Church could face fine for allowing homeless congregation to stay on property
MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – A church in Oregon is facing fines for providing a place for the homeless to stay.
McMinnville Cooperative Ministries hosts several outreach programs for people in the community.
In the past, the church would close at 10 p.m.
The church council decided that even after the doors were closed, they would not force the “Everyday Congregation” to leave the premises.
“We just stopped making sure people left the property at night,” Rev. Courtney McHill told the website.
The members of the ‘Everyday Congregation’ eventually set up camp next to the church.
Those who would stay were forced to abide by the rules and do chores to maintain the property.
Now, the church is facing a fine of up to $500 for violating zoning ordinances that restrict temporary housing.
McHill says the waiting list for homeless shelters is extremely long, so many of the people don’t have a place to go.
However, residents have been complaining about the noise, so that could mean things will have to change for the church.