As discussion about the Dorothy Day Hospitality House continues in Danbury, and the appropriateness of it on Spring Street, the no-questions asked charity is working to resolve land use issues and make other changes. Mayor Mark Boughton received a communication from Dorothy Day on Monday about how the organization that helps the homeless will improve their community relations.
The soup kitchen and emergency shelter has room for meals to be served to 30 people, and beds for 16.
They agreed to temporarily hire a security agency for out front of the facility from 6pm to 10pm. Dorothy Day has also agreed to a system of pledge cards that each guest will sign relating to behavior inside and outside the facility. Their name and photograph will be included on the pledge card.
Boughton calls it a major shift in policy. He says they have heard the concerns, and in the short term this should help calm some of the behaviors that raised those concerns. Boughton acknowledged that they still have more work to do, especially when it comes to the permitting process.
Dorothy Day is in the process of applying to the Danbury Planning Commission for a special permit to keep operating after it was discovered last month that there is currently no valid permit. The 30-year old issue was uncovered amid neighbor complaints and concerns.
The Danbury Planning Commission gave Dorothy Day permission to operate in 1983, but only for a year. A one year renewal was then granted, but they stopped updating the permit in 1985. Since then, fire and health department inspections were conducted, but there wasn't a permit in place.