But on Monday night, Alderman Marianne Smith's chief of staff told residents Immanuel Lutheran isn't zoned to run a shelter, at least for now.
Neither side is celebrating a victory.
"I feel this: what churches, synagogues, what we're all being called to do, is to be among the poor with us and so I felt grateful the church was taking a courageous step to do something bold," said Michelle Miller, shelter proponent.
"It saddens me we're having a conversation with below zero temperatures and these people do not have a place to go and that saddens me. I don't feel it's appropriate to have an adult male homeless population mixing in the same facility where students are, where children are," said shelter opponent Jennifer Devens.
Some parents were concerned because the church hosts a pre-school program and is across the street from a playground.