By Victor Ochieng
What’s happening to the church? People are becoming more and more worried about the behavior of church leaders. From pastors marrying their mistresses, church leaders mistreating the poor to priests defiling children, there is a strong feeling that the church needs to be rescued, or else…
The news coming in is that a church has stopped a rescue center from undertaking its mission of feeding the homeless and the poor. The Merced County Rescue Mission is a California-based Christian organization that provides food, clothing and shelter to the underprivileged members of the society. The program serves 150,000 meals per week, three times a day.
Unfortunately, the mission, which is located at Canal Street, stopped offering its services on Friday. The Merced County Rescue Mission’s Executive Director Bruce Metcalf noted that the temporary closure was effected after members of the Central Presbyterian Church, located across the street, raised complaints about the homeless and impoverished people benefiting from the program.
“Some of the people that attend there with their young children are simply uncomfortable with some of the guests that we serve,” Metcalf said.
The mission is now looking for an alternative place to run its program. Unfortunately, the temporary hitch now leaves the hundreds of people who benefit from the program everyday searching for a meal.
Efforts to secure new locations haven’t been successful. Metcalf said they found a temporary place downtown, but couldn’t use it due to opposition from members of the community. He’s hoping that a church in the Merced area will provide home for their invaluable program.
“We’re actually meeting with a church tomorrow evening and we’re very hopeful that we might have a location and that our total downtime might be less than a week,” Metcalf said.
There has been concerns by the public over the program after it received media coverage. Some claimed that the program has totally closed down. However, Metcalf clarifies that the program hasn’t closed down and that the Canal Street home is still acting as shelter, shower place, and treatment center for the homeless.
Metcalf further said they’re currently working ways with the city and Merced County to find a long term solution so that the program isn’t interrupted in the future. They’re seeking an expanded site that can host all of Merced County Rescue Mission’s services.