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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lehigh Conference of Churches Sends Homeless Into Blizzard

Two years ago, I told you that the Lehigh Conference of Churches are nothing less than modern pharisees, especially when it comes to the homeless. Today, it proved my point. In a storm that is on track to eclipse the Blizzard of 1996, the warming shelter run by the Lehigh Conference of Churches closed its doors at 7:30 am and sent the individuals who had stayed there overnight out into the storm, in 20 mph winds with no bus service. Many of those people made their way by foot to Zion UCC for breakfast, which committed volunteers came to prepare and serve. Pastor Bob Stevens, upon learning that the shelter would not be open during the day, made the call to keep the church open to provide a safe place for people to stay out of the elements. 30 people stayed there, today, and would have to brave the elements, again, to get back to the shelter in order to have a place to sleep tonight.

This is unacceptable.

What can you do?

1. Follow and support Jubilee Breakfast Ministry at Zion UCC.

2. Send an email to the Executive Director of the Conference of Churches and tell him that it is not ACCEPTABLE that he risked HUMAN LIVES today by throwing homeless people onto the streets in this blizzard: jfelch@lehighchurches.org

3. Go to their FB page and give them a bad review for this inexcusable behavior
https://www.facebook.com/The-Lehigh-Conference-of-Churches…/

4. Find out if your church is a member and demand answers. They will not address their mismanagement as long as they still have strong financial support and as long as member churches are silent.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

They should have given them igloo construction training at a minimum before sending them out, that and a bottle of Wild Irish rose.

Anonymous said...

You get the impression the Lehigh Valley is a very ill patient these days.

This - just another symptom of the decay.

Anonymous said...

Allentown is a shit hole.
Our Mayor has the gall to call himself a Christian, and the "First Lady" led the effort to address homelessness.
A cruel and pathetic joke.

Anonymous said...

Where's St. Alan, voice of the poor and dispossessed?

Is the Mayor still holding his weekly poker games with Jennings?

administrator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


St. Paul's Lutheran Church will, as it has done every Sunday for over 30 years, open Sunday for breakfast at 8 AM. St. Paul's, together with Ripple, a Mennonite community that shares ministry and space with St. Paul's, will work to provide warm, dry, safe space on Sunday, just as Zion's did on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the most important thing, vote Democrat. Republicans would shove all the old and homeless out onto the streets, particularly our veterans, if given the chance.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Mayor of Allentown, who just claimed to have solved the veteran homelessness problem in Allentown, is nominally a Democrat. He is really a crony capitalist who doesn't give a shit about the less well off.

Anonymous said...

And they dont help with rent assistance like they claim, only if you are already in a shelter or haveental health problems ..... bull

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Martin Luther King Drive homeless facility built out of the
former swimming pool dressing building? City Hall publicized this a month ago.

Anonymous said...

Conference of Churches should lose its tax exempt status. This act must be a violation of their mission statement. Who could do this?

Anonymous said...

If this warming shelter is the one on Martin Luther the conduct of these people is more horrific than imaginable as there is absolutely no shelter no buildings to lean against as one walks along the road. These people were thrown out to fend for themselves.

Anonymous said...

The religion industry. WOW

Anonymous said...

Bernie, 11:25 has sunk the nail with one strike resembling the sank sunk MMO ship set to sale as start up capitol for the arena arena of the king prop and his now all counsil court jesters¿!($ With the seriousness of all city matters at hand there has to be a understanding of how the monies is destributed from god above,"FED" than to state counties and cities than there subdividable developmetal distributions as the circus prop all with tax exempt LLC's and various other entities with allentowns catch phrases and legal jargon twistZ of the same old Z with a nue nue nue ReNue stand in prop for the same old OZ'z behind the curtian¿!($
Than there is the fictisious landholdings LLC angle of which many imaginary nonprofit for profit claim residence too yet a human represtitive has not been seen as to this fictisious fact put to print and filed with the IRS¿!($
Bernie when will allentown political pot o fermenting blue juice come to a BOIL to be put in the pressure cocker with piece o bacon supplyed by bacon lady east so the boil,cyst and zit pop weakening the spinkter to let lose the juice¿!($ O the smell of a fresh feild just minured¿!($

redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Bernie, 11:25 has sunk the nail with one strike resembling the sank sunk MMO ship set to sale as start up capitol for the arena arena of the king prop and his now all counsil court jesters¿!($ With the seriousness of all city matters at hand there has to be a understanding of how the monies is destributed from god above,"FED" than to state counties and cities than there subdividable developmetal distributions as the circus prop all with tax exempt LLC's and various other entities with allentowns catch phrases and legal jargon twistZ of the same old Z with a nue nue nue ReNue stand in prop for the same old OZ'z behind the curtian¿!($
Than there is the fictisious landholdings LLC angle of which many imaginary nonprofit for profit claim residence too yet a human represtitive has not been seen as to this fictisious fact put to print and filed with the IRS¿!($
Bernie when will allentown political pot o fermenting blue juice come to a BOIL to be put in the pressure cocker with piece o bacon supplyed by bacon lady east so the boil,cyst and zit pop weakening the spinkter to let lose the juice¿!($ O the smell of a fresh feild just minured¿!($

redd for Republican
patent pending

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Recognizing you are the legal expert, if this staff worked in an animal shelter and pushed dogs out in Saturday's weather surely to die, wouldn't they be charged with cruelty?

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare said...
The Mayor of Allentown, who just claimed to have solved the veteran homelessness problem in Allentown, is nominally a Democrat. He is really a crony capitalist who doesn't give a shit about the less well off.

5:26 AM

Why didn't the mayor open city hall as emergency shelter? The first floor easily is secured and could accommodate at least one hundred with first floor rest rooms too.

Anonymous said...

For those asking, this IS the Fountain Park Pool building on MLK Drive - it is only open from 5pm-7:30am. When initially opened as a shelter, assurances were made that it would remain open during the day in extreme weather conditions. That did not happen, yesterday.

the other Ron said...

I am not their apologist, but I must note that the L.Conf. has dedicated its homelessness-related efforts to 3 things: (1) overnight shelter from the cold, wind, snow, and rain; (2) transportation when they close in the morning [a LANTA bus stop, but nothing more]; and (3) counseling, to connect homeless people with actual housing. They never committed to day-time coverage.

the other Ron said...

,,, and: at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, there was not much snow YET on the ground. Therefore, the trek (from: 9th and MLK) (to: 6th-7th-8th-9th and downtown) was not a dogsled trek (YET). Yes, homeless people were turned out (it was closing time). But the daily trek to everywhere else would have worked ok (except that LANTA wasn't running).

Anonymous said...

Somebody has to be held responsible for the lack of situational awareness.

Anonymous said...

@9:49
The GOP response to the homeless crisis has been both extremely positive and heart warming.

This partisan stuff makes me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing for a nonprofit to poorly handle a tornado aftermath, but this snowstorm was predicted for days. LCCCs entire board should have set up emergency procedures. They could have called for a coat drive, a food drive, even volunteer doctors to stop by and more. They could have done so much to help those in need.
The secured grant for this project should be revoked and LCCC forced to return the funds.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the other Ron said...
,,, and: at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, there was not much snow YET on the ground. Therefore, the trek (from: 9th and MLK) (to: 6th-7th-8th-9th and downtown) was not a dogsled trek (YET). Yes, homeless people were turned out (it was closing time). But the daily trek to everywhere else would have worked ok (except that LANTA wasn't running).

1:10 PM

You have got to be kidding.

Anonymous said...

Let them freeze in the dark.
What do they contribute to the Renaissance?

Anonymous said...

Dear Ron of Nothing More,
When LCCC sends its donation envelope, a penny will be returned and nothing more.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"What happened to the Martin Luther King Drive homeless facility built out of the
former swimming pool dressing building? City Hall publicized this a month ago.What happened to the Martin Luther King Drive homeless facility built out of the
former swimming pool dressing building? City Hall publicized this a month ago."


This is where the homeless were tossed from..

Bernie O'Hare said...

",,, and: at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, there was not much snow YET on the ground. Therefore, the trek (from: 9th and MLK) (to: 6th-7th-8th-9th and downtown) was not a dogsled trek (YET). Yes, homeless people were turned out (it was closing time). But the daily trek to everywhere else would have worked ok (except that LANTA wasn't running)."

All I can say is Wow! This comment must be from Ira or someone at Lehigh Conference of Churches. The reality is they took no steps to prepare for the storm.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's one thing for a nonprofit to poorly handle a tornado aftermath, but this snowstorm was predicted for days. LCCCs entire board should have set up emergency procedures. They could have called for a coat drive, a food drive, even volunteer doctors to stop by and more. They could have done so much to help those in need.
The secured grant for this project should be revoked and LCCC forced to return the funds. "


Agreed 100%.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"@9:49 The GOP response to the homeless crisis has been both extremely positive and heart warming.

