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Neighbors: Church to vote on homeless shelter

Posted by Geeky Swedes on April 29th, 2009

The congregation of Our Redeemer’s Church is planning to vote on whether to allow a controversial SHARE homeless shelter move into Calvary Lutheran Church without sex offender background checks, several neighbors tell My Ballard. They said they were informed of the new development by Pastor Steve Grumm over the weekend while they were helping church staff spruce up the grounds around the vacant Calvary Lutheran building (below) in Loyal Heights. Neighbors say the congregation-only vote is scheduled for May 7th.

We spoke to Pastor Grumm this evening at home. “We’re not going to share any information,” Grumm said, explaining that the church had decided to stop talking with the media until they have an announcement in “a week to 10 days.” He refused to confirm a report posted a few hours earlier that quotes the church’s own spokesperson confirming the vote. “What the situation is today changes tomorrow,” he said. “Everything now is conjecture.” Grumm said the church is still “in the midst of a conversation” with neighbors.

One neighbor who’s been actively involved in these conversations says a representative from the neighborhood will be attending the May 7th vote to present their position. “I hope the congregation takes into account the neighborhood views and concerns,” he said. “We’ve been working in good faith and hope they will, too.” Another neighbor, who also asked that we not use his name, expressed his frustration that the decision will be in the hands of the Our Redeemer’s congregation. “I was formerly against this shelter -– now I am steadfastly against this shelter,” he said.

Timeline of major developments:
February 19: Homeless shelter moving into Calvary Lutheran
February 26: Emotions run high at packed community meeting
February 28: Church postpones homeless shelter move, forms task force
March 20: Food Bank closes up soup kitchen at Calvary Lutheran
April 22: SHARE refuses to submit to sex offender checks

Tags: Ballard   Share

141 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Kindly old Norwegian Lady 82 // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:03 am

    Now Way.

    N. O. Spells No

    as they used to say in the olden days.

  • 2 mike // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:16 am

    all for it, hope the congregation lives up to their ideals.

  • 3 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Thanks Swedes, hope to hear all about it when they make their announcement.

  • 4 fuzzbeans // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:45 am

    I'm sorry, but Grumm sounds like a total creep. But at least he has God on his side.

    Perhaps if they promised to provide supervision the neighbors would feel more comfortable. Supervision seems like a pretty obvious thing for the church to provide. You know, like, taking responsibility?

  • 5 Armed Pacifist // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Time to lawyer up.

  • 6 Shane // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:01 am

    I live right next to the church and think it is extremely unfair that the neighbors have no say, or get to vote. I am sure 90% of the congregation do not live within ten blocks of the church.

    Perhaps I should stand outside the church with a table on the 7th and have ballots for people that live near to vote. I wonder if that will make a difference.

    I also wonder if they still refuse to screen the 20 guys for sex offenders.

    If anyone want to call the church and say what you think you should. I live right by the church and dispite what they are saying about talking to the neighborhood, they definitely have not.

    I have emailed the church and had no reply. I will call and if I get no reply, I shall pop in there. If I have no luck, I will mail flyers to the surrounding neighborhood and ask them if they would like to vote, if so I will set up a table outside and give the ballot box to Steve to count.

    There is a day car right next to the carpark, wasn't there a law passed last week (Eric's law or something) that stated a sex offender was not allowed to be housed or stay in a shelter within so many yards or a day care? Does anyone know the exact name of the law, I know it was mentioned on King 5, and was passed to stop these kind of situations.

  • 7 busdrivermike // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:03 am

    I think that it is time to create a congregation of neighbors, and hire a lawyer. WHEN someone has a property crime or “heaven forbid”, a violent crime occur, we should then move to sue all the member of Our Redeemers who voted to allow in this criminal element.

    Just because they are members of a church does not mean they cannot be held accountable in civil court. Share/Wheel can also be named in the suit, along with their leadership.

    Simply put, Share/Wheel enables criminal behavior, and the pastor at Our Redeemers has joined the gang.

  • 8 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Soneone said elsewhere that housing this many people (multiple family) would be a violation of the local zoning laws.

    Is that true? Does anyone know? If so, it would seem to be a clear way to stop this.

    Are there any lawyers here who could advise on that (or are they all in Magnolia….where there are no plans to import more homeless….coincidence? Hmmmm…)

  • 9 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Yep – that sure seems to be what's called for.

  • 10 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Yep – that sure seems to be what's called for.

  • 11 kim // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:29 am

    yes, aren't there zoning violations happening left and right here? i didn't think that this part north of 65th was multi family housing. and isn't a shelter some sort of a commercial venture? i'm sure it's a tax shelter for my redeemer's. lawyers's on myballard please step forward.

  • 12 Irritated // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:20 am

    sad to say, but maybe someone should call Tim Eyman and suggest he create an initiative that gives neighbors a say in these kinds of matters. seems unfair that a church can make a decision that has such impact on the neighborhood. our redeemers on 85th and 24th hosted a tent city without any communication with neighbors. i heard about it on the news and was disgusted when the church said they discussed this with neighbors.

  • 13 Irritated // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I have an alternative – instead of using this church, how about members of this congregation who actually want to help these homeless people each “adopt” one and take them home with THEM instead of deciding to house them near MY home.

    I'm going to find out where these people live, buy tents and find homeless people to go camp in their yard.

  • 14 Ballardmom // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:25 am

    A lot of neighbors have been meeting to discuss their concerns. The zoning laws don't apply because it is church property and a church has a right to do whatever it needs to in its mission to help the homeless.

    I have no idea why SHARE refuses background checks to weed out sex offenders. Nieghbors have offered to pay out of their own pockets and even volunteer to do the background checks themselves and SHARE still refuses. In my opinion they are so wrapped up in their political agenda they don't care who they could potentially hurt by helping anyone who is homeless – whether they are a criminal or not. That kind of myopic self-centered agenda is not going to help anyone.

