U.S. Will Close Capital Shelter for Homeless

Associated Press

Federal officials dropped plans Friday to renovate a shelter for homeless street people that has ignited a feud with community organizers and announced instead that the facility will close next month.

The government had promised to renovate the shelter after community activist Mitch Snyder won wide attention with a 51-day hunger strike in 1984.

Snyder contends that the government has no intention of doing a quality renovation job. Federal officials retort that the specifications he recommends would double the project's cost.

Harvey R. Vieth, chairman of a federal task force for the homeless, said the federally owned shelter will close July 10 and that responsibility for the occupants will be handed over to the District of Columbia.

Vieth sharply criticized Snyder, whose hunger strike won the Administration's renovation promise.

"Given the failure of the rehabilitation program to be positively supported by Mr. Snyder, present operations at this property no longer make any sense and are certainly not in the interest of the district homeless," Vieth said.

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