New Castle shelter accused of turning away blind man - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

New Castle shelter accused of turning away blind man

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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania -  The Department of Housing and Urban Development has filed a federal lawsuit against the City Rescue Mission of New Castle and it's program  manager, alleging that they violated the Fair Housing Act by denying shelter to a blind man.

The civil suit, filed in  U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, stems from a complaint filed by Kenneth DeFiore, who is blind.

DeFiore told HUD that on December 1, 2011, one month after he had been evicted from his New Castle home,  he contacted the City Rescue Mission on Croton Avenue seeking a place to stay.

According to the complaint,  the rescue mission Program Manager, James Henderson told DeFiore that he could not give him a bed at the homeless shelter because it had no facilities to accommodate DeFiore's service dog, a Labrador retriever named Gabby.

The suit says that DeFiore eventually found another place to stay just three days before Christmas of 2011, but not before DeFiore attempted suicide by  lying on the ground in the middle of busy intersection.

Police took DeFiore to a hospital where he underwent a psychiatric evaluation.

The complaint alleges that the mission, and Henderson violated the Fair Housing Act and Americans With Disabilities Act for failing to make accommodations for DeFiore's disability.

The suit seeks injunctive relief and unspecified monetary  damages.


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