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Dover Homeless Panel Eyes Affordable Rental Units

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DOVER, Del. -- A commission tasked with identifying homeless individuals in Dover and ways to help them find housing has created an early concept for low-rent housing aimed at providing temporary homes for people to stabilize their living conditions and obtain employment.

The blue ribbon commission was formed by Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen and had a similar goal to an effort to end veteran homelessness in Dover the year before. The group determined there are approximately 300 to 400 homeless adults in the Dover area, many of whom use shelters and other services for assistance.

An early draft proposal from the group suggested low-rent housing could be developed for dozens of homeless people, with 50 units being used for men and 20 units for women. Four homes could also be developed downtown, according to the document.

Dover Public Library Director Margie Cyr, a commission co-chair, said the services also proposed included hiring various personnel to assist the homeless, such as a human services worker. 

Cyr noted that each homeless individual may have various issues that need to be addressed.

"You can't just put them in a room and say 'OK, you're going to live here now.' You have to be able to help them solve their challenges."

The first phase of the project would cost more than $1.6 million. A second phase could commence after the first phase housing was occupied.

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