Church Homeless Shelter Draws Controversy
Neighbors don't want the shelter in their neighborhood.
A Dundalk church's plans to open a homeless shelter at its parsonage this fall and winter is drawing the ire of neighbors.
The Dundalk United Methodist Church, part of the Streets of Hope program—a joint effort of area churches—plans to open a homeless shelter for up to 16 men from October through April, according to a report Saturday on Fox 45.
But some neighors of the church, located in the 6900 block of Mornington Road, are concerned and the Greater Dundalk Alliance will discuss the homeless shelter issue 7 p.m., Wednesday at its regularly scheduled meeting at the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society.
Some neighbors of the church told the staion they are concerned the men could be sex offenders or drug addicts.
Karla Schaefer, director of Streets of Hope, said the men are screened and sex offenders and felons are not allowed into the Streets of Hope program. Streets of Hope was profiled by the Baltimore Sun last November. The Dundalk United Methodist Church currently hosts a soup kitchen on Thursdays.
Carolyn Jones, president of the Greater Dundalk Alliance, lives on the same street as the parsonage and told Patch that she opposes the shelter.
"I don't care what they say about the screening of the men," Jones said. "We already have the highest percentage of Section 8 housing in the county and more registered sex offenders than I care to think about."
Jones said the Dundalk United Methodist Church Thursday soup kitchen and nearby St. Rita's Catholic Church, with a soup kitchen on Mondays, already attract homeless people to the area.
"This is not a positive for the community," Jones said.
Ed Mathus, president of Dundalk United Methodist Church Council, will attend and address the meeting as well, Jones said.
"I want to know how this is happening," Jones said. "That property is not zoned for this."