Konrad Schultz, Bonita Springs
Last year, when St. Matthew's House was looking at Bonita Springs for their shelter, citizens were told "trust me," — this is shelter for women and children and veterans.
"Never an assault."
A place where lives are changed.
Yet, by the time they submitted their application, the dedicated veterans housing was gone. The shelter size went from the promised 60 beds to 120 beds, and with thorough research, we discovered that St. Matthew's is comprised of 80 percent single men with substance, drug and alcohol problems.
Fifteen percent have just been released from jail. Twenty percent have mental health issues. Only about 6 percent are veterans — less than the average of 8 percent in Florida.
When we heard months ago about the land under contract near the Bonita Springs Charter School, St. Matthew's officials said: "We want to know who talked to the principal. We have not had a dialogue with anybody. We're not sure what started that protest." And, they denied the existence of any contract or plans.
Last month Vann Ellison told a concerned parent of children who attend the Charter School: "I assure you, I have no intention or plans to locate on the property adjacent to the Charter School."
Now we're being told that they hope to build the shelter near the school, and it will contain 30 beds which will be reserved for families and 32 beds for women.
And, we're really supposed to trust these people?