"There's a real misconception as to what Project PLASE is," said Mary Ellen Jernigan, a longtime St. Joseph's congregant. What comes to mind, she said, are lines of people waiting for food outside the building and transients who are only in the neighborhood for a single night. "You say the word 'homeless' and everyone thinks of it as a nighttime shelter."
Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen Holton introduced a bill requesting a "special use variance" for the zoning of the building in mid-August. A hearing was scheduled for October on the zoning change, but following several hostile community meetings, Holton withdrew the bill.