FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -Submitted by Archishop Lee Bowling, of the Church of God of the Apostolic Faith
(10-21-22) Yes, we plan on filing suit naming the Health Dept, Police dept, Mayor’s office and city officials all in the suit. This is no doubt violations of their ( the homeless) First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the homeless that the city of Greenville, Ohio backed down from enforcing 22-102 ordinance passed on 9-6-2022.
My office and the attorneys are continuing to monitor the situation. We cannot and will not allow this city to overreach their powers- For our council to overreaching their powers to bully the homeless, treat them like DOGS and not care about them no more than this is barbaric and evil at the core.
On September 6th the Greenville, Ohio City Council approved an ordinance concerning unauthorized encampments on public and/or private property, as it tends to endanger the health and safety of those engaged in such camping, as well as the general public.
From September 6th Greenville City Council Agenda – (inserted by the Outlook)
From September 6th Greenville City Council Minutes – (inserted by the Outlook)
Negative stereotypes can increase discrimination, violence, and hate crimes against people who are homeless. This is why I call upon Greenville Council members John Baumgardner, President, Clarence Godwin, 1st Ward, Delores Ely, 2nd Ward, Leon Rogers, 3rd Ward, Chris Norris, 4th Ward, Brian Brown, At Large, Doug Schmidt, At Large, Jeff Whitaker, At Large to do the right thing!
They Should ALL act quickly to reverse the ordinance they push though so quickly that was not an emergency and did not allow us the citizens the right to right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The City declares “Public place” means any area of property, either publicly owned or to which the public has access. The term shall specifically include, but not be limited to, a street, sidewalk, alley, park, playground, parking lot or garage, the doorway or entrance to any building that fronts such a location, and a motor vehicle that is parked or idling in such a location. They pattern the ordinance after CINCINNATI a democrat run city that speaks volumes.
City officials cannot criminalize and ban their way out of this crisis using an unconstitutional ordinance, and should be working to find proactive, safe, and just housing solutions for all its residents,
As the archbishop of The Church of God I am willing to work with the city, but we cannot allow what they are doing to go unchallenged.
Those who claimed to be Christian on the council shame on you. This goes against what our Lord teaches us in the word.
The city of Greenville is violating the laws of the right to equal treatment. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (“ADA”), prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by both public and private entities, whether or not they receive Federal financial assistance.
What the city of Greenville did is enacted Local ordinances and laws THAT explicitly target homeless people, by prohibiting certain activities in public spaces, they serve to criminalize homelessness. This is a clear violation of the civil protection laws. ordinances in which activities, such as camping in a public park or sleeping in one’s vehicle, include police “sweeps” of areas and the homeless are arrested in an effort to“clean up” the neighborhood is a major lawsuit waiting to happen. What is next Greenville?
Individuals or groups to share food creates a “dependency” of homeless so we should be arrested and jailed? The prejudice and discrimination of the homeless is unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated by my office we will seek justice for each and every person in the city who is targeted by the city.
Local governments are not free to trample the rights of people just because they are experiencing poverty or living without housing. The Supreme Court has held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to criminalize homelessness based on long-standing legal principles that people cannot be punished for their status.
From Greenville City Council minutes of October 4th–(inserted by the Outlook)
As federal courts have made clear at all levels across the country, treating homelessness like a crime is unconstitutional under many circumstances. In spite of this, Greenville thinks it is above the law. Homelessness is traumatic enough as it is without the worry of being removed from property that serves as your home or arrested or losing your livelihood.
Homelessness doesn’t care that you fought wars. Homelessness doesn’t care if you’re white or black. Homelessness doesn’t care if you’re Male or female, or what political party you belong to. My prayer tonight is that God would raise up a people that have a heart for homelessness. Providing safe, supportive, and welcoming environments for the homeless in our mission here at the office of the bishop. We the church have a responsibility to provide both physical and spiritual support to those in need.
Discrimination on the basis of homelessness runs rampant throughout our city, from law enforcement to private businesses, medical, social services, churches, community leaders and council must passing this legislation I am calling for that is basically a civil rights amendment called homeless bill of rights that will help eliminate discrimination against homeless people simply because they are homeless. Discrimination, prejudice, and injustice must end in the city against the homeless. Today, our team includes attorneys with lived expertise of homelessness, poverty, racism and other forms of discrimination, seeks to end the administration arresting our homeless and demands Housing not handcuffs.
Ronald Reagan, once said –
“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right.There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order –or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path.”
We must end this barbaric and evil agenda in this city in targeting the homeless just because they are homeless. Dogs are treated better than what they are being treated.