A non-profit legal defense organization is pleased that leaders
of one California city have ruled against their own planning
commission and sided with a church that ministers to the
In December, the Placerville Planning Commission voted against a
previous recommendation to approve a conditional use permit to Mercy Way Rescue
Mission and Church, even accusing the organization that
serves the homeless of "masquerading as a church."
Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), explains that
that decision placed the church at the brink of shutdown.
"This small church in Placerville, California, has every right
to be able to exist and serve the people of that community,
including the homeless," he contends.
"No church should ever be discriminated against simply because
of the people that they serve. The homeless need ministry just like
anyone else, and this church should be protected."
When PJI sent the city a letter pointing out the legal
violations, Placerville overruled the planning commission and
agreed to allow Mercy Way to continue its ministry.