The city's plan to sell the former Boys & Girls Club building on 21st Street to the Lord's Diner for a satellite location to feed the needy is on hold for the moment, according to City Council member Lavonta Williams, who represents the district.
In recent weeks, Williams met with neighborhood representatives to try to reach a consensus. But that didn't work out. She hopes to discuss solutions with City Manager Robert Layton today, but said she's not sure when the council might consider some type of agreement.
The city bought the 18,000-square-foot building near 21st and Grove in 1992 for the Boys & Girls Club. About two years ago, the club moved down the street to its new, nationally recognized campus.
The old building has housed some temporary activities, but otherwise it is vacant.
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The arguments over adding another site to feed the hungry are complex but generally boil down to some being concerned that the location could lead to an increase in crime in an area they've fought hard to clean up and others believing it's the best location to reach out to those in need with a no-questions-asked meal.
"We understand that every day there's more of a need for a feeding station," Williams said Thursday. "So we do have to find a place. There's no doubt about it."
Many people have offered suggestions, Williams said, but an agreeable location has proved elusive thus far.
"It's a difficult situation," she said.