Tell Illinois mayorLet church reopen its doors to the homeless

Posted: March 24, 2014

It was 20 degrees in Rockford, Illinois last night -- but the city government just ordered a local church to stop sheltering the homeless.

All winter, the Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Rockford has opened its doors to the homeless whenever overnight temperatures fell below freezing. On most nights, nearly 50 people would seek life-saving refuge from the bitter cold.

At the core of our faith is the belief that God favors those who are cold, hungry, outcast, and excluded, and calls us to minister to these "least of these." This church has put that faith into action through a record-cold winter.

But last Wednesday, the city of Rockford cited the church for code and zoning violations and demanded that they cease sheltering people at night. According to the church's pastor, the city warned them that it would be illegal for the church to continue opening their doors to the homeless.

City officials have a rightful responsibility to protect the public from harm, but in this case, they're doing more harm than good. Most seeking shelter in the church have no other options during dangerously cold nights. Barring the church from welcoming these people could cost lives.

Let's show the mayor that thousands of people from all over the country are standing with this church!

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