Lima Council approves establishment of quarantine facility for homeless

By Trevor Hubert -

LIMA — Lima City Council agreed Monday to establish a quarantine and isolation facility for homeless members of the Lima community. The motion passed on its third reading by a 5-2 vote with one abstention.

According to the ordinance, the resolution would allow the city to enter into a contract with Coleman Professional Services and allow for up to $500,000 in using Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) funding.

With COVID cases still on the rise in Allen County, the council felt that it was appropriate that a site still be established. Discussion on the topic has been drawn out through the summer because the ordinance did not previously have enough votes to pass. Councilors John Nixon and Jon Neeper voted against it while Derry Glenn abstained.

“I believe this decision was made to support this project after there was research and study and care giving to the issues that face our city. Homelessness is one of them,” said Councillor Carla Thompson.

Since the project will be supported by federal CBDG funding, Thompson said that the city would save money and still provide help to people in need.

“This is going to end up saving the city, the health-care system, the law department, its going to end up saving us money and hopefully keeping our citizens whole, our families intact, and helping them move forward to a more stable future,” she said.

Councillor Jamie Dixon also expressed his support for the passage of the ordinance, saying that the local government plays a critical role in helping support its citizens, homeless or not.

“Not every person is homeless by choice,” Dixon said. “Some people are homeless because right now we’re in the midst of a pandemic and they’ve lost their jobs, and it’s been months since they’ve had a last check or unemployment.”

Other notable votes from Lima City Council on Monday included the approval of another contract with Coleman to establish a partnership between mental health professionals and emergency responders, which will allow collaboration on emergency calls that could require mental health services. The council also moved to refer the establishment of a Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to a Committee of the Whole discussion. The CIC proposed by the city would create a nonprofit organized on improving housing, primarily through rehabilitating vacant buildings and foreclosed homes. There was an opportunity to approve establishing a CIC, but the council wanted further discussion and detail before taking it up again.

By Trevor Hubert

Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398

Reach Trevor Hubert at 567-242-0398

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