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Christian Homeless Shelter Can’t Give Away Food Because Other Christians Complained About It

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/10/09/christian-homeless-shelter-cant-give-away-food-because-other-christians-complained-about-it/?

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The Merced County Rescue Mission in California is a Christian organization that provides food, clothing, and shelter to the homeless. You may disagree with the theology, but there’s no doubt they do incredible work.

They just won’t be able to feed the hungry in their long-time residence anymore, because it’s upsetting other Christians.

Executive Director Bruce Metcalf says the temporary closure was prompted after complaints about the homeless from the members of the Central Presbyterian Church, which is across the street. He added that the mission wants to be a “good neighbor.”

Metcalf: “Some of the people that attend there with their young children are simply uncomfortable with some of the guests that we serve.”

That’s left hundreds of people who rely on the mission for food everyday searching for a meal.

Homeless people who rely on the Rescue Mission workers for food are left to scramble because other Christians don’t want to be around that kind of riff-raff

 

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Church That Complained About Homeless Shelter’s Food Giveaway Now Says There’s More to the Story

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/10/10/church-that-complained-about-homeless-shelters-food-giveaway-now-says-theres-more-to-the-story/

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The NPR article was incomplete and didn’t tell the whole story, he said.

It wasn’t just about some people feeling “uncomfortable.” The problem is that the food at Rescue Mission is distributed outside — through a window — and the recipients end up “publicly urinating, defecating, or even fully undressing” on the streets. They also throw leftover food and trash on the ground, creating something of a health hazard. This isn’t your typical soup kitchen, where you can get your food, sit at a table, and eat in peace. That’s what the church would prefer.

He added that the church really wants the program to succeed — members have long supported it, with both volunteers and money — but they want to help the Rescue Mission find a better location and more effective system to distribute the food.

Here’s the full context of what he said: See article on link

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Church’s Complaints About Homeless Meals Program Were Misguided, Say Rescue Mission Leaders

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Misguided, Say Rescue Mission Leaders

When I first heard that the Merced County Rescue Mission in California had to shut down its food distribution to homeless people because the church across the street complained about the clientele, my immediate reaction was to call it Christian hypocrisy and post a reaction on this site.

Then I heard from someone who works closely with Central Presbyterian Church. He told me that the NPR article I sourced was incomplete and biased. The issue wasn’t that a couple of church members complained about the homeless people. It was much more complicated.

He said the food was handed out through a window, and the homeless people often threw trash and leftover food on the ground. They also defecated and urinated on the streets. This wasn’t a lack of compassion, he said. It was more of a public health and safety concern, and the church simply wanted to move the food distribution to a better location where those concerns wouldn’t be a problem.

So I posted an update and thought that was the end of it.

It wasn’t.

On Monday, I spent some time on the phone speaking with two people who help run the Rescue Mission, and they told me that the church leader’s lengthy explanation was, to put it bluntly, full of xxxx. (My word, not theirs.)

more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/10/12/churchs-complaints-about-homeless-meals-program-were-misguided-say-rescue-mission-leaders/

 

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