Manchester homeless shelter to shut to bar users of drugs, alcohol

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MANCHESTER — A Manchester social service agency will close its 40-bed homeless shelter July 1 rather than comply with a state order to admit homeless people who abuse alcohol and drugs.

Beth Stafford, executive director of the Manchester Area Conferences of Churches, said Wednesday that funding of $174,000 from the state Department of Housing of a total $330,000 shelter budget would be tied to admitting people who are actively drinking and using drugs.

Stafford says the organization does not have the staff and money to supervise abusers of alcohol and drugs. She also says staff and officials are concerned about safety of staff members.

Lisa Tepper Bates, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, said emergency shelters should serve people who need shelter, including those who drink and use drugs.