The Mesa city council narrowly passed a controversial proposal to address homelessness in the city. They approved the conversion of an old hotel on Main Street in Power Road into a temporary shelter.
The council meeting was heavily attended, with supporters and opponents of the project. The vote ended with a 4 to 3 majority in favor of the proposal.
The city plans to use $7.4 million in federal funding to purchase the hotel and begin redevelopment. Supporters argued that this was a compassionate and financially responsible response to homelessness, while opponents expressed concerns about crime, property values, and taxes. The city assured the public that there would be increased security, cleanliness, and strict guidelines for those staying at the shelter. Council member Julie Spilsbury, whose district covers the location of the shelter, described it as one of the most difficult decisions she has made on the council but stands by the decision.
However, it will still take some time for the shelter to be fully operational, as the hotel needs to be purchased and redeveloped..