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NYC Stop Churches Sheltering Homeless

Of course one of the media traditions for the week of Thanksgiving is to run stories about the homeless.

But this one has a twist.

From the New York City CBS affiliate WCBS-TV:

NYC Churches Ordered Not To Shelter Homeless

Nov 22, 2008

NEW YORK (CBS) ― City officials have ordered 22 New York churches to stop providing beds to homeless people.

With temperatures well below freezing early Saturday, the churches must obey a city rule requiring faith-based shelters to be open at least five days a week — or not at all.

Arnold Cohen, president of the Partnership for the Homeless, a nonprofit that serves as a link with the city, said he had to tell the churches they no longer qualify.

He said hundreds of people now won’t have a place to sleep.

The Department of Homeless Services said the city offers other shelters with the capacity to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches. The city had 8,000 beds waiting.

Last year, four unsheltered homeless people died in the city during cold weather, so three dozen emergency outreach teams were prepped to respond to reports of homeless people outdoors or in the subways.

“We really don’t want people sleeping on the streets, on grates, on church steps. We want people sleeping in beds,” said Homeless Commissioner Robert Hess.

The homeless can be coaxed indoors but not forced unless their life is in danger.

Who benefits from this?

Of course the city does — since they get their money on the basis of nightly head counts.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 24th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

25 Responses to “NYC Stop Churches Sheltering Homeless”

  1. VMAN says:

    I am not saying what NYC is doing is right but churches have asked for this for decades. They have ceded there God given authority to the state slowly but surely. There are three charges given to the church throughout the Bible and they are take care of the poor, take care of the widow and take care of the orphan. Jesus also explained that if you do it to the least of these you do it unto me. It seems simple but if the church truly had been doing this things would be much different. Now the state takes care of the poor and hungry and sick. The widow has her social security and the orphan his government sponsored foster home. Oh yes there are churches that have a food drive every now and then. They pat themselves on the head and say what good Christians are we. Go into your church on Sunday stand up and say, skip the sermon, let’s go seek out the poor and feed them, clothe them and give them shelter and see how fast you get thrown out on you ear. Most churches are fat bloated organizations that don’t care about too much but themselves. Why do so many churches send millions of dollars all over the world when their neighbors are starving.

  2. bobbys says:

    looks like that BO supporter better start worrying about paying her morgage

  3. VMAN says:

    You talkin to me? You talkin to me? A little Diniro reference. Not A BO supporter or TIBS as I like to call him. Love Jesus can’t stand churches. Oh and I don’t have a “mortgage”.

  4. pinandpuller says:

    VMAN-

    I have a bumpersticker that says “I love God it’s his fans I can’t stand”. I favor Bedside Baptist but that’s just me.

    I have a win-win suggestion. When the police come and say the people can’t stay there tell them they are illegal. No hay pedo.

  5. freeleep says:

    Vman maybe you are going to the wrong church.In my Parish we serve meals to the homeless every 2 weeks, on our off weeks our school children serve bag lunches. We also collect and pass out about 20,000 coats and blankets each year. We do this in the middle of the night -under bridges, overpasses etc.Jesus said that “the poor would always be with us, and that whatever you do for the least of these you have done for me”. What you must recognize is that WE are the body of Christ and that WE must take the iniative in starting the programs in our churches.

  6. bobbys says:

    No vman i was not replying to you

  7. Liberals Demise says:

    Ain’t this some pretty sh!ite man…….State telling the Church what to do. Any other time there is that mandated thing about the seperation of the two. It’s all about that $$$$$ and nothing more. Ain’t love grand? WWJD?

  8. VMAN says:

    Sorry bobbys I guess I’m just being a little touchy these days. freeleep if you have a pastor in your church count me OUT. Don’t need a pope! Don’t need a priest! Just need Jesus. If you have a pastor you might as well have a priest! I don’t mean to tick you off but what your church is doing sounds like allot of feel good junk. Too little too late.

  9. Morning in America says:

    Here’s a novel idea; let’s take a page from the liberal churches that were hiding illegal immigrants under the premise of “sanctuary.” The Churches under pressure here can offer the same sanctuary to the homeless on nights that they are open. Let’s use the same tactics the liberals use for hate of laws of this country for the good of the people who need this support to survive. The election is over now so from the liberal standpoint the voting homeless are expendable now.

