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Live updates: Salvation Army seeks permit to open emergency warming shelter in Colorado Springs

January 3, 2018 Updated: January 3, 2018 at 9:01 am
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The Salvation Army is seeking a permit from the Colorado Springs Downtown Review Board at a meeting Wednesday morning to operate an emergency warming shelter. (Jakob Rodgers, The Gazette)

Note: Follow @jakobrodgers on Twitter for updates from the meeting Wednesday morning.

The Salvation Army is seeking a permit from the Colorado Springs Downtown Review Board at a meeting Wednesday morning to operate an emergency warming shelter.

The shelter would be located at 505 S. Weber St.

Two of the board's members are not at the meeting, leaving six members to hear the Salvation Army's proposal.

Background on the story

Breaking a 2-year-old promise, the Salvation Army in early December proposed reopening its controversial Weber Street homeless shelter - arguing the city's bed shortage left it no choice but to renege on a promise not to return.

The nonprofit unveiled its proposal during a meeting with Lowell neighborhood residents, outlining plans for an emergency warming shelter that could sleep up to 150 people a night at its shuttered building on South Weber Street in downtown Colorado Springs.

The about-face stemmed from one concern: saving lives and limbs from frostbite and hypothermia as the temperatures continue to drop, said Capt. David Kauffman, who leads the Salvation Army's El Paso County chapter.

"This is a very important facility, with a very real potential to save lives," said Andrew Phelps, the city's homelessness prevention and response coordinator.

Reactions from Lowell residents ranged from outright resistance to cautious optimism. And in nearly every case, residents expressed deep distrust of city officials and the nonprofit - citing several broken promises in the past to better manage the facility.

Read more here.

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