San Francisco, CA -- A Catholic church in San Francisco has made a decision that will undoubtedly be met with heavy backlash. They have installed a "watering system" that sprays water on homeless people who attempt to sleep on its grounds.
It's not just any Catholic church either. It is the cathedral at Geary and Gough, home church of the Archbishop.
The church has a welcoming alcove near its doors that attracts homeless people who are seeking a restful night.
“They actually have signs in there that say, ‘No Trespassing,’” said a homeless man named Robert.
However, they do not warn the unsuspecting tired and homeless that they will be drenched for seeking shelter in the church. Throughout the night, water pours from a spout in the ceiling, drenching the alcove, as well as anyone in it.
According to KCBS, who went to observe the water, the shower ran for about 75 seconds, every 30 to 60 minutes while they were there, starting before sunset, simultaneously in all four doorways. KCBS witnessed it soak homeless people, and their belongings.
“We’re going to be wet there all night, so hypothermia, cold, all that other stuff could set in. Keeping the church clean, but it could make people sick,” Robert said.
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The water doesn’t really clean the area. There are syringes, cigarette butts, soggy clothing and cardboard. There is no drainage system. The water pools on the steps and sidewalks, KCBS reported.
“I was just shocked, one because it’s inhumane to treat people that way. The second thing is that we are in this terrible drought," said a witness.
The cathedral has confirmed that the system was in fact installed to drench homeless people.
The irony surrounding this case is so thick that it could be cut with a knife. Apparently this church thinks it is more important keep the homeless out of the sight of its congregation than being selfless stewards of God; forget about all that helping the needy mumbo jumbo.
Since it appears that they have forgotten, we will go ahead and remind them what the Bible says about helping those in need.
- Leviticus 25:35-36 - And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea , though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
- Isaiah 58:7 - [Is it] not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
- Luke 14:13-14 - But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
- Proverbs 19:17 - He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
- Matthew 8:20 - And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay [his] head.
- Psalms 82:3 - Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Perhaps the archbishop will come down from his luxury home once he gets wind of this story and stop drenching tired homeless people as they sleep.
Following the backlash from exposing their cruel method of deterring sleeping homeless people, the Archdiocese has apologized and announced that the system will be removed “by the end of the day.”
“We are sorry that our intentions have been misunderstood and recognize that the method used was ill-conceived. It actually has had the opposite effect from what it was intended to do, and for this we are very sorry,” the letter states.