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Church fined $12,000 for helping homeless

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DUNDALK, MD – A church has been fined $12,000 for doing what they say is “God’s work,” sheltering the homeless.

Rev. Katie Grover of the Patapsco United Methodist Church in Maryland says a few homeless people have been using the church property as a safe haven according to WBFF-TV.

“The business that we conduct is caring for the least, the last and the lost, and the best we can do right now is let them take refuge,” Grover said.

However, at least next door neighbor is not been happy about the situation.

He says the homeless people killed one of his trees by pouring urine on it.

He called the county with complaints.

“The county and state has facilities for homeless people. They shouldn’t be here living like this,” said Chester Bartko.

The church received a citation for operating a “non-permitted rooming and boarding house.”

The fine that came with it totaled $12,000.

“They’re not paying me rent or paying us rent to board here, so I don’t know how that is defined,” Grover said.

The pastor says she wants to be a place of refuge for the homeless, and while she doesn’t encourage people to sleep outside, she doesn’t want to turn anyone away.

The church has until Dec. 18 to clear the property or pay the fine.