    I thought there was a law that said that sex offenders could not live within a certain distance of schools, daycares and parks. Is there a loophole so that homeless sex offenders can then stay a shelter even if it is two blocks from a park, across the street from a daycare and a block from a gradeschool? That is a loophole that needs to be closed.

  • 15 mag // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Hate to rain on your anti Magnolia parade but Fort Lawton is in line for transitional housing w/ homeless. The plan is currently on hold pending resolution of litigation initiated by concerned homeowners (I think) but it's only a matter of time given that it's a Federal statute that governs what happens to former military bases that are no longer being used as such. http://www.fortlawton.com/ or http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/neighborhoods/fortl

  • 16 Andrew Taylor // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Tent City has been in the parking lot of St. Joseph's Church/School at 19th & Aloha on Capitol Hill a couple of times in the last few years. First time there was extensive outreach: flyers & meetings & an ice-cream social with the residents. Second time there was much less outreach.

    Both times it was a NON-EVENT: no problems, no hangers-out, no crime, no issues. Just less trash on the streets: their neighborhood patrols pick it up.

    Old blog posts about it: http://tinyurl.com/cv54h8

    Tent City has just left Capitol Hill (also a non-event: http://tinyurl.com/cuxarc ) and has returned to 22nd & Cherry, where it's also been before, also without problem (http://tinyurl.com/cyjfuq).

    I strongly encourage the church to be open about its plans, but point out to the neighborhood that Tent City's record speaks for itself.

    All the best,
    Andrew

  • 17 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Not anti-Magnolia at all…I just know that the lawyers there have been able to fight the city, sometimes successfully. I don't live in Magnolia and I think the idea of putting a homeless facility in Fort Lawton is just tragic — then again, the city's brilliant laders thought that Discovery Park was agreat place to put a sewage treatment plant, so that speaks volumes. I wish the lawyers in Magnolia nothing but success in their efforts to keep the city from dumping the homeless in Fort Lawton.

  • 18 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Now THIS is the best idea I've heard all day.

  • 19 nwcitizen // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA)

    More info at: becketfund (dot) org, search on “Property Rights”

  • 20 buzzy // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Just how much money is this church expecting to get in return for selling out the neighborhood. Do they really think it will be worth it? Before this vote is taken I sure hope someone can talk to the congregation about what the neighbors are feeling about this decision. I have been in too many situation at clubs where the leaders [pastor] leads the way and the vote shows it. Whatever the head honchos want, they seem to get. Among my friends, they all attend churches out of the areas from where they live. One lives in Queen Anne and goes to church in North Shoreline. So this is probaby taken place at this chuch to. They don't realize what is going on in ballard.

  • 21 Furious George // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:05 am

    So… they're emphatically not going to engage in conversation with “the media”… but they are “in the midst of a conversation” with neighbors? Yeah. Sure they are.

    By the way, the city has given this a green-light, so we're now pretty much SOL.

    Unless, of course, someone manages to catch a registered sex offender on film at the shelter. I don't mean that flippantly either: If the neighborhood wants this shut down, doing so the hard way is the only remaining option.

  • 22 TTTCOTTH // Apr 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Ahhhhhhhh

    The Ballard scum fest continues………….

  • 23 Keep Seattle Sleazy // Apr 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Tent City wouldn't have an impact on capital hill? That's hardly a surprise. In fact, I imagine a tent city would be an improvement in some parts of Cap Hill. And wow, now it's in the CD and no impact. What, they don't notice the vagrants over the sound of gang gun fire?

  • 24 Keep Seattle Sleazy // Apr 30, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    So let's follow Pastor Grimm's timeline:

    1. Announces he's opening a shelter in a week, no notice to neighbors.
    2. Announces he will meet with neighbors after uproar.
    3. Has meeting, SHARE basically refuses to answer questions.
    4. Announces there will be no shelter because SHARE refuses to do free sex offender checks to be paid for by neighbors.
    5. Talks to media.
    6. Announces through surrogate there will be a vote, but only with congregation, in secret, no neighbors allowed in, to decide whether to let SHARE come after all.
    7. Denies what surrogates say, clams up and refuses to talk to media OR neighbors about anything.

    Are there any points I miss on the good pastor's Magical Mystery Tour ? Pastor Grimm sure has a great way of communicating, no wonder his church wants to bus in strangers to fill the pews.

  • 25 Malcom X-Files // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Good point Shane. Where is the congregation? Isn't the church vacant?

  • 26 blite // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Most churches are not for profits and thus do not pay taxes. It is not a commerical venture as it does not raise money.

  • 27 blite // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    My church in Chicago hosted a homeless shelter with two other neighborhood churches (all different denominations). It was housed in one of the churches that had proper facilities for providing meals and shower as well as space for sleeping. The ONE HUGE DIFFERENCE between our shelter and the ones existing or proposed here in Seattle is that every night 2-3 parishioners from the churches volunteered to stay the night in the shelter and provide the meal/supervise. No neighbors complained and there weren't issues. I totally agree that we are obliged to help the less fortunate, however, there are responsible ways to do just that and I think our church in Chicago met its obligations to God and its neighbors. It took at least 3 churches combining to provide enough volunteers to supervise. There are lots of churches in Ballard, perhaps they too can combine to provide volunteers to supervise the shelter. That is living your faith, not just renting out your vacant space irresponsibly.

  • 28 Vagrant // Apr 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Agreed but remember we live on a republic, land of laws, god(s) have nothing to do with this.

  • 29 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I don't live that close to this church (but I think it's wrong to force another homeless magnet on the neighborhood and I fully support the neighbors' efforts to block this). Just to get a better idea what this is all about, I drove by there yesterday. I was surprised to see people in the church. I thought it was “vacant” (it has been described as such several times here) but there were definitely some people in the ground-floor room (visible from the street) when I drove by wednesday afternoon (6 pm). Are they feeding homeless in there now?

