A quality of life issue for residents in the Spring Street neighborhood is being addressed in Danbury. The proposal Mayor Mark Boughton calls "disruptive" involves a merger of the City run shelter and the one at Dorothy Day Hospitality House. He made the announcement during his State of the City address at the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce annual leaders luncheon today.
The food service would be operated by Dorothy Day volunteers, and the shelter would be managed by city staff. Each shelter currently has 20 beds each. His proposal is for a 40 bed facility, with a commercial kitchen, cafeteria, and a counseling center. Boughton says because teen homelessness is a growing problem, he wants the new facility to be able to house families and teens as well. Offices will be available for non-profits for outreach purposes, and Boughton says that includes for organizations like the Jericho Partnership.
Boughton says it will be more efficient, save taxpayers money and bring volunteers and paid staff together to work toward the same goal of ending chronic homelessness.
A new location for the merged shelter has not been identified. Boughton says City officials are looking at a few locations, close to the downtown, along the bus line which are zoned industrial.
Danbury will be hiring a Main Street Enforcement Officer for the Unified Neighborhood Inspection Team next year. That UNIT member would focus on quality-of- life issues in the challenging area around Spring and New Streets in particular. This would build on Danbury's increased presence on Spring Street. The City purchased the Octagon House last year, which will be renovated and turned into a police substation and UNIT offices.