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Detroit Lakes homeless shelter gets OK from city

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The Refuge is one step closer to a homeless shelter for men in Detroit Lakes.

Tuesday evening, the Detroit Lakes City Council approved a zoning change and a conditional use permit to The Refuge to allow a homeless shelter to serve up to 25 men at 811 8th St Southeast.

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The planning commission attached four stipulations on the conditional use permit, including no more than 25 men in the shelter, proper licensure be obtained to run a shelter, adequate parking is supplied and federal and state guidelines regarding licensure, design and operation be followed.

Community Development Committee Chairman and Alderman Bruce Imholte also added the stipulation that the hours of operation would be approved through the city. Hours weren't set with the conditional use permit, but they will be when the shelter moves forward and gets ready to open.

"It's a good fit and wouldn't create a burden on city infrastructure," Community Development Director Larry Remmen said of the location behind the former 5407 building and Minnesota Rural CEP.

"There is a need for a homeless shelter, even more so this Saturday and Sunday," Larry Buboltz said of the upcoming cold weather, who was there to speak in favor of the shelter.

He added that a shelter needs to be located within the city, and this location is perfect because it is within a block or two of The Refuge for hot meals, M State for schooling and CEP for job searches. It is also ideal because it is not in a residential area.

Alderman Ron Zeman said he called a shelter in Fargo and one in Grand Forks and said that as long as guidelines were set in the beginning and followed, he was in favor of the plan.

The council unanimously approved both the zoning change and the conditional use permit.

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