A US church has said its parishioners feel unsafe due to a homeless camp setting up outside its building.
The Greek Orthodox church in Seattle, Washington claimed it has seen the number of tents on the pavement outside its building grow in recent weeks, with the issue putting the congregation off from attending church services.
Penny Peppes from The Church of the Assumption said she learned that the building is also being used for the camp’s Amazon delivery address when they had a knock on the door from one of the homeless people asking if their package had arrived.
She added that while she feels sorry for the homeless people who are living on the street, her small church is unable to meet homeless people’s needs by itself. She claimed her appeals for help from the city mayor have been unanswered.
Speaking to TV station KOMO TV, Peppes said: “We want them to get help and we want them to get better and we want them to get off the streets. We don’t have the infrastructure as a small church to do that ourselves, so we need help.”
Seattle’s homeless population has grown substantially in recent years, as well as incidents of violent crime.
The Guardian cited local research saying that the number of tents in the city had increased by 50 per cent during the summers of 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, in 2022 violent crime in the city rose by 20 per cent, a 14-year high.