  10. JohnMG says:

    VMAN; ……”but what your church is doing sounds like allot of feel good junk….”

    To each his own, VMAN, but you’re denigrating a whole lot of good people on this site. I’m curious as to how your opinion and attitude dovetail with the Christain model?

  11. VMAN says:

    Where ever two or three are gathered in Jesus name He is in the midst of them. The institutions called churches today have no kinship to the first century church. If the people aren’t worshiping their pastor then they are worshiping the denomination or their own clicks. The Kingdom of God is within not in a building.

  12. VMAN:

    The institutions called churches today have no kinship to the first century church.

    Um, as a Catholic, I can tell you that’s unequivocally wrong. Read the Bible, and early historical accounts of Christianity and Christian worship and you’ll see without a doubt that early religious services closely mirror what we practice today. Throughout much of what we know as the Middle East, and as far away as Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia, early historical accounts of Christianity indicate a clear, concise, and consistent teaching of Christianity.

    I always find it interesting that people who weren’t around during the early days of Christianity are *certain* that modern-day worship (especially Catholicism) has no relationship to the beginnings of Christianity while simultaneously saying that Christianity (and, again, Catholicism) that can trace its lineage and teachings back 2,000 years are completely wrong.

    I suppose I could spend hours arguing theology with you since I, as a Catholic, have a priest (and a good one) and believe the hierarchy of the Catholic Church is the most vital component in keeping the doctrines and teachings concrete and the same for over two millennia. There is a Biblical basis for the priesthood (or, generically speaking, the clergy) and for worshipping in community.

    Fortunately, you and I live in a great nation that has a wonderful Constitution that protects my right to worship as I please, hierarchy and all, as well as your right to worship differently. For now, anyway.

    I don’t see this as being a problem with churches so much as being a problem with the state and – more specifically – the increasingly liberal state. No one here who’s been paying attention needs me to tell them that liberals are pushing for more and more state control over the everyday lives of citizens because, gosh darn it, we’re apparently too stupid to take care of ourselves and our own. Schools do this constantly, often overriding parental rights to assume a parental role in things like sexual education and even diets. Politicians do this too, arguing the government “needs” to provide insurance for all, “needs” to bailout Wall Street/the auto industry/foreclosed homeowners/etc.

    I also believe the problem is the increasingly hostility “secular” culture has toward religion. Again – no one here with a brain needs me to explain this – but it’s evident that any religion that isn’t politically correct (read: the latest Deepak Chopra book approved by Oprah) or isn’t “spiritual” (rather than “religious”) needs to be extricated from society. The rabid nature with which atheists and various “secular humanists” attack and demonize religion, eschewing the *actual* content of the First Amendment in favor of the non-existent “separation of church and state” clause, shows a few things:

    1) They are, ultimately, not comfortable enough with their own beliefs (and I believe atheism is a religion)
    2) They are afraid that – when argued logically and civilly – religious arguments (like politically conservative arguments) will win over the hearts and minds of a great deal of people

    Therefore, they attempt to silence religious expression in the public sphere in the hopes they can force-feed their agenda and ideologies on people.

    I think the problem here has nothing to do with staffing or keeping church shelters open 5 days a week. It has to do with the fact liberals think they own certain constituencies (women, minorities, gays, the poor/homeless) and that any member of those constituencies cannot be exposed to opposing attitudes, beliefs, behaviors or points of view because liberals risk losing those constituents to the conservative cause.

    I, as a woman, know of this first hand. I not only went from being a “spiritual”, liberal, pro-choice feminists to a religious, conservative, pro-life, Catholic, anti-feminist (or classical feminist, more accurately), I’ve committed a horrid act. People who knew me then are, sometimes, disappointed with who I am now – almost as if they failed to properly indoctrinate me.

    So I see this as an attempt to stop the homeless from knowing something contrary to what the MSM says: that religious people are horribly cruel, selfish, and judgmental. By allowing these shelters, the homeless may see that there are still many people of all denominations who practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    I think the churches should tell the state to cram it with walnuts and keep the shelters open.

  13. proreason says:

    “the increasingly hostility “secular” culture ”

    The greatest irony of all is that the people who purport to be the most tolerant (i.e., liberals), are in fact most intolerant of all.

    But hate is not enough to satisfy them. They seek to destroy those whose beliefs they do not accept.

