A nonprofit in the Shoals that works with churches to help house the homeless might have to abandon operations due to coronavirus and zoning concerns.
Right now, city leaders, non-profit officials and community members are trying to figure out what's next.
Room in the Inn Shoals can't operate as usual because some churches are still closed to their congregations. While a church might be open and ready to house people one day, within hours, things can change because of coronavirus.
So, with churches not being able to help this year, Room in the Inn Shoals founder, Krista Manchester, went to plan B. That's to have the homeless stay at the intake center and volunteers with their program and various churches come feed and stay with the homeless on an alternating basis, but the City of Florence said that can't happen.
"There were some zoning issues with this location and that we wouldn't be zoned to keep people overnight here at this location. It leaves us without a space. It leaves us without people anywhere to go on freezing nights," said Manchester.
Manchester said she's hopeful Thursday's meeting will help them think outside the box and find a solution that works to protect the homeless and not contribute to community spread of coronavirus.
Manchester and other community members also started Room at the Table, which served almost 100 people a night with a hot meal in the area. Once that nonprofit moved from a church to it's own location, the city shut it down, saying Room at the Table didn't meet its zoning requirements. There is currently a lawsuit pending over that.