Local homeless outreach program closes after years

Davenport's Timothy's House of Hope closes

DAVENPORT, Iowa - After years of operation in Davenport, a popular outreach program closes its doors.

It stems from a zoning issue. 

Timothy's House of Hope was forced to close due to a zoning ordinance put in place years ago to protect local businesses. 

The building is zoned C-2, which allows a church to operate, but not an outreach program.

Alderman Ray Ambrose says Pastor Jim Swope, who founded the group, did not inform the city about his plans of relocating Timothy's House of Hope to the new church.

Ambrose says Washington Street is a historic neighborhood and businesses have worked hard to revitalize the area.

He says they're concerned with the effects the outreach program would have bringing in homeless people to the area.

 "We've got problems with realtors not wanting to list properties for sale in this area, because they blackballed this whole area. We've been told by realtors, and when it comes down to sale something here, people don't want to buy it. For the reasons being, you'll get hurt or shot or killed down there. We don't want that in our neighborhood, we're trying to get rid of that stigma," says Rick Piatt, a local business owner. 

Timothy's House of Hope, will now have to go through the zoning board. Once they have created a plan, it will be presented to the city council, where neighbors will be able to voice their opinions. 

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