Centenary adaptive reuse: “What about a homeless shelter?”


A regular reader offered this insightful comment about the impending sale of Centenary United Methodist Church.

Centenary United Methodist Church, downtown — it’s half a city block, now up for sale.

The disconnect between wants and needs is particularly vivid.

From the listing:

“A fantastic opportunity in Downtown New Albany. Maybe you’re not looking for a church home, but what about living space? Something cool, hip and funky with a millennial vibe. We also need more senior housing with some independent living. You could mix it up with co-existence of space that caters to all walks of life. This property offers lots of creative uses. What about a boutique hotel?”

What about a homeless shelter? From the story:

Centenary does its share to feed those in need by opening its food pantry from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Tuesday. Free meals are also served at the church twice a week — at 6 p.m. Thursday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Centenary serves 18 percent of Floyd County residents through its food pantry where those in need are allowed to take items once a month. Akins-Banman also said more families are coming to the weekly free meals.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] we had so many veterans come in who needed food,” Akins-Banman said. “There is so much need.”

Hopefully one of the other churches or organizations downtown pick up those Thursday and Sunday free meal times, because that’s going to be a huge loss for the community.

Good point, Jim. Very good point.

But we must remember that City Hall as presently occupied will not publicly acknowledge the existence of unsightliness, whether homelessness, hunger or opioid addiction. The mayor believe irrefutable truth reflects badly on his hermetic “special interests first” kingdom, and so he stares resolutely in the opposite direction. Take the proposition to the city’s top leaders, and boutique hotel wins in a landslide.

It’s sad. Very sad.