Plans to open the controversial "no freeze" shelter for homeless men in the heart of downtown are still on track, but a little delayed while the operational details are worked out.
So the city says it's looking to expand some existing shelters temporarily while it works out the "operational details" of the larger facility at Center Church, according to Chief Operating Officer David Panagore.
"We'll take existing shelters and grow them a little bit to handle the initial capacity," Panagore said.
The shelter that would house the most men on a temporary basis, he said, would be the Immaculate Conception Shelter -- the same one that Courant columnist Helen Ubinas said recently has fierce demand for beds.
The Salvation Army told the city in late September that it would no longer run its shelter on Washington Street, which had operated for nine years.
Since then, the city has been trying to find another suitable location for the shelter that houses men in winter months when they could risk dying in the cold. Officials say the church at Lewis and Gold streets near Bushnell Park appears to be the best solution on short notice. The shelter typically opens on Dec. 1 and stays open every night through the winter.
But downtown residents and business leaders from the Business Improvement District have objected, saying that downtown isn't the right place for a homeless shelter. Panagore has said that the goal is to save lives.