  • 30 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    There are lots of churches in OTHER neighborhoods, too. Why aren't the homeless shelters going to those neighborhoods? I'll tell you why: because the city has decided to make Ballard the dumping ground for all the undesirables because we put up with it. We should stop putting up with it until other neighborhoods take their share.

    How many homeless magnets (shelters, soup kitchens, food banks, etc.) does Ballard now have? How many equivalent facilities do other neighborhoods have? I haven't seen ANY in Ravenna, Magnolia, West Seatle (the mayor's neighborhood), etc.

    Until we start seeing some sharing of the burden, I say Ballard should take NO MORE. NONE.

    How about it, Seattle? Fair is fair. If we need to provide these facilities, they should be distributed equally among ALL the city's neighborhoods, rather than turning THIS neighborhood into a slum.

    We should start with the mayor's block in West Seattle. After all, they get the best snow removal in the city…

  • 31 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    ??? of course they raise money, and have salaries to pay, and have the utilities to pay, and soon, may have hell to pay as well…

  • 32 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    My understanding, and my desire, is to require that they screen for sex offenders, and check for any warrants. I don't want this to be a haven for criminals of any kind.

  • 33 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Picture if you will, a giant toilet seat, hovering still in the air as if by some anti- gravity miracle at work. It stays over Ballard, looming menacingly, available at the ready for the powers that be to use with impunity. sigh.

    Please leave the lid up, in case it's a nice day…

  • 34 jm // Apr 30, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    The Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association runs a soup kitchen two days a week at St. Johns United Lutheran Church on Phinney Ave. N. This has brought a lot of people from outside the neighborhood for the dinners. Some folks linger and are living in vehicles near the church and in the WPZ park. In fact, one woman has been living in the bus shelter for about 6 months. This is right across the street from the main entrance to the Woodland Park Zoo. The WPZ is a tourist attraction for the city. I’d guess the sight of a hunched over mummy sleeping in the bus shelter frightens children coming to the Zoo.

  • 35 NoMore$$$$ // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Requiring background checks in exchange for food and shelter is only fair to the community that provides it. Putting the ” rights ” of the homeless ahead of the safety of the residents of Ballard, is misguided. Not to get into a what if battle, but what if just one person in our neighborhood falls victim because we didn't know a predator was here? Can we sue SHARE? the Church? Not one dime to any church or homeless advocate group if this is allowed without a background check for shelter users.

  • 36 giz // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Just to recap, SHARE currently runs outstanding warrant and sex offender checks at their Tent City 4 locations on the Eastside. They've been doing this since 2004. The checks are run for FREE for SHARE by King County.

    Please view the current permit for Tent City 4 (which is now in Redmond at St. Jude's) to see that the requirement for warrant/sex offender checks is part of the permit.

    That permit can be viewed here:
    http://www.redmond.gov/cityservices/pdfs/L09006

    In addition, ask yourselves why it is that representatives from SHARE stood up before this community and knowingly lied when they said they were unable to run sex offender checks because of the cost involved?

    Sadly I'm guessing that the majority of the members of the church that will be voting on this issue live nowhere near the location and are therefore not impacted by the decision that they will make.

    The neighbors should have a voice and representation. If that means standing out in front of that church on the evening they will take the vote, then so be it. Maybe passing out flyers with factual information regarding SHARE and pointing to the fact that they are running checks in Redmond and that this community deserves equal treatment.

  • 37 Be Reasoned in Your Judgements // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    http://www.westseattlefoodbank.org
    many soup kitchens there as well (use The Google)

    So many commentators here are so *absolute* in their convictions yet their positions are often based on ignorance and their 'facts' demonstrably false.

  • 38 Amused // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    ROFLMAO
    Karma is a bitch. I just wish it was an annex of DESC coming to Ballard instead of a well run sober shelter.

  • 39 Vagrant // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Let's be honest, a shelter lowers the value of our homes. We have a right to defend outsiders taking some of that value away. Period. How do u think s**tty neighborhoods get s**tty? By people protecting them?

  • 40 Jerry // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Yeah, I've seen somre gross exagerations, but man. You go all the way don't ya.

  • 41 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I'd like to point out again, that they have lied to the residents of Ballard repeatedly.
    Especially with regard to criminal background checks. Also, the media in this town rolling over themselves to disseminate such lies for them. Shameful, Shameful.
    Only the Geeky Swedes have avoided being their pawns, and I'm eternally grateful to them for that. Keep up the good work!

  • 42 blite // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    yes they raise money via donations to the church, hence the not for profit status. If they raise money via a commercial (ie for profit) manner, they lose their not for profit designation and must start paying property taxes, income taxes etc.

  • 43 Jerry // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    So you'll be taking your kids to the playground across the street every day?

  • 44 Mr. B // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I'd say theres a lot of emotions running around. While I do support the sex offender checks, I think gathering the villagers with lawyers and torches is a bit much right now. I'd wait to hear what Pastor Grimm has to say when he's ready. If the congregation comes back with a no, well, seems like you'll have worried and payed a bunch of lawyers for nothing. I'm sure they'll weigh all the concerns and options before rendering a decision.

    If it's a yes, and SHARE moves in with no checks, well, then by all means form a committee, talk to them, get a lawyer if need be. Plus I'm betting it will take more than a night if a decision is announced for SHARE to move in, so plenty of time to draft up something.

    Though truth be told this is an odd development, I thought SHARE said they didn't want to live here. That letter they sent, the “Unamerican” letter” pretty much said they were moving on.

  • 45 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    amused…Karma…calling you out…

  • 46 BallardDINK // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    i believe even churches are subject to anti-discrimination laws. Meaning, anyone and everyone must be allowed to join.

    So, if the vote is open only to the congregation, why don't we all join that congregation–and vote?

    I'm serious. Heck, I was even baptized Lutheran. When does this vote take place, and where will it be held?

  • 47 fonzi // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    There is a play ground across the street?
    I thought it was more like 3 blocks away.

