Should it Stay or Should it Go? 200 Show Up to Debate Homeless Shelter [PHOTOS]
200 people filled a room at Danbury City Hall to debate the positives and negatives of Danbury's oldest homeless shelter, the Dorothy Day House. According to the NewsTimes, the City of Danbury has told Dorothy Day, after 30 years of not having the proper permits, that they must comply with city zoning regulations or the City will have to shut them down unless they comply. For three plus hours this past Thursday, 200 Danbury citizens debated the positives and negatives of keeping the Dorothy Day House in Danbury.
Last year the city's zoning board asked the Dorothy Day to apply to the planning commission for permission to operate a shelter in the residential Spring Street neighborhood. The shelter's permit expired in 1984. There's been no word from Dorothy Day whether they will comply or not. Meanwhile the Zoning Board of Appeals has not made a decision regarding a shut down. They've continued the hearing until June 23.
Adding to the complexity of the situation are Spring Street residents complaining about the lawlessness of some of Dorothy Day's patrons. Daniel Vining, who was raised on Spring Street told the NewsTimes, "Kids trying to get on the bus in the morning have to step over the drunks and the addicts."
I understand that the Dorothy Day went 30 years without having the correct zoning permits, but that was then and this is now. Adhere to the regulations, get the proper permits and if it means the zoning commission won't allow Dorothy Day to live on Spring Street, it will find a home in another Danbury location. I know the Mayor and I know he will get it done. Better to have this much needed resource somewhere else in Danbury than not have it at all!