Moberly homeless shelter closes until rezoning can be approved
MOBERLY- HOPE "Help Our People Excel" Mission Shelter closed its doors indefinitely Monday amid a zoning battle with the city.
The Moberly shelter that opened its doors in January left people scrambling to find a new place to live after shelter operator Ross Prevo received a letter in the mail over the weekend.
“I got the letter on Saturday that we would have to close, or they wouldn’t even consider our zoning application now or in the future, and that I could be facing criminal charges,” Prevo said.
The city attorney said he did not want to comment any further than what was said in the letter mailed to Prevo.
The shelter had been operating without proper paperwork being filed. Prevo submitted a rezoning application to the city after being first asked to shut down in mid-March.
“It was really, really hard to drive up here in the snow and the rain last night, or yesterday afternoon, and tell everybody that they had to be out by noon today,” Prevo said.
People staying at the shelter had until noon Monday to leave the HOPE shelter and find a new place to stay. Charles Gibson has been staying at HOPE for about two months. He said it is depressing because some people have other options, and some don’t.
“I’m going to go to my mom's. She currently doesn’t have electric right now, but a neighbor is running an extension cord from their house to her house so she can at least have lights and heat,” Gibson said.
CJ Harding, another former resident at the HOPE shelter, was forced to seek out a home elsewhere.
“I’m taking a few of my friends from here and were going to go and pitch the tent some place, and try to make ends meet as best as possible,” Harding said.
Harding is hoping the shelter reopens its doors in the near future.
“I’m hoping that once the remodel is done and we have all of the permits and everything that were required to have by the city, that we can get this place back up and helping people,” Harding said.
The shelter operator said he has a meeting with the city’s planning and zoning board on April 30,2018, but wont be able to keep his doors open until then.