St. Matthew’s House Campbell Lodge gets go ahead for expansion

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:

A plan to create more shelter for the homeless is being pushed forward.

On Tuesday, the owner of The Point at Naples withdrew its opposition to St. Matthew’s House Campbell Lodge expanding.

Now, 50 fewer people will be on the waiting list to get a bed at Campbell Lodge. Collier County leaders unanimously voted to allow the charity to expand its capacity.

Steve Brooder is the CEO of St. Matthew’s House. “These are men, women, and moms with children. So it’s, it’s really essential that we’re able to accommodate these folks that are living on the streets or in the woods because we have the ability to do it,” said Brooder.

And now they will be able to do so after both sides were able to come to an agreement.

The lawyer for West Shore LLC, owner of The Point at Naples, says they could work together and wishes St. Matthew’s House well. “We’ve worked hard we reached a resolution this morning we are hereby withdrawing our opposition. We wish St. Matthew’s House well.”

West Shore LLC initially opposed the charity adding those 50 additional beds. They were worried it would lead to more trash on their property, which they say was put there by homeless individuals.

But, once St. Matthew’s House agreed to put up security cameras and pay close attention to its property line with The Point at Naples, sentiments began to change. They also agreed to provide a 24-hour contact to deal with any vagrancy or trespassing issues. West Shore had no choice but to drop its opposition.

“We’re here. We’re open to communication and collaboration to work with the sheriff’s office and the owners of the point to resolve any issues that they’re experiencing,” said Brooder.

One woman who lives at The Point of Naples did not want to be identified but commented about the expansion. “I rather see the homeless people sleeping in a homeless shelter than sitting at the courthouse, laid upon the benches or behind the church right down the road,” she said.

St. Matthew’s House still needs to secure a permit from the Collier Building Office before the expansion can begin. They hope to be able to add those 50 new beds before summer.

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