Church’s plan to shelter homeless in jeopardy

First Posted: 12/28/2009

SUGAR NOTCH — Week after week nearly 40 homeless men pack their belongings and move to another church basement where they’ll lay their heads for seven nights, seeking shelter from the elements. But where the men will lay their heads in two weeks is in question.

The schedule has the men at St. Jude’s Church in Mountain Top this week then heading to Central United Methodist Church in Wilkes-Barre next week before arriving at Holy Family Church in Sugar Notch for a week starting Jan. 10, but an enforcement letter sent to the church by the borough’s zoning officer threatens a fine of up to $500 a day for housing the men.

The letter has Vince Kabacinski, director of V.I.S.I.O.N., a non-profit organization that coordinates the program, up in arms.

With 36 churches throughout Luzerne County on board, Kabacinski sent out the call for more to sign on to offer temporary shelter for the men. The men only stay at the churches at night from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. During the day, many work or attend programs.

“They heard the call,” Kabacinski said of Holy Family. He said a meeting with the Parish Council before Thanksgiving was positive and the council voted unanimously to allow the men to stay in the church basement for the week.

To read the complete story, see Tuesday’s edition of The Times Leader and


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