  • 48 fonzi // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    How does a shelter lower the value of your home any more than any other crappy outcome of this financial crisis?
    What outsider is taking anything from you?
    Geeez

  • 49 Screwtape // Apr 30, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    What a good idea – at a time when church congregations are shrinking everywhere.
    And at a time where new non-profits are created every day and americans are making more charitable donations than ever while the amount of donations going to traditional “charities” (those that feed the hungry, house the homeless and care for the sick) is dropping precipitiously.
    Go ahead – join your neighborhood church – get involved in the work of reaching out to others – it can't be a bad thing can it?

  • 50 Ballard_Sucks_Now // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Not lawyers and torches.

    PITCHFORKS and torches.

  • 51 MT Girl // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Does anyone know what time the secret vote is taking place on the 7th? If so, then all who are concerened should be outside that church, signs in hand and stage a peaceful protest. Let the congregation know how the people who live here feel. Call the media to attend and get this in the spotlight.

    I for one have no issue with groups making an effort to get people off the street, but it has to be done responsibly. I too was raised Lutheran and what that taught me was a sense of service to my community, this means helping out when you can and being responsible for the community you live in. Why is the church so willing to house these people, but not willing to provide support? Pastor Grumm does not sound like the kind of Lutheran that I would like to know, does he not remember that he is supposed to “Love Thy Neighbor”?

  • 52 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    (loved the screwtape letters, C.S. Lewis)
    It's a bad thing, if it's a bad church.
    Dink, they said it would take place on the 7th of May. They didn't give out a time.

  • 53 jm // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Does this congregation ever meet at the church? I thought the building was vacant and not used for services.

    God bless America

  • 54 Shane Dillon // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I sent an email to the office of Our Redeemers and to Steve Grumm last night expressing that being a close neighbor could I have a moment just to talk to him about my concerns.

    I have yet to get a reply.

    I hope they do honor their claim that they are speaking to the neighbors.

  • 55 Screwtape // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I know what you mean – You gotta watch those Lutherans.

  • 56 Screwtape // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Yeah! Why aren't they like some of those other Shelters that will make folks sit through a service before they can stay the night or have a meal!
    Why don't they make all their congregants stay the night to make sure the rest of us are safe? So much for love thy neighbor Huh?

  • 57 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks Shane, let us know how it goes…
    I'd also add, the date for the vote is the 7th, but no time or location was provided, it could be anywhere, everywhere, like individual bible studies, e-mails, etc.
    He has spoken with the neighbors, and the media, but that phase may be over, as he said, he won't have anything to say until he has something to say.

  • 58 Mr. B // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Wow, good for you. You've made such a great point.

  • 59 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    That's not what I meant, there are simply bad churches, across the board, I know first hand. Unfortunately…there are wolves in sheep's clothing.

  • 60 BallardDINK // Apr 30, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I'm still confused by the “vacant” status of this church. Is it just an empty piece of (tax-free) property, that the church intends to rent out to SHARE as a sort of storage unit for homeless? That strikes me as being against the spirit, if not the letter, of the laws regarding church property and tax-free status.

    Also: where does the active congregation of this pastor's church meet on Sunday? Like I said, I was raised Lutheran–I'm honestly a fan of Lutherans, though I'm more of a Quaker these days–and would be up for participating in a church service this weekend.

  • 61 Screwtape // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    The congregation meets at Our Redeemers – are you that new to the neighborhood – or that oblivous?

  • 62 Screwtape // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Just to bring you up do date….. a while ago both congregations merged…was in all the papers…..had a public procession from one place to the other.

  • 63 jds // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Because, like it or not, right or wrong, a lot of people do not want to live in close proximity to a shelter. This lowers demand on those homes nearby. Less demand == decreased value. Is that complicated?

    And it's not about whether it lowers it more than anything else in this economy. Look at it objectively from the viewpoint of those affected. Are you in close proximity to the church? If yes then good for you before putting the needs of others before the value of your home. If not, you need to get off your righteous soap box.

  • 64 LBB // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    The congregation is now on 85th and 24th at Our Redeemers.

  • 65 Bernard Geotz // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Is there some way to declare a bum free zone?

  • 66 Mr. Organic // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    The church building should be turned into a folk music fern bar and offer music lessons, during the day, to the barefoot children of Ballard.

  • 67 ethel // Apr 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Have you seen the area of Capitol Hill around St. Joseph's? Huge old houses. Very, very wealthy neighbors. Not to mention that there is a big old Catholic *school* right there.

  • 68 ethel // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    That's happened in Seattle. My family's church (in Magnolia) sent volunteers to another church that was hosting homeless folks; our family were dinner volunteers a couple of times, and others from our church did both dinner and overnight volunteering.

  • 69 LBB // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    it's one and 1/2 blocks away (or one and 1/4 if you want to split hairs)

  • 70 LBB // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    You can disagree with Pastor Grumm but I wouldn't write off the whole church as “bad”.

  • 71 LBB // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I sent an email with a bullet list of questions about the shelter before the initial meeting (there wasn't a lot of info out at the time-didn't get a flyer) and never got a response.

  • 72 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I didn't, I don't know that it is.
    But, I do know that they exist.
    “you shall know them by their fruit”
    You can say anything you'd like, it's what you do that matters.

  • 73 giz // Apr 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    For those of you in support of allowing SHARE to move to this church without conducting Level 3 sex offender checks, please read this story which appears online at the Seattle Times:
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews

    The headline reads, “Level 3 Sex offender Accused of Propositioning Teens in Kirkland.”

    What the article fails to report, but what is available by doing a quick check of the King County sex offender registry is that this scum, who was previously convicted of rape is registered as “HOMELESS.”
    http://www.metrokc.gov/SexOffender/search_name_

    Do you still think it's a good idea that SHARE is refusing to run the checks at this church?

  • 74 blite // Apr 30, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    I believe they are allowed to rent to other not for profits and still maintain their not for profit status. But they wouldn't be able to rent to someone for general commerce, ie for profit retail, restaurant etc, with out jeopardizing their tax free status. I assume SHARE is a not for profit?

