Over the next few days you may notice when you drive by the Porch House that the front porch has plywood around it and it is completely closed off. Despite rumors you may have heard to the contrary, I want you to know that the front porch of the Porch House is temporarily closed, but the Porch House is NOT closed. The work of the Porch House continues.
Our very capable Junior Warden Terry Hopkins is in the process of meeting with contractors to develop an attractive way to enclose the front porch so it can be locked at night. For almost a year we had a member of our parish living in the Porch House. He was a blessing to our parish and to me. He kept the sack lunches going during the ice storm and he maintained the nightly curfew on the Porch. Well, he has now moved on to new adventures and we once again face problems on the porch at night.
Over the past 2 weeks we have had two incidents of violence on the front porch involving people who were sleeping on the porch at night without permission. Both of these incidents necessitated the help of the Shawnee police department and medical follow-up. It goes without saying but we do not want anyone else to get hurt on the porch.
We believe the best first step is to simply remove the problem. We will still have a porch. We will still have a place for people to sit and relax and eat their lunch, but it will be a porch that can be physically closed after dark. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve this situation.
The majority of our sack lunch guests are so appreciative of our church and the help we provide them. The volunteers could tell you many stories of sack lunch guests sweeping the porch, cleaning the grounds, emptying trash cans or just generally watching out for and helping others. It is my hope that we will be able to get this situation under control and not allow a few people who are making destructive choices ruin this effort for others who are trying to make good choices despite large obstacles.
See you in church,