This partisan stuff makes me want to puke."


Agreed. I will delete the usual partisan attacks, whether they come from Democrats or Republicans.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie
Recognizing you are the legal expert, if this staff worked in an animal shelter and pushed dogs out in Saturday's weather surely to die, wouldn't they be charged with cruelty?"


Any homeowner who leaves a domestic pet outside under extreme conditions could be so charged, but I am no legal expert. I have a law degree but can no longer practice law.

Anonymous said...

Reverend O'Hare now judging ecclesiastical matters. Pretty rich. The fake moralist speaks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is no ecclesiastical matter. Also, a person who makes personal attacks without identifying himself is in no position to talk about morality.

Jamie Kelton said...

I don't know why the PPL Arena is not open at night as a homeless shelter.

It was built with public money.

Anonymous said...

In my area, the storm hit about 8 hours early, and it probably did there also. They should have made emergency plans to keep it open. Idiots.

Rich Fegley said...

Who was in charge? LCCC

The Lehigh County Conference of Churches

Did they do what Jesus would do?

I'm serious. Did they do what Jesus would do?

Anonymous said...

For many years the Lehigh Conference of Churches was directed by ordained ministers but now it appears a businessman is in charge.

Anonymous said...

Thirty inches of snow fell in Allentown. Possibly an all-time record.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Kelton said...
I don't know why the PPL Arena is not open at night as a homeless shelter.


An excellent suggestion! Many cities do open their sports arenas to the public during emergencies.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"For many years the Lehigh Conference of Churches was directed by ordained ministers but now it appears a businessman is in charge."

Jack Felch is an ordained preacher and has a Ph.D. in Hypocrisy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"In my area, the storm hit about 8 hours early, and it probably did there also. They should have made emergency plans to keep it open. Idiots. "

Especially since they knew this was coming.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fegley you and jamie must have caught on qwick¿!($ It is all public monies filtered down from the top through different channels and fictisious local netWORKS put to print¿!($
Many years ago I volenteered my time before tthe Koroley experiance babbysitting homless women with innocent indigent children at Dubbs Church under the rev brown and marleen mertz¿!($ After watching them go on trips to the lands of god with the same sick shit stew here at home¿!($
My work is now a new challenge of there Z and there DAMM 3rd world nation creation¿!($
No sigNUTure needed the hashtag as they call it says it all 10/4 da and out¿!($

Anonymous said...

that is where the Conference of Churches is running a shelter, and with $25K from the City to do it. But they made NO PLANS for this blizzard after promising contingencies in planning sessions with stakeholders for emergency scenarios. So, they sent 30 people out into a blizzard yesterday morning. This is not Christianity. This is not Jesus.

Chris said...

" if this staff worked in an animal shelter and pushed dogs out in Saturday's weather surely to die, wouldn't they be charged with cruelty?"

wow. great question.

Anonymous said...

"Jack Felch is an ordained preacher..."

he's an ordained elder in the PCUSA, which, sadly, doesn't mean very much. the PCUSA is supposed to be somewhat progressive, but...

Anonymous said...


"Why didn't the mayor open city hall as emergency shelter? The first floor easily is secured and could accommodate at least one hundred with first floor rest rooms too."

This is a good question. Some cities do things like this. For its part, as the Commission to End Chronic Homelessness was crumbling in on itself, people acting in good faith from the community, from City Hall, and other organizations worked hard to make this year's shelter happen. The City doesn't run the shelter, the Conference of Churches does. I'm quite certain the stakeholders at City and around the planning table when all of this came together would never have believed then that what transpired yesterday would ever be allowed to happen on the watch of the organization trusted to lead the shelter. But it did.

I believe there are people at City who are desperate to do the right thing. I think this blindsided many of them.

