Summerhouse Aborted

It was with heavy hearts that Scott Treadway (Rancho Community Church), and Jim Palmer (Orange County Rescue Mission) announced at a community forum on Thursday evening, August 27th, that the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission was pulling its application for the proposed Summerhouse project. For Jen and I it just felt so wrong, thus the title of this post. But we trust that God has a plan to help the least, the last, and the lost and we will continue to support any effort to do so.

I don’t have all the inside information, and legal details that go along with this – but I think I have a pretty good understanding of what happened, and at the very least I have my first hand experiences at both the meeting hosted at Rancho Community Church last Tuesday and the Community meeting at the CRC last Thursday. Also, I need to say that I am not speaking on behalf of Rancho Community or the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission – these are just my thoughts.

  • We have a mandate (especially if you are a Christian) to help the poor.
  • We have poor and homeless people and families in Temecula (and Murrieta, and every surrounding community).
  • We have chronically homeless people, we have people who have made terrible choices with their lives, we have people who have just run into impossible situations and have been left with nothing (and everything in between).
  • All of these people need help.
  • The Summerhouse project (the 20 unit portion) was designed to take in “Families” in transition. This is where I think people have been mis-informed. These families are the SAME families that were living next door to the SAME people who are protesting. These are families who’s children go to the SAME schools as the people who are protesting. These are people who last year were living in 2000+ square foot homes with two cars, two jobs, and two kids…
  • The Orange County Rescue mission has a 40+ year successful history of running projects like the proposed Summerhouse (20 Unit) project. They have a comprehensive system that they run families through to give them transitional housing, resource them, and get them back into the middle class society.
  • I think what people don’t understand, or won’t understand is that homeless families are in Temecula right now. One of the arguments was that this project would attract homeless; they are here now. And now we have no solution for families, other than local people giving of their personal homes & finances.
  • Today I’m sad. Sad because our community failed to recognize and act together to meet the need of families in our own neighborhoods. No wonder there’s no peace amongst nations – we can’t even get it right with those people we see, live with, and work with everyday.
  • I’m also sad because fear overcame hope this week in Temecula. Fear of the unknown, fear of giving, fear of opening our hands and sharing our “neighborhood” with those less fortunate, fear of living a life of meaning – helping people around us.
  • But I am hopeful, because I believe in a God of restoration and my family and I will continue to work and pray for God’s Kingdom to come on Earth…

If you are feeling like I am, I would encourage you to a) pray (for our city, the opposition, the homeless, the rescue mission) b) write a letter to the city council members showing your support for projects like Summerhouse, and c) volunteer at the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission by contacting David Jones at 951.252.1200 or email him.

*Updated*

Here’s a couple links to some other blog posts on Summerhouse:

  • James Doezie http://jamesdoezie.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/if-we-have-received-mercy/
  • Rich Kirkpatrick http://www.richkirkpatrick.com/rich_kirkpatricks_weblog/2009/08/summerhouse-will-temecula-city-council-cave-in-to-the-misinformed.html

12 thoughts on “Summerhouse Aborted

  1. James McLean

    I guess I’m just confused as to what the overwhelming opposition was. Can we get some quotes from people that opposed it? I mean that area is one of the highest for foreclosures, there is definite need, there are many that need help. Its pretty disgusting that people could sit in their comfortable houses and fold their arms and turn a blind eye. I suppose I am naive sometimes, I forget that only hearts changed by God care about what God cares about.

  2. Pingback:SUMMERHOUSE: Will Temecula City Council cave in to the misinformed? | Rich Kirkpatrick's Weblog

  3. Chris Stout

    I do think it is a shame when people come to voice opinions without knowing the full story. More things get skewed and turned into something bad when it is really meant to be good. I agree with James. I wish I could hear what the opposition was so I can research and find the answers.

    From what I understand, people are sleeping out in front of the house that is currently proposed for use. So this would take the people off the streets and out of their car for set period of time so they can have a roof over their head and get back on their feet. On top of that, we’re not talking about your average day shopping cart bum who would rather wallow in self pity then take a huge opportunity like this.