  • 75 SPG // Apr 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    They do other stuff in there too, like have meetings and activities for regular folks too.

  • 76 giz // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Here is another article on the same Level 3 sex offender:
    http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/kir/news/

    Note that after the comment was made pointing out that the Level 3 sex offender was actually last registered as “HOMELESS” the Kirkland Reporter posted that they update their story to reflect that information. In addition, they spoke with a King County Sheriff's spokesperson who confirmed the information provided by saying:
    A sex offender registry Website identifies Wagner as non-compliant and Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart confirmed Wagner is currently listed as homeless

    “NON-COMPLIANT” That means this convicted rapist, Level 3 Sex offender who registered as “HOMELESS” in Seattle failed to check in as required.

    Anyone still think SHARE should stay at this church while being allowed to refuse running FREE sex offender checks ?

  • 77 SPG // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    The reasoning, (and I'm not defending it, just explaining it) is that SHARE feels that a background check is the equivalent of coloring all homeless as criminals.
    Since SHARE is a homeless advocacy group they would naturally oppose this just as the NAACP would have opposed background checks for black people moving into a neighborhood a century ago. The only problem with this reasoning is that there are a high percentage of homeless people with warrants and criminal backgrounds of varying degrees. That's not to say that all 20 of the homeless men would be criminals, or even be prone to committing crimes, but with the recent uptick in crime and influx of transients it's a tough sell for SHARE in Ballard right now.

  • 78 non compliant // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Whether or not a shelter organization runs a background check for sex offender status does not impact whether a sex offender becomes non-compliant in reporting their address. It is not the same thing. It is the individual sex offender that is required to report and up to law enforcement agencies to track.

  • 79 kim // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    thanks! that still sucks tho!

  • 80 kim // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    if the homeless have something to hide, then they probably won't want to be screened. i'm sure there are plenty of upstanding homeless people out there and this would in no way violate there civil rights since they've done nothing wrong. i think that generally the neighborhood is not going to shun people for criminal violations they themselves committed but were never caught. ballard seems far brighter than that.

  • 81 silence.kit // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Is that even legal?

  • 82 Armed Pacifist // Apr 30, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    But SHARE says they can screen when they “look 'em in the eye” and that's all they need to be judge someone's character.

    I mean, that's fool proof!

  • 83 Mr. Organic // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Sounds like a bum deal to us.

  • 84 chopper_74 // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    The best way to not have them all colored as criminals, is to accept the checks, then they won't have to worry about being so judged, rightly or wrongly.

  • 85 dummy // Apr 30, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    How will having Share conduct Level 3 sex offender check keep offenders from propositioning teens?

  • 86 Octo-Bum // May 1, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Screening to make sure the transients don't have internet access and MySpace accounts would be important too.

  • 87 Robert // May 1, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Ah, liberal Ballard.

    Is Ballard really as nasty as everyone sounds in these comments, or is it just that the more bad-tempered and intolerant residents show up disproportionately when there is an opportunity to bash the homeless?

  • 88 Robert // May 1, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Never mind whether it makes sense. This thread is just an opportunity for people who are scared of different-looking poor people to spout off.

    And yes, I do live near that church.

  • 89 enough // May 1, 2009 at 12:58 am

    this has nothing to do with different looking poor people – unless they happen to be the ones who pee in my yard, throw their beer cans in my garden, sleep in my yard, yell at my family. This is about too many social services being located in close proximity in a residential neighborhood. if there is no reason for homeless people to leave my neighborhood, they wont. we already give them a place to sleep, and food 5 days a week. We continue to welcome the homeless from elsewhere in the state and the country – why, because we dole out the goods. We cant keep adding to this population. What is your limit to the amount of social services we should continue to add to our neighborhood robert? i am done. I didnt move to ballard 8 years ago so my children could learn how to cuss from the homeless people who mill around outside my house all day. My kids actually enjoy being outside now that the soup kitchen has closed tues-thurs. The scary man that yells to himself and threatens to kill the neighbors isn't pacing our sidewalk. Gee, lets let these good, down on their luck folk back. I was getting a bit tired of enjoying my neighborhood again anyway.

  • 90 JK // May 1, 2009 at 1:11 am

    The argument that the denizens of SHARE at Redeemer shouldn't have to get a background check because “people who live in houses aren't forced to” is totally a straw man.

    If a warrant is issued for my arrest, it's easy to find me, because I HAVE A HOUSE AND A JOB AND AM A REGISTERED VOTER.

    If it's not so easy to track you down because you are none of the above, then it's reasonable to take other steps to find out what your status is. And it's in no way “homelessphobia”

  • 91 screwTape // May 1, 2009 at 1:52 am

    so you expected a point by point response?
    Did you attend the meeting?
    did you ask those bulleted questions in the presence of others?

  • 92 Straw Man // May 1, 2009 at 1:57 am

    But why are you supposing that a background check by a shelter organization is the same as registering with proper authorities? There is no requirement that any organization that does a back ground check share the found information with any third party.
    By denying shelter – you are denying opportunity to have a listed address.
    The twisted logic of impying safety by requiring background checks is the real straw man.

  • 93 Sweet Rose // May 1, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Well Robert Seattle/Ballard in particular has always been a pseudo green pseudo liberal poster child. I do think however that the climate of the whole country is disintegrating into nastiness, fear, hate and jealousy. The Ugly American has gotten uglier.

    Funny thing I heard today that brings it all home. Barbie is 50 this year. She used to be a doctor now she has a tramp stamp. What does that say about American consumers and the society we live in today?

  • 94 Sweet Rose // May 1, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Of course Straw. That’s why law enforcement supports the idea of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.

  • 95 LBB // May 1, 2009 at 2:43 am

    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

  • 96 Bummed out // May 1, 2009 at 2:49 am

    The building should be used as a church and not a motel.

