Church, neighbors clash over homeless meals

Church seeks new permit to keep feeding homeless

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:06 PM PDT Apr 30, 2013    UPDATED: 05:54 PM PDT Apr 30, 2013 
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VENTURA, Calif. -

A meeting is being held Tuesday night at Ventura City Hall to talk about a dispute between a church and its neighbors.

The Harbor Community Church has become known for feeding the homeless lunch six days a week, but church volunteers said about 50 residents have complained about the homeless people hanging out before meals.  Many of the residents see them as they take  their children to and from a nearby elementary school and day care center.

The church must apply for a new permit to keep helping the homeless.  Pastor Sid Ward said he hopes to find a compromise.

The church also runs the Kingdom Center on Thompson Boulevard, where homeless families live temporarily. There may be a better location near that site to serve meals.

The city won't take any action this week, but members of the public are welcome to comment.

The meeting starts Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.