John E. Bradley

For Chronic Homeless, Vacant Buildings Provide Shelter, Danger

NEW HAVEN — The vacant Salvation Army residence on George Street, where Ray Roberson may have been dismembered, had a long history of helping addicted men, and a short stint on the abandoned-building circuit — the dangerous last rung on the downward spiral for the chronically homeless.

Police believe Roberson, 54, may have been camping with several other homeless men inside the locked, boarded, former architectural gem, with jury-rigged wires feeding boosted electricity into a building that once housed 45 men going through the Salvation Army's highly structured treatment program.

A large, silver-metal box, the outside portion of a walk-in freezer, is visible just to the side...