Brunswick homeless shelter shut down for 65 days forced to delay reopening

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – The 65-day shutdown of a homeless day shelter in Brunswick is over but there’s still no set date for when it plans to reopen.

The closure came after multiple complaints from business owners and community members. The Well originally planned to reopen on Wednesday and director Wright Culpepper said he expected the shelter to be up and running by now.

The shelter still needs to receive clearance from the city and will have to make some changes before it can get back to business.

More than two months have passed since The Well voluntarily closed its doors.

“There’s no exact target date to reopen but we plan to reopen soon. We’ve got some safety things that we’re trying to implement,” Culpepper said.

Culpepper said he received an impromptu request from the city of Brunswick two days ago asking for a meeting Wednesday.

“Our staff and our board will be there and we’re not exactly sure what is going to happen. I’m sure we’ll talk about safety and security,” Culpepper said.

The Well shut down on April 23 after receiving a series of complaints from the community and business owners downtown.

The complaints involved reports of violent attacks from homeless people in downtown Brunswick dating back to February, ranging from armed robbery, a home invasion and rape of a minor.

Safety is still a major concern, that’s why Culpepper plans to build a fence around a porch where people used to spend the night sleeping.

“We’ve had conversations with the police department, the chief of police, they recognize that the sidewalk and the street, that’s downtown Brunswick’s public property. So, they’ve indicated that they will make sure that that street stays clear,” he said.

With this upgrade, the shelter hopes to get back to business and continue serving the Brunswick community.

Culpepper is also aiming to build a 24-hour shelter in Brunswick but not in the immediate future.

He wants to work with the city to get The Well opened first before he takes those steps.

News4JAX reached out to the city of Brunswick for comment but has not received a response.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.