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Homeless moving further away from the Birmingham revitalization area

Homeless shelter

A local shelter plans to help the homeless, and the Birmingham renaissance at the same time.

Firehouse Ministries is looking for funding for a new multi million dollar facility to move the city's homeless away from the growth happening downtown.

Downtown Birmingham is a place where children play, families gather and it's growing at a rapid pace.

The Firehouse Ministries, a homeless shelter says through the years, they have been growing as well.

"The firehouse shelter was actually meant to be a fire station and we outgrew the building a long time ago," Firehouse Ministries Executive Director Anne Wright said.

Now, with the revitalization of the city, they are taking this opportunity to make some changes of their own.

"What we're looking to do is expand a little bit, we'll expand our dormitory to about 120 people,"Wright said.

And they're moving nine blocks from their original location, and away from the downtown growth.

"Homeless men, there's a huge stigma attached to them," Wright said.

But Wright says this is everyone's city; moving forward means creating space.

"This location will allow it to be accessible but still give the city, the businesses and the patrons of the city what they want, as far as it being just a little further away," Wright said.

"I don't think it's right," Birmingham visitor Haylee Dortch said.

Dortch is living in Birmingham temporarily. She says you can't displace someone, because of who they are.

"Everybody has something that's theirs, it's their area. You know, just like you want this to be somebody's area, that's already somebody's area," Dortch said.

The city has already given $1 million to the project, but Firehouse Ministries still have a ways to go. The building is estimated to cost nearly $8 million.

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