety and well being, because she's only 100 feet from the shelter.  And I'm already on record to say I think it's a bad idea.  And time has a way of revealing all, and we will soon see if this is a half baked idea or a grand great idea," said John Bunch of Oxford, who's wife works near the shelter.

Harrald says every guest is given a thorough background check before they are allowed to spend the night at the shelter.

The group of neighbors against the shelter has also asked for a stay to remove the shelter from the building until the appeal process is complete, no decision has been made yet in that case, but is expected by the end of the month.  If the stay is approved, the shelter would move out of the b&b until the appeal process is completed next year, at which point they would be able to move back in, or find another location.

Harrald says part of the reason the shelter is limiting to five people at this time is in case the stay is approved, they would not have to turn any guests away.

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