  • 97 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 3:09 am

    that's not law enforcement rose, it's a political move, and ridiculous.

  • 98 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 3:24 am

    they have denied themselves shelter 'straw man', I'd like to follow that choice to it's conclusion.
    Also, it is required for most (apparently this lil' pet project is somehow exempt), who know of a wanted individual, and shelter them, and to not report, is actionable, and illegal.

  • 99 Every Man Has A Story // May 1, 2009 at 4:48 am

    One day this week, while sipping a latte outside of one of my favorite Ballard coffee shops, I watched a man search a curbside trash can in front of me. Unsuccessful in his search, he sat down on a bench beside me. I've been working on being more tolerant of all people, so I struck up a conversation with him. I wanted to know his story. He told me that he was a writer. I was eager to learn more about his writing, but two of his buddies showed up. They all decided to have a smoke. So here I sat sipping my latte with three homeless guys smoking. It didn't take long for an employee to come out and shoo the smokers away. I went inside to get a refill.

    When I returned, my writer friend was still outside. I asked him to share his writing with me. He opened his backpack and retrieved a folder. He pulled a faded and weathered certificate from the folder and explained to me that he writes numbers. A matter of fact, he's the only man in the world, who's written a million numbers out by hand. He asked me if I would buy a certificate with one of his million numbers written on it. He was only asking for two dollars, but I declined. However, I did get him a cup of coffee. While drinking his coffee, he told me part of his story. Years ago he was a fisherman based out of Ballard, but he left the trade after losing many of his friends at sea. He returned to Utah where he was raised. While in Utah, he decided he wanted to do something that no one had ever done before. He decided to write a million numbers by hand. At first, I didn't believe this far-fetched tale. However, he decided to give me one of his numbers. I picked the year I was born, 1962. Very carefully, like an author signing a book, he wrote the number o19620. I took my certificate and returned home. The first thing I did when I got in the house was Goggle this man's name in-conjunction with the state of Utah and the task of writing one million numbers by hand. Lo and behold, I found a link to this man, Kris Wilson. Kris does indeed have a really interesting story to tell. I hope to see him again soon. Kris' goal is to get his work listed in Guinnes World Records. I hope Kris meets his goal. I wish there was an easy answer to the issues we're faced with in Ballard. I personally am not in favor of a tent city and I strongly oppose car camping on our streets. However, after my encounter with Kris, I'll think twice before making up my own story about homeless people.

  • 100 3rd_G_Ballard_native // May 1, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Please don't write off the whole churh of ORLC as bad. There are many of us members that do not support how this is being handled even if we see a need to help the less fortunate. Steve is a nice guy and only means well, but at times like this, he clearly needs to listen better. I am not very active and only attend rarely, but if I can find out when this vote is, I will be there to vote my “No”. I can not promise that the vote will result in a “No” but at least I think it is clear that the voices and concerns of the neighborhood are not being heard.

  • 101 Strawsy // May 1, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Chopper – don't be facile.
    You want shelter organizations to do warrent checks too?

  • 102 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 8:08 am

    was that not clear?

  • 103 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Kris needs to stop hanging out in Ballard, drinking with his pals on the metro benches from here to the u-dist. I met him several days ago, and yes, four years writing from one to one million is, well, one in a million. I was impressed when I saw the article. I'm not impressed that he's lost his way to Guinnes…does he need a map?

  • 104 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Thank you 3_G. I mean no harm to your flock, honestly, God bless.

  • 105 gmer // May 1, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Why is that ridiculous? Yes they are illegal, but would you rather have an unlicensed driver on the road or someone who actually has a photo id to present when they are asked?

  • 106 gmer // May 1, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Ha thats fucking ridiculous, too many social services? Any in ballard have been around in one form or the other for decades. I can't really think of any that have been “added” save one homeless shelter that according to some people is going to destroy us. Ballard is huge and keeps growing. Compare the amount of social services to other areas of seattle per capita and we aren't even close. This is just a bunch more NIBMY bullshit that needs stop.

  • 107 Keep Seattle Sleazy // May 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Naaaa, we're just trying to protect the values of our homes.

  • 108 Keep Seattle Sleazy // May 1, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Great story but that doesn't explain why he can't find work to support himself. plenty of struggling writers do, they're called 'waiters'.

  • 109 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    the illegal issue is ridiculous on many levels, first, they are illegal, right? So you give them a license, register them to vote, give them in-state tuition rates for our universities, give them public assistance, give them free medical via the ER's, and now, I get to choose between them driving with or without a photo?
    I choose that they become legal, or go home.

  • 110 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I believe the people at the church all have their hearts in the right place, and that Steve Grumm probably is an alright guy. But I have sent him several emails now with out getting a single reply back. If you see him soon 3rd G Ballard native, please tell him to reply to my email and pop round my house for a coffee to meet my family and hear my concerns.

    Kindest Regards
    Shane

  • 111 Neighbor // May 1, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Talk to your pastor! His communication on this whole issue has been terrible and now he's being like SHARE, going totally secret and refusing to listen to anyone.

  • 112 Bum Steer // May 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    With all the newspapers going under, there will be even more writers on the street.

  • 113 SPG // May 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Wow. Way off topic here and way off the truth. NO undocumented immigrants who aren't citizens have been allowed to vote. None. It is a federal offense and not one that is ignored. The GOP have been pushing this meme as a means to tighten up voter registration to make it difficult for any new voters to register because they know that younger people are not going to vote republican.
    I can get a driver's license in Japan if I take the class and pass the test, and I don't even have to do it in Japanese. Otherwise I can drive there for a year or two with my WA DL and a passport. I'd much rather have anyone who needs to drive here be able to do it legally, because we all know that if we don't allow it, it's going to happen anyway and then it's going to happen without a license, and by extension without insurance. Which would you rather have? People living here and driving with insurance and a license who've passed the driving test, or none of that and who if they get in an accident would be far more tempted to run off because they don't have insurance or a license?
    It sounds like you want to be an absolutist on the immigration question but if you get just a scratch below the surface the situation gets a lot more complicated. I'll agree that immigration policy as it is today is seriously flawed, but a mass arrest and deportation of 11 million people isn't a realistic option.

