The head of school at Silverdale Baptist Academy, Becky Hansard, said she still has grave concerns about the opening of a former hotel near the school to house homeless residents.
Mayor Tim Kelly was one of the speakers at a meeting on Wednesday night at the Family Justice Center on the topic.
Ms. Hansard wrote:
I want to thank those of you who attended Wednesday evening’s community meeting surrounding the permanent supportive housing project proposed for Lee Hwy. You have likely seen and heard impassioned opinions from many perspectives, whether in print, on social media, or even in person. This is a passionate issue. Caring for the downtrodden and our 1,250+ students will never be mutually exclusive. But it should be apparent to all that our first obligation is to our children’s safety. With that said, safety and a lack of infrastructure in this proposed project gives us the greatest concern.
For over a year, we have asked for transparency from the city concerning this project.
There were numerous inconsistencies stated Wednesday night. Let me be clear on one. The mayor stated that he had met with me numerous times. While I have asked numerous times to meet with him, that only happened last week. And while I do appreciate that meeting and felt it was extremely beneficial, I need to clarify that for you, our stakeholders. Other than last week’s meeting with the mayor, members of SBC and SBA have met only two additional times with the city on this issue. I want to be clear when I say that we are not fighting against the city on this project. At this point, we are simply trying to have crucial questions answered. Our concern is that this project will fail for this vulnerable population unless the city does its due diligence to create an effective infrastructure. We are not convinced an appropriate infrastructure
can happen in this area’s setting.
We have long been in a season of research and fact-checking on this project, talking with industry professionals, numerous local leaders, and other schools in the communities where these facilities exist nationwide. We realize this is a sensitive issue and see merit for both sides of the conversation. We are trying to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.
If you want to stay abreast of this project, the Academy’s involvement, and/or present your own questions, here are the upcoming project dates:
- Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission
Tuesday, November 1st
A time is not listed yet, but we continue to research and will keep you posted.
Hamilton County Courthouse
625 Georgia Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37402
4th floor - room 402
- Chattanooga City Council Meeting
Tuesday, November 8th - 4:00 p.m.
John P. Franklin, Sr. City Council Building
1000 Lindsay Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402
If you plan to attend and/or speak, please remember to be deliberate and on point because that is how our concerns are best heard. Let me encourage us all to follow the precepts of Phillipians 4:5-7: “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” To make this cooperative effort the most beneficial it can be for the Academy and the community, remember these thoughts:
- Pray fervently: The Oaks Coffee House upstairs room has been reserved for parents, SBC, SBA, and local businesses and residents to gather to pray concerning this issue on Monday, October 31, 2022 from 11:30 to 12:30.
- Be positive & kind
- Support one another in unity
As always, we encourage you to be involved in our thriving parent community. Parent involvement is crucial to the success of the Silverdale Baptist Academy mission.
Head of School