[Hpn] Springfield orders homeless shelter to close

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Tue, 10 Jul 2007 00:34:29 -0400


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_sh.html

Springfield orders homeless shelter to close
Posted by The Republican Newsroom July 09, 2007
By PETER GOONAN=20
pgoonan@repub.com=20

SPRINGFIELD - The city today issued a "cease and desist" order, intended =
to halt continued operation of a homeless shelter at the former York =
Street jail.=20

Kevin J. Noonan, executive director of Open Pantry Community Services, =
which operates the shelter, said he intends to comply but it will likely =
take until Thursday or Friday to fully vacate the site.=20

"We received it and will have no choice but to comply," Noonan said. "We =
need to give people notice to get their stuff out."=20

Noonan said he was telling the homeless on Sunday night and again =
tonight of the need to move out. They need additional time, he said.=20

Tonight, some shelter residents were working on a petition asking that =
they be allowed to stay, and hoped to present it to the Housing Court.=20

Open Pantry had sought an injunction in Housing Court last week to =
remain at the York Street site, known as the Warming Place, but the =
petition was denied by Judge Dina E. Fein on Friday.=20

With the shelter continuing to operate this past weekend, City Solicitor =
Edward M. Pikula said today it was necessary for the Code Enforcement =
Department to issue the cease and desist order. If Open Pantry fails to =
vacate "forthwith," the city will seek enforcement of the order in =
court, he said.=20

Noonan estimated that 55 to 60 homeless stayed at the Warming Place =
nightly over the weekend, which until then had been averaging 90 people. =


The use of the jail gymnasium site lasted nearly two years, but was "a =
temporary solution to an emergency situation that no longer exists," =
Pikula said.=20

A total of 88 beds were added on July 1 at two other homeless shelters =
in Springfield to accommodate the closing of the Warming Place, Pikula =
said. Additional beds were provided at the Friends of the Homeless =
shelter on Worthington Street and a newly reopened shelter on Taylor =
Street operated by the Rescue Mission.=20

Both Noonan and Pikula said the safety of the homeless is their primary =
concern.=20

Temporary occupancy permits at the former jail were terminated on June =
30, because the site was only allowed on an emergency basis, Pikula =
said. The jail site does not comply with state building codes for =
plumbing, electrical and fire safety, he said.=20

Noonan said many homeless people are concerned about moving to the =
Worthington Street shelter, believing conditions there are overcrowded. =
The Taylor Street shelter is for men only.=20

Pikula said today it is also "vitally important for the city and its =
citizens" to move forward with demolition of the long-vacant jail, to =
allow economic development to proceed in that area along West Columbus =
Avenue.=20

Noonan said the demolition is not yet scheduled and Open Pantry was =
seeking to extend its stay temporarily.=20

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<H3><A=20
href=3D"http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/2007/07/springfield_orders_=
homeless_sh.html">http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/2007/07/springfie=
ld_orders_homeless_sh.html</A></H3>
<H3>&nbsp;</H3>
<H3>Springfield orders homeless shelter to close</H3>
<H4>Posted by <A =
href=3D"http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/about.html"><A=20
href=3D"http://blog.masslive.com/breakingnews/about.html"><FONT =
color=3D#003399>The=20
Republican Newsroom</FONT></A></A> July 09, 2007</H4>
<DIV class=3Dentry-body>
<P><STRONG>By PETER GOONAN <BR>pgoonan@repub.com </STRONG></P>
<P>SPRINGFIELD - The city today issued a "cease and desist" order, =
intended to=20
halt continued operation of a homeless shelter at the former York Street =
jail.=20
</P>
<P>Kevin J. Noonan, executive director of Open Pantry Community =
Services, which=20
operates the shelter, said he intends to comply but it will likely take =
until=20
Thursday or Friday to fully vacate the site. </P>
<P>"We received it and will have no choice but to comply," Noonan said. =
"We need=20
to give people notice to get their stuff out." </P>
<P>Noonan said he was telling the homeless on Sunday night and again =
tonight of=20
the need to move out. They need additional time, he said. </P>
<P>Tonight, some shelter residents were working on a petition asking =
that they=20
be allowed to stay, and hoped to present it to the Housing Court. </P>
<P>Open Pantry had sought an injunction in Housing Court last week to =
remain at=20
the York Street site, known as the Warming Place, but the petition was =
denied by=20
Judge Dina E. Fein on Friday. </P>
<P>With the shelter continuing to operate this past weekend, City =
Solicitor=20
Edward M. Pikula said today it was necessary for the Code Enforcement =
Department=20
to issue the cease and desist order. If Open Pantry fails to vacate =
"forthwith,"=20
the city will seek enforcement of the order in court, he said. </P><A=20
name=3Dmore></A>
<P>Noonan estimated that 55 to 60 homeless stayed at the Warming Place =
nightly=20
over the weekend, which until then had been averaging 90 people. </P>
<P>The use of the jail gymnasium site lasted nearly two years, but was =
"a=20
temporary solution to an emergency situation that no longer exists," =
Pikula=20
said. </P>
<P>A total of 88 beds were added on July 1 at two other homeless =
shelters in=20
Springfield to accommodate the closing of the Warming Place, Pikula =
said.=20
Additional beds were provided at the Friends of the Homeless shelter on=20
Worthington Street and a newly reopened shelter on Taylor Street =
operated by the=20
Rescue Mission. </P>
<P>Both Noonan and Pikula said the safety of the homeless is their =
primary=20
concern. </P>
<P>Temporary occupancy permits at the former jail were terminated on =
June 30,=20
because the site was only allowed on an emergency basis, Pikula said. =
The jail=20
site does not comply with state building codes for plumbing, electrical =
and fire=20
safety, he said. </P>
<P>Noonan said many homeless people are concerned about moving to the=20
Worthington Street shelter, believing conditions there are overcrowded. =
The=20
Taylor Street shelter is for men only. </P>
<P>Pikula said today it is also "vitally important for the city and its=20
citizens" to move forward with demolition of the long-vacant jail, to =
allow=20
economic development to proceed in that area along West Columbus Avenue. =
</P>
<P>Noonan said the demolition is not yet scheduled and Open Pantry was =
seeking=20
to extend its stay temporarily. </P></DIV></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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