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Homeless Shelter Update

 

Dear Neighbor:

As we at EvFree seek to follow Jesus, we believe it is our responsibility as disciples to love all of our neighbors well; both those with homes, and those without. Out of that posture, over the last 10 years we have occasionally hosted Mercy House’s short-term cold weather shelter for the homeless in cooperation with the City of Fullerton. But based on a recent incident and input from many in our community, we are reassessing the situation. As such, we do not have any plans to host again in 2018. After that, if and when we host, such hosting will be based on the then-current City requirements and with consideration for the voiced concerns of our neighbors.

For those who may be unfamiliar with recent events, an unfortunate and terrible incident occurred on April 11 related to a mentally ill man who appears to have been headed to sleep in our gym, but instead, invaded the home of local residents and threatened their family. We are horrified by the crime, hurting with the family, and thankful that the Fullerton Police department responded so quickly. In response to their incident, we held a town hall meeting and received much valuable input from our neighbors. We are grateful for each person who has voiced concerns, and this email is our first effort to keep each of you up to date as we proceed.

While there are no currently scheduled plans to have the shelter return here, we have heard clearly from all of you that if the temporary shelter were to return, there should be some changes. We are committed to clearer communication with our neighbors, and improved security in the future should the shelter use our facility again in years to come.

We have been in contact with the city regarding all of this. It is our understanding that they may change the requirements for the operation of temporary shelters in Fullerton. EvFree has consistently operated with transparency and in accordance with city requirements, and will of course continue to do so in the future.

We pray that God will bless you richly, and that He will provide a safe and loving community for everyone who lives in Fullerton and surrounding areas. As this process progresses we will continue to keep you informed of any new directives or decisions by the city or the church in this regard.

God Bless,

Mitch Fierro
EvFree Fullerton Local Mission Pastor
Neighborhood@evfreefullerton.com

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