Dundalk, MD – The Patapsco United Methodist Church faces a fine of $12,000 for offering a safe haven for the homeless after a disgruntled neighbor decided that the church’s helping hand to the homeless was hurting his business.
“I showed up Wednesday morning to find a citation on the door that said we’re going to be fined $12,000 and have a court date because we have unhoused homeless people sleeping outside the church at night,” Reverend Katie Grover of the Patapsco United Methodist Church told ABC 2.
The church has a court date scheduled for December 21 for the code violation, which entails homeless men, women and children sleeping outside the church doors because they feel safe there and have nowhere else to go.
The a citation received by the church was for operating a “non-permitted rooming and boarding house,” but Grover pushed back against that notion stating, “They’re not paying me rent or paying us rent to board here, so I don’t know how that is defined.”
After speaking with the code enforcement office, Reverend Grover said that if the church complies then the fine would be dismissed. If the church is forced to pay the fine there is a good chance they would no longer be able to continue a program to feed the poor – with a chance the church may need to shut down altogether.
Grover was clear that she feels it’s the church’s duty to be a safe haven for all people.
“We feel we here as a church that it’s scriptural mandate that’s it an imperative to care for the least, the last, the lost, the poor, the hungry,” she said.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/legality-vs-morality-church-fined-12000-simply-helping-homeless/#00ELeLjSDkEDSyD2.99