    I don’t know, like I said I don’t know all the facts. It would have been nice to be able to hear both sides of the story with sound research. Just not enough time in the day. 🙁

  4. James Doezie

    Well said, my brother. It did my soul good to read your words. As I read on, I was encouraged to hear another brother see the situation as I do. I am further encouraged in this; the victory is ours.

    Let’s press on for greater things. 🙂

    james

  5. alex

    James (McLean) – If you do a google search on “Summerhouse Temecula” you’ll probably find quite a few news articles that have some more info, and if you go to stopsummerhouse.wordpress.com you can read the opposition & comments…

    James (Doezie) – thanks man, loved your post as well.

    Chris – You hit the nail on the head. I’d say a majority of people made up their minds without getting all the facts.

  6. jamesmclean

    just got done researching and reading some of the opposition and here are my limited thoughts.
    – its seems most of their problems are political and economical. I didn’t realize that city money (and perhaps taxpayer money?) was being used to help build. With that known, they do have a right to voice their concern even if it is opposition. I’m not taking sides just making observations.
    – many of the people think it will affect the value of their homes which if your treasure is on earth that makes sense. We cannot expect hearts that are dead and cold to the gospel to care about the poor or the needy. Only a heart that has received and experienced God’s grace will be willing to give it.
    – as much as I am disappointed that this is not going forward it would be even worse if the churches reputation in the community was hurt because of misinformation and the opportunity to spread the gospel was missed because community members think there is some kind of political tie in between the city and the church.

    Ok so I am a complete outside source, I have limited understanding of it all.

  7. alex

    You actually nailed it James – the church & rescue mission would rather have an upstanding reputation than fight the community which it is trying to serve. God’s will will prevail without us hurting people.

  8. bobby

    Sorry. Must rant. That pisses me off.

    That’s the attitude that really ticks me off, especially among newer “upwardly monile” communities (sorry for the generalization, just what I’ve seen). Bothers me that you even have to justify that these would be middle class families. I mean, God forbid we help the ones who are the most down and out.

    I understand what James is saying about people being concerned about home prices and having their treasure on Earth, but that is what irritates me, and while it exists everywhere, I see it a lot more out there in newer communities where people tend to move because they can afford a bigger house.

    Even outside of the Christian community, there really are places where people care genuinely about the poor and needy. The church needs to not have a bad reputation there, yes, but at what point does it also need to declare clearly and unapologetically that someone has to care for those who are down and out? Those people are part of the community as well, and it just may have hurt the reputation of the church with them to some level. Should we as Christ followers be more more concerned about the opinion of the “have’s” than the well being of the “have not’s?”

    I understand why it happened, and I’m not saying I know the answer. It just makes me really angry.

    Sorry. End rant. You can have your comment section back now. 😉

  9. myra ferrante

    what ever happened to seperation of church and state,this is a religious organazation wanting to use tax dollars for a homeless shelter,this goes against constitution,uh we still live in america doen’t we,chech out the rescue missions web site ,look at there mission and values statement.i don’t think so if the church wants to house the homeless rancho church has plenty of land on hwy 79 to build housing for these people,let them use and support these people with there dollars,not mine

  10. alex

    I’m not a specialist in law, but I think according to state law, Temecula must have a certain number of low income housing units (I think it’s about 1400 per our current population), and I think that we are several hundred short as of today. So low income housing will happen – this was just a way to do it using a defunct property, saving precious tax dollars. Now who knows how much of public money will be used to build low income housing, and who knows where it might be built…

  11. bobby

    The purpose of separation of church and state was so that we would not end up with a corrupt government run church as was the case where the founding fathers of the country had come out of. It was not so that faith based organization could not partner with cities to better the community.

    Truth is, while I’m not a fan of the church getting real involved in government/political issues, the intent of the separation was actually to keep the state out of the church much more than it was the other way around.

Comments are closed.