“Outside the Church of the Assumption in Brooklyn Heights, two people have made their homes under garbage bags and blankets on the sanctuary’s steps, even amid opposition from parishioners.” – NYPost
The neighbors are upset to have homeless people in their neighborhoods. Parishioners are “very offended” more isn’t done to remove them from the sanctuary’s outdoor steps. According to the Post, a young couple visiting on Sunday offered the most concern, mentioning the cold and crime.
“New York has 57,838 adults and children living in city homeless shelters.” Another 3,000 to 4,000 live on the streets. Many other major cities, and smaller towns, are wrestling with the escalating challenge of displaced people in this so-called “Christian” nation.
As the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer, a growing number of people are falling through the cracks. The solutions aren’t easy; the reasons are equally complex. That said, I believe there is much we can learn from people and churches that respond with open hands and open hearts.
- For an excellent detailing of how welcoming the homeless can transform a community, read this opinion piece from The Seattle Times.
- This creative expression of God’s love in Denver, called Christmas in the Park, is equally inspiring.
- A pastor in Bangor explained the challenge in a grounded way as she named the need to understand the difference between charity and justice.
Good work like this is a start…
In the case of this church in Brooklyn Heights, it’s unfair to render judgment with the scant information that the article provides. But let me suggest that if doing something to address the “problem” means keeping the neighbors happy, and the parishioners comfortable, at the expense of those without a home, perhaps the best thing this church can do is nothing.
Even better, maybe they could open their doors…
Image Credit: Homeless people set up camp outside the Church of the Assumption in Brooklyn Heights. G.N. Miller for the NY Post.