Dorothy Day Center's future under review

The leaders of the Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul say the homeless shelter is struggling to meet the needs of all of its clients, and needs a new vision.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Thursday announced the creation of a task force to consider the shelter's future. He says the facility was not designed to shelter hundreds of people.

"It was originally a drop-in center, a place where somebody could get a cup of coffee to stay warm, have somebody to chat with," Coleman said. "Now it's an overnight shelter that is overcrowded, that has hundreds of people sleeping on the floor at night."

The Dorothy Day Center is run by Catholic Charities and houses up to 250 people each night. Leaders of the center say it has become a place where people go just to survive another day — rather than a path out of homelessness.

"The face of homelessness has changed, the numbers of homelessness have changed," Coleman said. "We as a community need to take on that challenge and do better. And so we will."

The new task force is expected to come back with a preliminary report within a few months.

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