Arlington board approves permit for homeless shelter near courthouse

The Arlington County board voted unanimously Saturday in favor of a special use permit that will allow a homeless shelter to be operated in a building near the courthouse.

The Homeless Services Center will occupy two floors of the seven-story, county-owned building at 2020 14th St. N. It will offer 50 permanent beds, five medical respite beds and an additional 25 beds during winter .

The shelter’s move into the county building has not been without controversy. When the board voted in November to spend $27.1 million on the building, which will also contain office space for the county, residents of a nearby condominium objected, calling the shelter residents a threat to their safety. Others complained that county officials had been unresponsive to their concerns.

County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada in a news release Saturday said the board has worked with residents and will continue to work with them to address concerns about security at the shelter. He said a center liaison to the neighborhood will be named and a neighborhood advisory committee will be established.

The center is expected to open in 2014.

Patricia Sullivan seeks out news about Alexandria and Arlington County for the Washington Post.
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