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Homeless emergency shelter may be reopened 

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • File photo

On Jan. 3, the Downtown Review Board was scheduled to decide whether to grant a conditional use permit for the Salvation Army to operate an emergency warming shelter at 505 S. Weber St. The two-story, 40,000- square-foot building served as a winter shelter between 2014 and 2016. It saved lives, but some neighbors called it a nuisance.

Now, with other shelters in town regularly full, cops have eased their camping ban enforcement and makeshift camps dot the Pikes Peak Greenway trail. Homeless campers are vulnerable to frostbite or death on cold nights, so city and nonprofit leaders have urged the reopening of the Weber Street shelter, which could house up to 150 people when the temperature dip below 38 degrees.

Even if the shelter opens, many of the city's homeless still will be forced to sleep outside for lack of shelter space.

Public comments on the proposed shelter were mixed, with some neighbors objecting. To address that, the Salvation Army, working with city officials, has offered to shorten operating hours, add professional security and institute regular neighborhood cleanups.

The matter could go before City Council if there's an appeal of the DRB's decision, whatever it is.

Representatives at the Salvation Army did not immediately return requests for comment.

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