  • 114 scrWtape // May 1, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Dear Shane,
    Have you been part of a faith community before?
    Have you tried phoning the office?
    Have you tried introducing yourself after a service?
    I am glad that you have such high expectations of a pastor of a local congregation.
    But I would assume that someone such as you would make less of a passive effort to shame this man.

  • 115 chopper_74 // May 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for straitening me out friend.
    I am frustrated with how the issue is more polarizing and political than rational.
    Especially when resources and jobs are getting tighter, we need to focus on helping the legal first.
    imho.

  • 116 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I am actually a member of a church in shoreline (Shoreline Tabernacle) and I have introduced myself to Steve, and last year I tried to talk to him about the Tent City when it was there. Infact I reported to him the two instances where two of the inhabitants of tent city had to be removed from drunk Olympic Manor playground/park by the police.

    Many people go to churches some distance from where they live for a number of reasons (they may like the Pastor, may have been going to that church for years etc.) but I would never vote at my church in Shoreline for something that would affect where I do not reside.

    Feel free to call the church there if you don't believe that I am a member.

    All Steve had to do was send me a reply, either naming a time when we could meet, or even politely declining. Ignoring me is rude.

    Shane

  • 117 giz // May 1, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    The common thread here is church leaders that decide to bring this to a community, but refuse to give the community a voice (and a vote) when the opionion is different than theirs.
    It is the height of arrogance to shut down reasonable discussions voicing legitimate concerns. Ignoring the neighbors simply heightens the issue and only further divides the church from the community.
    It is not unreasonable to require SHARE to run sex offender checks in exchange for space when they have already been doing such checks for free through King County Sheriff's (plus outstanding warrants) at their Tent City 4 locations on the Eastside.

  • 118 scrWtape // May 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    …..it is easy to kvetch about being treated rudely…. and not being listened to and the height of arrogance and all that in leiu of reasoned discussions. Honestly….. I don't beleive that you all have tried reasoned discussion. I think that you keep on changing your goals of what is important to ensure safety to the community. You like to be outraged over the injustice of the world. Poor babies.

  • 119 ethel // May 1, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I have had background checks every time I volunteered in one of my kids' schools, for pete's sake.

  • 120 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Firstly, there has been no discussion. Any the goals have never changed from day one, it has always been that the vast majority of neighbors do not want registered sex offenders housed near them. It has never been a mission against homeless people, but simply against sex offenders.

    Please do not say that I am arrogant, unreasonable, or have changed my goals. To be fair, the church has changed their goals (you did ask for sex offender checks but Share refused!) and have not had discussions at all with neighbors.

  • 121 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    This letter was posted by someone (not me) on BallardNewsTribunes website.

    http://www.ballardnewstribune.com/2009/04/29/le

  • 122 scrWtape // May 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Exactly – you have never approached anyone in that church community or at Share in the spirit of discussion. It is very clear that you are scared. You want a shelter organization to somehow enforce the requirements that individuals convicted of level 3 sex offences register their addresses. You think that somehow if the shelter does this screening you will be safe. Geez – if you had been out and discussing and church going and talking and working to keep the neighborhood safe we wouldn't be here. Now that homelessness has risen to the point where you have noticed we are all supposed to jump and respond to your fears.

  • 123 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I am not even going to try and respond because your comments make no sense. Share do screen at several shelters for sex offenders. If a registered offender rented a room and moved next door to me I couldn't stop it, but he would have to register and I would know he is there. Many of us are simply asking that the same rules follow people staying at the shelter that would be the same rules if they were to rent accomodation. We are not asking for anything else.

    Why does Steve Grumm say so many times he has spoken to the neighbors when he hasn't? It makes no sense.

  • 124 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I have just called the church and spoken to a very nice lady about speaking to Steve Grumm about the shelter. She has promised she will get him to call me in order to arrange to chat.

    Hopefully he will call back so I can voice my concerns to him and leave it at that.

  • 125 scrEwtape // May 1, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    poor Shane – many things in this world are beyond sense. If you rented a room you would be required to register – it is the responsibility of the individual and law enforcement. It is not the responsibility of landlords or shelter organizations to do the work of law enforcement or probation officers. Even if some landlords do criminal background checks – most do financial background checks.
    And how does any of this make you safer or keep responsibility on individuals who have offended.
    What makes no sense is that you spend your time here harping on a pastor and congregation and an organization that has been around for a long time.
    What value are you bringing to the conversation? Did you just wake up and realize that work needs to be done?

  • 126 Shane Dillon // May 1, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    Ok.

    I just had a long conversation with Steve Grumm and he was VERY helpful.

    He basically had said what has been going on, and stated that he had talked exclusively with Share, and is going to issue a statement soon about everything after the 'vote'. He did say that many of his congregation have reservations about the shelter so there is a chance it may not happen.

    He is very concerned about the neighborhood, and is very serious about the possibility of sex offenders causing chaos in the community. He said he has looked at the 20 that would be housed, and when I asked if ANY of them were sex offenders he said 'No'.

    He put my mind at rest.

    I told him he needs to talk to the community as he talked to me, and he agreed.

    I just received this letter from Dawn Lawsen from WA Assoc. of Police and Sheriff's about the law in these situations and this is what she said :-

    “There are some specifically identified registered sex offenders that have residence restrictions, but it is not a general rule. The practice does, however, put the church at risk for liability suits. In addition, the parents will need to be made aware of the situation through notification flyers, especially for Levels II and III. I am sure that would result in the loss of business to the child care center.

    However, the risk is reduced if the shelter is only open when the child care center is closed.

    It sounds like meetings and discussions should be held with stakeholders. The community sexual assault program might also be helpful in providing information about keeping children safe.”

