- Associated Press - Thursday, September 17, 2015

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - The city of La Crosse says a church is violating city ordinances by letting homeless people sleep in tents overnight in its courtyard.

The La Crosse Tribune (https://bit.ly/1NFmQYv ) reports the city’s chief building inspector sent a letter to Wesley United Methodist Church ordering it to stop the practice. The Rev. Forrest Clark, the church’s interim pastor, says the order amounts to “government interference” with the church’s “mission and ministry.”

Clark says the church’s congregation decided more than a year ago to let the homeless use the courtyard as a safe space to sleep. The city’s letter says doing that violates ordinances limiting the use of tents and regulating campgrounds.

Craig Snyder, who heads the fire department’s building safety division, says the city took action in response to complaints from residents and a business.

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Information from: La Crosse Tribune, https://www.lacrossetribune.com

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