In Aberdeen, Washington, many homeless have been living along the Chehalis Riverfront, but they’ve finally been given a deadline to vacate and are looking for new places to settle. Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, assisted by volunteers and donations, is creating a campsite on its property as an alternative, as reported in The Daily World:
Amazing Grace Pastor Val Metropoulos announced just more than two weeks ago that the church’s board unanimously approved housing the parking-lot campsite. The church and the city are now in talks to develop a code to regulate the camp. A section of the state’s revised code says cities cannot prevent religious organizations from having homeless encampments for up to 90 days, a protection afforded by their right to practice their religion.
Individuals, churches and organizations have donated cots, pallets, tents or funding for them, and have helped move campers’ belongings.
Volunteers included the Reverend Sarah Monroe, an Episcopal priest with Chaplains on the Harbor, who advocated for the homeless living on the riverfront, pushing to extend the deadline for vacating.
At the church’s parking lot, Ray Hodge and Liz Ellis, members of the Amazing Grace congregation, were also helping campers build tents and lay pallets.
“It’s important that we look out for our neighbors,” Ellis said. “Just having a place to call home is such a basic need for all of us.”
Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett