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Resident questions homeless shelter

Published November 22. 2019 12:50PM

Nesquehoning officials heard some opposition regarding a proposed homeless shelter moving into a former church and rectory in the borough.

On Wednesday, borough council allowed resident Rich Stromelo to read a letter regarding his feelings about Family Promise of Carbon County purchasing the former St. Francis of Assisi church and rectory on West Mill Street to use as a new site for its operations.

He questioned many things regarding the plan, including the clientele, the impact on the surrounding neighbors and the future of the borough with the shelter.

Several other residents questioned the clientele that would be moving into the shelter and their fears of the crime that may increase as a result.

Council, which has no formal say on the matter until it goes through zoning, recommended attending the upcoming zoning hearing board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the borough hall.

At that hearing, Family Promise of Carbon County is asking for a use variance of the site.

The plans for Family Promise of Carbon County moving into the former church was made public last month when the Carbon County Commissioners held a hearing regarding shifting $50,000 from the 2018 Community Development Block Grant project fund for Banks Township to Family Promise for help in the purchase of the former St. Francis of Assisi Church and rectory, located at 140 W. Mill St. in Nesquehoning. The cost for the property is $80,000.

Tina Dowd, founding board member and current co-board chair of Family Promise, said last month that the mission of the organization is the help families and soon, single women, who have found themselves homeless.

According to the organization’s website, “Family Promise of Carbon County is a public charity whose mission is to provide temporary shelter, meals, and fellowship in order to meet the basic needs of families without permanent housing in Carbon County and the surrounding communities.

“Families are educated, encouraged and empowered to become self-sufficient by support from the faith community and other local community resources. ... Support organizations (churches, community groups, scouts, etc.) provide additional volunteers and financial donations to the mission.”

For more information on Family Promise of Carbon County, visit

why is my tax money being given to help church groups... isn't this a step over the church state line?

What are the qualifications to enter the program?
Must they provide proof of citizenship?
What is the longest an individual or family can stay?
Are they drug screened?
Are there background checks done on the individuals (Crime backgrounds that will hinder or disqualify them from employment)?
Will there be medical staff on site?
What is the maximum time they will provide shelter for an individual?
What is the rate of recidivism?
Why are the citizens of Nesquehoning so against helping people in need yet have no problem with a jail in their backyard?
The church is just one part of the equation. Maybe if some of these individuals would have some religion in their lives maybe they wouldn't be the the predicament that they find themselves in now. The question is why are certain individual so afraid of religion.
oh so you think a person's belief in a god has to do with their position in life? So are you saying if you don't believe in a myth you are prone to be homeless? And you asked two questions ... People that believe in myths are afraid of religion... People that do not believe are not afraid of religion they are afraid of the people that believe and what they will do to people that do not believe.

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