Emergency injunction will keep homeless shelter open in Reading

Emergency injunction will keep homeless shelter open

READING, Pa. - Prayers were answered at City Light Ministries in Reading, which also serves as a homeless shelter during the winter months.

The shelter had been shut down by the city, and a condemned notice had been placed on the front door, citing the building was a danger to human life.

"It sounds like we have a filth problem or the building was going to fall down," said Joe Sclafani, who runs the shelter. "It's a safe building."

City officials say they had to shut the building down because, among other things, it didn't have a sprinkler system, a requirement if people are to spend the night in the building.

"It's a very difficult place, because you want to do things, you want to help people, but we still have a responsibility to do that safely," said Dean Vandersall with the City of Reading.

The attorneys for City Light Ministries, who worked on a pro bono basis, went straight to court Monday and won an emergency injunction.

"Well, this is a huge victory, because we don't have to turn anybody away," said pastor Sclafani.

The injunction will allow the shelter to keep serving the homeless until the end of March.

And Sclafani says he is sure he can bring the building up to code.

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