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City shuts down dangerous building operating as a “shelter”

City shuts down dangerous building operating as a “shelter”

The building located at 2363 Park owned by Juice Orange Mound could not be allowed to serve as a homeless shelter because it was not safe.

On multiple occasions over the last year, the City inspected the property and tried to work with the owner to fix a myriad of safety issues. There was no working smoke detector and no sprinkler system in case of a fire.  The City’s Office of Planning and Development, Code Enforcement and Memphis Fire Department could not risk a tragedy happening like this situation in Oakland five years ago in which 36 people died in a fire when people were allowed to occupy a building that was not up to code.  

The property also has no working restrooms and running water; there were no showers, laundry or sleeping facilities that separated men from women and children (as is required); and three meals a day should also be provided.   These are all requirements to be considered a shelter.    

The bottom line is that the building is not safe for occupancy, and it needed to be shut down.

The City requested the owner to complete some minimum safety standards for temporary occupancy to get through the winter months—but that did not happen. As a result,  the building owner has been cited to court.    If the owner chooses to bring the building up to code and make it safe for occupancy, the City will allow the building to reopen.