The fight is on to save the Dorothy Day homeless shelter from a cease-and-desist order that was issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals at Danbury’s City Hall on Aug. 25.
Zoning Enforcement officer Sean Hearty issued the cease-and-desist order in July 2015 on grounds that the shelter has operated illegally since 1985 and needs a “special exception” to be considered legal.
Attorney Neil Marcus, representing Dorothy Day Hospitality House, argued that since Dorothy Day predates the 2014 special exception clause, the shelter is exempt from regulation and should be grandfathered in.
Marcus has not only vowed to appeal the decision to Superior Court, but has also sued the Planning Commission in attempt to force the panel to hold a hearing to exempt Dorothy Day from a special exception.
Joe Simon, a volunteer and treasurer at Dorothy Day said the shelter is still open and will remain open during the appeal.
“We’re still open, we’re still serving people in need. That’s our main focus, helping people,” said Simon.