LORAIN -- Dozens of homeless men and women in Lorain will not be forced to sleep on the street.
The Catholic Charities homeless shelter in the former St. Joseph Church and rectory was slated to stop permitting clients to sleep overnight starting Monday.
But the city of Lorain agreed to an arrangement that will grant the shelter a five-month occupancy permit in exchange for following strict fire prevention measures.
The shelter was to be cited for lacking a sprinkler system and backup emergency power.
For 18 years it remained open, despite lacking that equipment.
The city conducted monthly fire inspections and issued monthly permits.
But the city became more concerned about its liability in the event of a fire and wanted citations on the record.
Local and state authorities worked out terms of Monday's arrangement.
Catholic Charities must meet with the city to discuss its fire-safety situation. And it must agree to have trained personnel conduct regular fire-watch inspections on the premises and keep accurate logs.
Catholic Charities is moving the seasonal shelter to a different building next fall and will make needed improvements and additions.
Mayor Chase Ritenauer says the new arrangement has some risk but protects both the city and those who need the shelter.