La Crosse church’s homeless camp shuts down

A La Crosse, Wis., church is shutting down its “tent ministry” after its insurance company refused to provide coverage to the church that’s pitched tents on its lawn for the last year.

The La Crosse Tribune reports the homeless camp started last summer when a church guest without shelter asked to pitch a tent. Then more homeless came to the site which stayed open until winter shelters opened.

“As people continued to be sent away from other locations, their passing through our neighborhood caused problems, and we became an easy target to blame,” Wesley United Methodist Church pastor Wesley White said. “This meant that our relations with neighbors deteriorated past our ability to be a good neighbor.”

The church will continue with a “coffee shelter”, which serves as a bridge between the time Salvation Army shelter guests after to leave for the day and the Franciscan Hospitality House to provide shelter and snacks in the afternoon.