The legal battle over the operation of the Freedom House day shelter at 296 W. Seventh St. continues, with a temporary restraining order to be considered in Ramsey County District Court on December 28. Citing concerns about a sudden shutdown of the facility, the West Seventh/Fort Road Federation voted on December 13 to send a letter asking that the temporary restraining order be denied. 

The letter was requested by the operators of Freedom House and Listening House, two drop-in day shelters for people who are homeless. Mary Margaret Reagan, operations director for the facilities, said support is needed to keep Freedom House open until a lawsuit filed by seven businesses and property owners near Freedom House is resolved.

“If the temporary restraining order is approved and Freedom House closes abruptly, people won’t have a place to go,” said Ford Road Federation board member Casey Carmody. Other board members agreed, saying the court process should play out, which could take several months.

The lawsuit was filed this fall claiming that Freedom House has resulted in open air drug use, public urination and defecation, vandalism and other antisocial behavior. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, and $50,000 in damages. The intent is to stop Freedom House from providing services until its operators go through a conditional use permit process with the city’s Planning Commission.

Freedom House provides about 175 people a day with meals, hot showers and a place to relax.

— Jane McClure


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