BY GWEN FILOSA
OCTOBER 21, 2017 7:59 AM
Bayshore Manor, Monroe County’s assisted-living home for 16 residents, needs to be turned into Key West’s overnight homeless shelter, the city’s mayor said this week.
The elderly residents could move into the Key West Housing Authority’s senior living complex, which will house at least 100, when it opens next year, Mayor Craig Cates said.
A 2011 lawsuit by condo owners is forcing the city to move its Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter from the present-day spot next door to the Sheriff’s Office on College Road. For years, Key West city commissioners had always chosen a former Easter Seals site, also on College Road, as the place for its next homeless shelter. .
But Cates says the Easter Seals location is now needed for new affordable workforce housing. This week, city commissioners approved a zoning change specifically for its properties on College Road, which total 2.65 acres.
“We could have 106 units there,” Cates said.
Bayshore Manor, which costs the county about $800,000 a year to run, is an old facility, Cates said. Its residents could move into a new state-of-the-art complex on Duck Avenue in Key West and Bayshore Manor employes could find other county jobs, he said.
“I would support it,” said County Mayor George Neugent. “Now whether there’s other votes to support it…”
County Commissioner Sylvia Murphy said no way.
“How does over my dead body hit you?” Murphy replied when asked if she would consider closing Bayshore Manor. “There is no way I’m uprooting a bunch of elderly people. I figure someday I’ll be in Bayshore Manor.”
As for the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter in Key West, Murphy said it remains a city, not county, issue.
“KOTS is Key West’s problem, it’s not ours,” she said.