Soup kitchen worries arena board

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Golden Harvest Food Bank's plans to open a soup kitchen near the civic center have some members of the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority hoping to keep them out of the neighborhood.

Donnie Thompson, the chairman of the authority's building and grounds committee, said Friday he's concerned that a soup kitchen on Fenwick Street next door to the entertainment complex will bring panhandling to the area.

"I don't think any of us are opposed to feeding the hungry, but maybe it's not the right location," Mr. Thompson said. "Maybe we could even help and assist them in getting some property."

Member Richard Isdell said the first thing the Coliseum Authority would do if a soup kitchen is opened is put up a fence separating the properties.

"People are already scared about coming downtown," he said. "That's not going to help with it being next door to our parking lot."

Mr. Thompson said Golden Harvest officials are scheduled to go before the county's Board of Zoning Appeals on Oct. 20 to request a setback variance for the soup kitchen they propose building at 704 Fenwick St. Mr. Thompson also said Mike Firmin, the food bank's executive director, wants to meet with the full authority before then.

Member William Fennoy said authority members should take a survey of property surrounding the civic center to see what's available and buy it for future expansion.

Last year, Golden Harvest backed off plans to move its soup kitchen across the street from John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School after it was unable to reach an agreement with Richmond County school officials.

Golden Harvest officials have said the current location is not large enough and in poor condition, and they had planned to move the Master's Table Soup Kitchen to the former Kinsey's Auto Grill on 13th Street.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (17) Add comment
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younameit
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younameit 10/04/08 - 05:48 am
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Now that's funny!! We should

Now that's funny!! We should all have to pay twice as much for today's paper to get to read about Fennoy's fear of someone being beat up OUTSIDE the civic center and the fact that such an incident might cost the civic center some money. Say, like $13,000.00?

NANF
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NANF 10/04/08 - 06:47 am
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What a joke. The civic

What a joke. The civic center board mentality. A soup kitchen will disrupt your area? Oh puleeeze. You are a disruption in and of yourselves. Just what in the world are you good for anyway. You set and , well, set , and argue is about the best you can do. Stop embarassing yourselves and just close up shop and go home.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 10/04/08 - 07:12 am
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Damned if you do damned if

Damned if you do damned if you don't. Some of you just look for an opportunity to criticize Fennoy since he stumped a mud hole in Woody's azz. I am willing to bet that you are one of those that opposes a Soup Kitchen for whatever reason, but since Fennoy spoke out, you attacked him rather than the subject of the article.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/04/08 - 07:16 am
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For some reason this reminds

For some reason this reminds me of the New Orleans crowd in the Super Dome during Katrina. That only cost about a hundred million to clean up.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/04/08 - 07:33 am
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I don't think the civic

I don't think the civic center will do that much damage to the reputation of the soup kitchen. It's already in the middle of one of the toughest areas of the CSRA. The derelicts that live in that area need to eat too and maybe this will stop them from drifting up to Broad or Reynolds.

realistineducation
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realistineducation 10/04/08 - 07:42 am
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this is the most obsurd thing

this is the most obsurd thing i have ever heard. what balls . what disrespect, and what lack of concern for people who can't afford to eat. this guy should be kicked off the commission.

SilentJ
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SilentJ 10/04/08 - 07:46 am
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Well Isn't their a soup

Well Isn't their a soup kitchen in that area already?

lulu
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lulu 10/04/08 - 08:18 am
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Hypo, you are a racist idiot.

Hypo, you are a racist idiot. We all know how the idiots will vote for. Have you got your check this month?

lady_alessandra
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lady_alessandra 10/04/08 - 08:21 am
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Yes. Silent J, The Garden

Yes. Silent J, The Garden CIty Rescue Mission is located on Fenwick Street practically next to the civic center. They feed and house the homeless there.

WhiskyDick
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WhiskyDick 10/04/08 - 08:29 am
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Panhandlers go where people

Panhandlers go where people are, which ain't the civic center.

anotherlook
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anotherlook 10/04/08 - 08:34 am
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What hearts and wisdom are in

What hearts and wisdom are in those persons in authority who find the faces of the down trodden, destitute, lonely, hungry and hopeless to be so reprehensible that they are not moved to express compassion for the plight of the poor? What confusion must be roiling around in the minds of those who see the needs of others and can only look to the superficial and not deeper to understand the daily struggles, suffering, and indignities endured by those of such little means? Perhaps, they view this as a quality of life issue? But what quality of life will there ever be for the greater Augusta area when we and our leaders chose not to express mercy and charity? What meaning is there in life itself, when we can see misery and pain all around us and then retreat into our own little cocoons where we can pretend that we need do nothing more that give a token donation that will make everything right with the world? Jesus said "The poor will be with you always..." So there will always be an opportunity for each and every one of us to rise above our materialism and acquistiveness. With this hope, I will to pray for Mr. Fennoy; hoping that when he is converted, he will strengthen his brethren.

christian134
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christian134 10/04/08 - 08:38 am
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Well now why not just turn

Well now why not just turn that big old building into a haven for the homeless...Tell the Coliseum Authority your services are no longer needed unless you want to help feed and house the homeless...Makes sense to me...Keeping the Coliseum Authority, having to listen to their endless sputtering all the while paying out the "donkey's behind" for their gas and legal affairs is nonsensical...

iletuknow
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iletuknow 10/04/08 - 08:46 am
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The James Brown Coliseum and

The James Brown Coliseum and Golden Harvest soup kitchen complement each other quite nicely. No need to flush to hard.

Tujeez
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Tujeez 10/04/08 - 09:05 am
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Good point anotherlook, Jesus

Good point anotherlook, Jesus also said. "Whatsoever ye do unto the least of these, ye do also unto me." I surely wouldn't want that hanging over my head. I'm sure the prospective performers would love to know this. I say, put this on the next ballot and let the people vote. Soup Kitchen or Civic Center. What an honor James Brown would be dealt by the good people of Augusta, if they were to build a Rescue Mission, and Name it after Him. In light of all of the Good and Charitable efforts he himself put forth in this and other Communities.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 10/04/08 - 03:38 pm
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LULU aka coo coo. I get my

LULU aka coo coo. I get my check every two weeks. It is called a paycheck. Now please tell me what in the hell does race have to do with this one? You idiot are the one that is showing their true color. Sounds like envy to me.

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 10/04/08 - 09:17 pm
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And Lord help us all if there

And Lord help us all if there are two mentally retarded men eating at the soup kitchen. I guess they will want a law criminalizing MR people from eating there too.

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 10/04/08 - 10:22 pm
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Put the soup kitchen in the

Put the soup kitchen in the civic center. it will be the biggest crowd in years.
Place the authority in jail. This group is nothing short of criminal.

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