Locals speak out as Miss Carly's seeks special permit

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ----- A local charitable organization is one step closer to getting the permit they need to continue serving Rockford’s homeless.

For more than a year, Miss Carly's has been helping out Rockford’s homeless population, all from the founder, Carly Rice's, own home.

"This isn't a job for them, this is their life, this is what they do because, it's in their heart, just to give and I think that's beautiful," said one supporter.

Rice, along with her partner Jacob Rush transformed the former Buddhist temple turned art studio in the 1100 block of 5th Avenue into a safe haven, complete with 3 day-a-week meal services, clothing and resources to help people get back on their feet.

"It's real not having anything to eat, it's real being in the rain, it's real not knowing where to go, it's real not being able to go to the mission, it's real not having any place else to go, it's real not being able to even ask a person for a quarter," said one supporter.

While some detractors say the permit will cause harm to their neighborhood…

"The applicants and their supporters do not want to acknowledge that there are downsides to our community having a location that hosts criminals, drug addicts, drunks and the worst of the bad, no questions asked, 24 hours a day in an urban residential area," said neighbor Lois Ginter.

... Rice says they leave their door open no questions asked because they know it works.

"When you sit down at a table and break bread with someone, that's the biggest equalizer and this is our kitchen table, so they feel equal, they don't feel like we're telling them what to do and how to fix their life, we wait until they ask," said Rice.

The official permit process now moves to the Council's Codes and Regulations Committee next week.