  14. sheehanjihad says:

    people who purport to be the most tolerant (i.e., liberals), are in fact most intolerant of all.

    These people would fail their own test if they were forced to live by what they expect the rest of us to live by. Intolerant doesnt begin to cover it. Self destructive does, because they are hell bent on destroying the only society who allows them to exist! It makes no sense, but then again, they dont either.

  15. audreyrose says:

    This would be a GREAT and IMPORTANT opportunity for litigation. This has First Amendment violation written all over it. Hefner-types aren’t the only ones who should demand protection from this most fundamental right. The government has NO RIGHT to intrude on the acts of ANY religion. Take it to court!

  16. audreyrose says:

    This would be a GREAT and IMPORTANT opportunity for litigation. This has First Amendment violation written all over it. Hefner-types aren’t the only ones who should demand protection under this most fundamental right. The government has NO RIGHT to intrude on the acts of ANY religion. Take it to court!

  17. Helena says:

    “The Department of Homeless Services said the city offers other shelters with the capacity to accept all those who have been sleeping in the churches. The city had 8,000 beds waiting.”

    I seem to recall in past articles on the homeless, that many of them avoid city-run shelters because they don’t feel safe there.

  18. VMAN says:

    Sorry to have opened a can of worms. I do think it is a shame that these ministries are being told that they can no longer house the poor souls living on the streets. It is obviously the city not wanting to give up their state and federal money in much the same way government schools need warm bodies in the desks to get the government dime.
    englishqueen01 you are absolutely correct that the early church performed their masses in latin so that no one knew what they were saying and of course the bibles that the early church had were all in latin also because they couldn’t have the rabble reading the word of God. They might figure this thing out and then then the jig would be up so to speak.
    The thing is the church, as it were, has been gagged by the government ever since they accepted their 501C3 tax exemption. Oh but we must be good stewards of our money and deduct our giving on our income tax return. Jesus might have said they already have their reward.

  19. englishqueen01 you are absolutely correct that the early church performed their masses in latin so that no one knew what they were saying and of course the bibles that the early church had were all in latin also because they couldn’t have the rabble reading the word of God. They might figure this thing out and then then the jig would be up so to speak.

    Wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.

    Fine – you opened this can of worms, so I’m going to set you straight. You clearly understand neither history nor religion. In ancient times, and really through the 19th century, education wasn’t readily available. Those who were educated could speak Latin because Latin was standard in educational curriculum. It was considered the language of the educated, and the “universal language” — many of the roots for words we use today are derived from Latin.

    As for those who could not receive education, it wouldn’t matter what language the Bible (or anything) was written in because they couldn’t read! Most stories and histories were passed down through oral tradition. Why do you think most churches have READINGS during services? It goes back to sharing the word through the oral tradition.

    Artwork also played a part in communication. Which is why churches of all kinds – especially Catholic churches – have lots of stained glass windows and iconography to share the word of God with people through pictures. Those images are not just random collections of stuff – they mean something and tell stories.

    As for Bibles being reserved in churches in ancient times, do you remember exactly how books were published before Guttenberg’s press? BY HAND. As in, men and women painstakingly copied texts and most texts contained very detailed, precious artwork. This means they were rare, precious, and expensive. Bibles were reserved in churches so EVERYONE could have access to it (society used to be safe enough that churches could be open 24/7 without fear of vandalism or theft)…and this includes that “rabble” you speak about. The Bible was equally accessible to all.

    So don’t give me that bullsh*t about the church not teaching the people or not wanting the “rabble” to read the Bible. Because all that is is bigoted ignorance by someone who wouldn’t know the ACTUAL Bible, or religious history, if it jumped up and bit him in the armpit.

    The onus is now on YOU to prove me wrong.

    The thing is the church, as it were, has been gagged by the government ever since they accepted their 501C3 tax exemption. Oh but we must be good stewards of our money and deduct our giving on our income tax return. Jesus might have said they already have their reward.

    The 501(c)(3) exemptions do for churches exactly what they do for other non-profit organizations. They spare the non-profits from having to pay taxes and thereby make it possible for churches to do MORE with the money they receive. I don’t know what YOUR experience has been, but there are very few churches who don’t do quite a bit with their money. Whether they support education, or health care, or food pantries, or other ministries – churches do a lot of good. It was CHURCHES who started some of the first hospitals and schools in this nation. It was CHURCHES that ministered to the “untouchables” in society – the ill, the infirm, the disabled.