    Steve said the inhabitants of the proposed shelter are not allowed anywhere near (whatever that means) the shelter outside of the hours it is run (7pm to 7am).

    Actually Steve is an alright guy when you talk to him.

    I urge people to please call him on the number listed for Our Redeemers as I did.

    Kind Regards

    Shane

  • 127 Bum Crisis 2009 // May 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    How would this arrangement pass the zoning for that block? It sounds like a motel business in a residential neighborhood. Some of the homeless are totally nuts and hard to deal with.

  • 128 Tired Dog // May 2, 2009 at 1:00 am

    I still find this response from Pastor Steve totally unacceptable for two reasons.

    1. The 20 men staying at the shelter could change every night. Unless they are screening for sex offenders they will not know when one is there.

    2. What does “he has looked at the 20″ mean? Did he check their identifications against the state's record of sex offenders? This sounds like SHARE's policy of “looking them in the eye” to figure out if they are sex offenders. Far too often a person who looks fine is actually very dangerous.

    The stakeholders of the church need to be fully apprised of the risks they are subjecting their church and the community to by not doing this most basic check.

  • 129 Shane Dillon // May 2, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Give Steve Grumm a call and ask him.

  • 130 darnative // May 2, 2009 at 1:18 am

    I believe I read somewhere in all the endless blogs about this shelter that SHARE made a statement they were willing to do a trial-period of I think a few weeks, saying they would leave within 24 hours if there are any problems.
    If they manage to get in without the background checks, perhaps the neighbors in the immediate area can get an agreement signed by SHARE and Our Redeemers based on this? At least there would be something that could legally get them out should any problems occur. Just a thought…

  • 131 vlad the validifier // May 2, 2009 at 1:30 am

    R u validated now?

  • 132 chopper_74 // May 2, 2009 at 1:38 am

    ok, these are the same folks that had to be forcibly removed from Nicklesville?
    I believe it took a bit longer than twenty four hours.

  • 133 giz // May 2, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Beware of such an offer. Once they are in, they won't leave and their word in meaningless. Remember, these are the same people that told you they were unable to do sex offender checks because of the cost involved, when the knew King County was doing them for free at their Tent City 4 location for the past 5 yrs.
    When issues have come up in other communities, they skirt around it by saying that they can't control what their residents do outside the shelter.
    So basically if the crimes of their residents take place anywhere outside of Calgary, they are not responsible.

  • 134 chopper_74 // May 2, 2009 at 2:53 am

    So, crazy question. Will their presence from 7am to 7pm be more of the drinking on metro stops crowd? Bergen Park? I know that I'd read that they couldn't be within a couple blocks of the shelter during those hours.
    I know, they said, most will be at work…for what that's worth…

  • 135 chopper_74 // May 2, 2009 at 3:01 am

    scrEwtape
    We have been out discussing, watching, listening, pointing out the lies, working to keep this neighborhood safe.
    And we are still here where we are now…
    where have you been?
    Show up now, and attack the people with 'skin' in this game…bad form. You have no stake here.

  • 136 Squint Eastwood // May 2, 2009 at 4:57 am

    I was in 7-11 today when one of the homeless started ranting at the lady behind the counter. He called her a bunch of names and said that he owned the store and she was fired. They chased him out so he torment the neighborhood. He's a raving nutcase.

  • 137 chopper_74 // May 2, 2009 at 8:16 am

    some description of the individual would be most helpful…

  • 138 Tired Dog // May 2, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    If any kind of assault does occur, SHARE's promise to leave within 24 hours will be completely worthless to the church and the neighborhood. The church will face a massive lawsuit and could lose a huge amount in legal expenses. SHARE has very little in assets so it has almost nothing to lose in a lawsuit. They will conveniently walk away from the church and the neigborhood.

    SHARE seems particularly adept at finding good-hearted people, then feeding them bogus assurances and promises. When things go badly, the good-hearted people are left with the mess. If you want a preview of how SHARE will respond if things go badly, take a look at the letter SHARE wrote to the Ballard News Tribune. In it they write that if they cannot move into Ballard Calvary Lutheran, they will find a church that “who walks their talk”. Obviously, they are implying that Our Redeemer's is a church that does not walk their talk.

    The shelter has not even opened and yet SHARE is already publicly questioning Our Redeemer's integrity. Is that really the type of organization you would want to tie your legal fortunes to?

  • 139 Tired Dog // May 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    How about a review of the lies from Pastor Steve and SHARE:

    Lie #1 – In the original letter to the neighborhood, we were assured that background checks and sexual offender checks would be done on all participants of the shelter. Then, Pastor Steve backtracked and said he misunderstood SHARE about the checks.

    Lie #2 – SHARE says it doesn't do background or sexual offender checks at any of its shelters. Then, we discover that they have agreed to checks at shelters on the eastside.

    Lie #3 – SHARE says they couldn't possibly do sexual offender checks because it would be too expensive and time-consuming. Then, neighbors volunteer to do the checks for free. SHARE has no reasonable response so they start complaining that these checks are an insult.

    Lie #4 – Pastor Steve says he will not open the shelter without an agreement from SHARE to do sexual offender checks. Then, Pastor Steve changes his mind and decides he and SHARE can tell who is a sex offender by looking at them.

    Lie #5 – SHARE tells Pastor Steve that sexual offender checks are unnecessary because parole officers will inform SHARE if a sex offender is staying at their shelter. Unfortunately for SHARE, King County Sexual Offender Unit delivers the truth and tells a neighbor that the system does not work that way at all.

    I am sure there are more lies, but these the ones that come to mind and make it very hard to believe the shelter is going to be run in an honest way.

  • 140 enough // May 2, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    you obviously dont live in this neighborhood. but thanks for your insightful commentary.

  • 141 Free Ballard again // May 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I met that guy too. He told me the story and showed me an article. Now I cant get rid of him. Every time he sees me in a public place he sits down with me, even if I am out with friends. Its very embarrassing

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