After last night’s stabbing at the shelter inside Trinity United Methodist Church, Reverend Rich Lang is sending the following letter to neighbors:
To our Neighbors,
As you know a major incident happened last night at the shelter between the hours of 8:30-9pm. Two residents of the Vets Hall Shelter broke into a fight, which escalated into a stabbing.
The “victim” was taken to the hospital and will not return as a resident to the shelter. The man who did the stabbing is known and being sought and will be charged with felony assault.
We’d like to thank the police and fire departments for their prompt and professional excellence in this emergency. We’d also like to thank watchful neighbors, the Shelter itself, and our live-in security person, Randy Thompson, for their immediate calling of the police as the incident began to flare.
This is the first incident of violence with a weapon in the ten years of our active ministry with the homeless. Although our systems of security responded quickly and effectively, we nevertheless deeply regret the disruption of our neighborhood security. We affirm that, as neighbors, you have every right to a secure street. As you know we have recently added a paid Security Officer that monitors our Saturday Soup kitchen. Thankfully in the three years of our open house hospitality we have had no major incident during that ministry. The Security officer was hired because we are seeing, as you are seeing, that with this economic downturn, the streets are becoming more desperate and despairing. This is a political matter of great concern. It is also a matter of moral concern: we acknowledge that feeding folks and housing folks is not enough. What is needed is transformation of character, and reorientation of desire, along with a restructuring of our economy.
At Trinity we desire to move beyond charity into relational ministries of transformation. It is a long road, and difficult work. We acknowledge our dependence on your good will, and we take very seriously our responsibility to provide neighborhood tranquility. In the course of our work, and our life together, incidents happen. We want to re-affirm that although this incident was an anomaly, we will nevertheless increase our diligence in providing safe, sane, and sober neighborly relations.
On behalf of Trinity United Methodist Church,
Rev. Rich Lang