First Stop Homeless Day Center expecting new mobile classroom to be delivered Wednesday

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - First Stop Homeless Day Center in Huntsville is expecting a big delivery on Wednesday -- a mobile classroom.  It will allow clients to have a better setting to learn life skills.

This comes as city leaders are ramping up discussions about how to help the homeless in Huntsville.

First Stop is busier now more than ever, since Huntsville closed down "Tent City" under Interstate 565.  The Executive Director is trying to keep up with adding new things to the center.

"Tomorrow, I'm very excited to say, that we're going to get a portable building out here, where we're going to start doing our group sessions," said Clete Wetli, First Stop's Executive Director.

Wetli was part of a recent Huntsville City Council work session during which leaders brainstormed about what could be done to help the homeless.  He says leaders want Huntsville to be a compassionate and progressive city, and having some 500 people living on the streets is troubling.

"We are actively working it," said Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton.

He confirmed leaders are discussing options, including trying to centralize services and resources homeless people need in one place.  They're also kicking around ideas for special housing.

"I've had some other organizations here in the city that are looking at how they can assist with that," said Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Wetli is trying to raise funds to for more case workers to work individually with each client.

"Each client is completely different and they need different things," said Wetli.

He says the new classroom will go along with First Stop's new greenhouse for growing food -- all aimed at empowering clients to gain knowledge and skills to help them start a new life.

An anonymous person donated the trailer.

Clients will be taught about addiction, conflict resolution, anger management, as well as budgeting.

Right now, the main gathering place and laundry room of the center serves as the classroom.