Homeless men will not be moved to parsonage in Dundalk

"Streets of Hope" group backs down from its plan

An organization that had hoped to house 16 homeless men in a temporary shelter in Dundalk is backing down from its plan.

The organization "Streets of Hope" had hoped to house 16 homeless men at the parsonage behind the Dundalk United Methodist Church, in the 3000 block of Dunmore Road. The men were supposed to move in on October 11.

The men would have stayed there 10 days a month -- men with no felonies, or sex offenses on their records.

But residents rejected the plan. "It would just be a complete disturbance. Nobody would be able to sleep. Children would be scared," said Megan Jackson.

Last week residents packed into a meeting of the Greater Dundalk Alliance. Many of them voiced heated opposition to the plan.

Karla Schaefer runs the Streets of Hope. She said going into that meeting, she thought she might be able to win over the residents.

"I was hoping there would be a little more open-mindedness. And they would open their hearts a little bit, and that we could present our case," she said, adding that she believes the plan to use the parsonage was sprung on the residents with too little warning.

"I think the big mistake was that they weren't notified before, and they didn't have time to really come to terms with it," she said.

"I'm thrilled that the community came together as a family and fought this," Jackson said.

The men who would have stayed in the parsonage will now be moved to other churches in southeastern Baltimore County, as they and the people helping them wait for a permanent solution.

"We have very strong faith we know that we're going to be ok. We just know we're going to be ok. God will provide," Schaefer said.

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