    The restrictions are unConstitutional and an abridgement of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Liberal non-profits engage in loads of political, partisan activity and don’t get in trouble for it … which clearly means the problem is not with the speech or activity, but the cultural bias against religion. I hope – before Obama appoints SCOTUS justices – that religious persons challenge that rule and have it overturned. Or, quite frankly, that churches engage in mass civil disobedience and ignore the rule as a whole. They can’t get all of us.

    You clearly have a twisted ideology and view of Christianity if you’re going to spend all your time belittlling and criticizing and condemning other Christians who you will eventually need as allies.

    But, by all means, continue your mindless and inaccurate prattle. You’re offering up no arguments I haven’t already heard – and thoroughly debunked – before.

  20. pennyfarthing says:

    Englishqueen, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was all set to set the record straight as a Catholic but you already have. It’s great to see someone who knows her history!

    The fact is organized religion (priests, pastors, popes and all) has been, and still is the single greatest force for good in this world. Of course we can’t fix everything, but that isn’t the point. Also, the notion of getting up during church and saying let’s not sit through the sermon (homily) and go find some homeless people makes no sense. The readings, homily, sacraments, social work, education, and personal devotion are all different, yet important parts of faith. And there is enough time for it all. If that hour once a week cuts into your homeless-feeding/clothing schedule, there’s probably a TV show you could skip. Just sayin’

  21. Englishqueen, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was all set to set the record straight as a Catholic but you already have. It’s great to see someone who knows her history!

    Thanks. The credit for my education goes to my husband. I was raised WELS Lutheran and converted to Catholicism back in May, 2005 (my mom is a Catholic, so I was familiar with the faith and thought about converting back in high school). I made the committment when I converted that I was going to study and learn about the faith and be a good witness to it in my life. My husband was and is Catholic, and has a kitchen junk drawer of a mind, so he is a helpful resource in learning. He discerned a call to the priesthood about 10-15 years ago, decided his vocation was in marriage, and might follow the path to the permanent deaconate.

    Anyway, that’s a little bit about my background. It’s getting late here in WI so I’m going to go to bed. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. Liberals Demise says:

    ALL RIGHT NOW….GROUP HUG EVERYBODY!!

  23. VMAN says:

    Well I ticked of a Muslim the other day and no I ticked off the Catholics. I thought I might have ticked of the Baptists and Pentecostals but none responded. I really don’t want to tick off the Jews because they are Gods chosen people. OOPS that will probably tick someone off. Do we as Christians need some sort of organization? YES!! Do I believe that there is a clergy and a separate laity? NO!! We are all sons and daughters of the most high God reconciled to him through Jesus Christ. If we believe in HIM we are saints, deacons, evangelists, prophets, apostles, pastors and teachers to some degree. There are those of us who take care of mundane things from day to day but those same people can rise to teach or prophesy or evangelize also. Spare me the history lesson. We live in the 21st century and I don’t need some pastor or priest to tell me what the Bible says. It’s really very easy to understand. For instance you have a large group of pastors that teach the inane rapture gospel (that ought to tick someone off) when the Bible teaches nothing of the sort. Read Revelation!!! WE WIN!!!

  24. JohnMG says:

    Oh, well. (sigh) Kinda’ hard to put the toothpaste back in the tube.

    Thanks EQ. You and I have had these conversations before, and I admire your eloquence. These are some of the reasons we pray.

  25. pinandpuller says:

    Hey wait VMAN-you didn’t give a spoiler alert-now I know how it ends lol!

    So does that mean you are pre, mid or post tribulation?

    I was raised a Lutheran while attending a fundi-Baptist private school-so that was quite interesting.

    Did you know that-if I’m remembering right-outside of the Vatican the largest collection of religious art in the world is at Bob Jones University?

    My ex brother in law went there and I had a chance to take a tour. There is a mound where Bob Sr. is buried and the story goes that kids go there to make out “over his dead body”. I don’t know if that’s true but its funny. Bob 2 (Wrath of Bob) or Bob 3 came to my school and beat the hell out of the pulpit-I think he even cracked it.

    Iron Maiden’s on right now doing “666”-do you believe in preordination roflmao?


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