Anonymous said...

i hope everyone does more than just complain about this heartless act. thanks Bernie for making this public.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I deserve no thanks. I am merely passing on information supplied to me by some of those involved. I agree with the reader who says this blindsided the City. They were not expecting this organization to be that bad and to make no contingency plans. Felch and Faro both should resign.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting to say the least. More wasted cash, garbage tax exemptions and deals cut with a corrupt city govt. And people wonder why this scam didn't work out. These so called leaders, and I use that term loosely, could careless about Christ and or helping the homeless.
BTW, this happens more than people know. It just isn't reported. In fact it happens on a national level when political, trade and other conventions come to town. The cities of St Louis , Denver, LA, San Francisco is famous for this slight of hand.
I traveled to these cities many times for business and once the "convention" hits the town, the local homeless people are rounded up and whisked off top the out lying parts of their cities, away from the convention goers, with a food coupon , a movie ticket coupon and some were even given hair cut coupons. When the big conventions are not in these towns, it is business as usual for the homeless, mentally ill and other people who are in need of obvious assistance, including our beloved Vets. This is very disturbing. Follow the money.

Anonymous said...

Jamie Kelton said "I don't know why the PPL Arena is not open at night as a homeless shelter". It was built with public money.
Using your logic, city hall, the public libraries, public schools, the DMV, and other govt entities should be opened up to the homeless? I would love for city hall to be used for the homeless. Fantastic logic to say the least.

Anonymous said...

@9:24 Why not ?

Anonymous said...

WHAT KIND OF SCUMBAGS WOULD PUT HOMELESS PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREET DURING A BLIZZARD?

THE NEED TO STOP ALL DONATION MONIES AND CONVENE A GRAND JURY. TO THE MAN WHO HEADS THIS ORGANIZATION THAT DID THAT TO THOSE HUMAN BEINGS MAY YOU ROT IN HELL.

Anonymous said...

Faro has relocated to France.
He's proven himself to be a piece of shit.
At least he had the decency to leave the country.

Anonymous said...

9:24: yes, it is a great idea to use public spaces whenever possible. They do this in NYC on Code Blue situations and it works.

Anonymous said...

Rich Fegley said...
Who was in charge? LCCC

The Lehigh County Conference of Churches

Did they do what Jesus would do?

I'm serious. Did they do what Jesus would do?

6:21 PM

Mr. Fegley,
Read you comments a lot. You seem an unofficial Allentown leader Many people
are shy or afraid to speak at city hall for any number of reasons including loss of job. Wouldn't you speak out against this Warming Shelter contract being awarded to LCCC and insist it is resubmitted. LCCC does not deserve this project. They have turned into an unattractive entity. LCCC is decades old and like many organizations that once were grand, may have slipped in focus and good deeds. For example, the rent assistance program someone above wrote about is a situation others have also endured. Beg for the money.

Anonymous said...

$25K from the city. LCCC return the money and go away.

Anonymous said...

it was just a year or two ago that the news dropped of hundreds of thousands of dollars being stolen by Conference staff from homeless or otherwise impoverished people. there were no check and balances in place to prevent one rouge employee (if that's truly all it was...hmmm) from stealing from clients that the Conference was supposed to be protecting. That employee is gone, but has the culture changed? If so, has it changed for the better? Or has it gone from lax to authoritarian, with no room for collaboration with the community, with volunteers, and no flexibility to do something that Jesus very clear demand be done. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Bill White is writing about the moral imperatives of not parking in a spot someone else dug out during a blizzard. Is he writing about what is going on with the shelter, or about the moral imperatives of not letting homeless people freeze to death?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill has no moral obligation, so to speak, to cover every moral outrage that infuriates us. I myself don't like being told that I should be writing about this or that. I'll write about what I want to write about, and so should he. Otherwise, it comes out all wrong. Someone slammed me for not writing about the Traci Barnes lawsuit, even though i have nothing to add to what Peter Hall wrote in his thorough story. I once slammed Bill for not covering local news more, but that's unfair of me. Many of those who read him and like him do so precisely bc of those other stories. Many people are concerned about the commute into the city and marking a spot, so his blog is topical. But i disagree completely with his conclusions. First, when there is snow on the ground, the mistake most people make is to drive too fast. Yet there is Bill, complaining about someone who was driving too slowly for him. That's wrong. Second, as annoying as it is to have your spot taken, it does impede plow trucks making a second or third pass. Third, Bullfeathers? Who the hell says that?

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare scoops the dailies again - MCall just published this story by Assad, 3 days after you. Great work! You get a major award - accolades from an anonymous person.

Bernie O'Hare said...

While I appreciate the compliment, it is undeserved. The persons who blew the whistle are in Zion Church, and this was quickly pounced on by many good people. I must say that Allentown City Council was very quick to jump on this as well. I merely passed along the story. If anything, I can be criticized for not getting the viewpoint of the Conference of Churches. But in the past, when I tried to contact Felch, I was ignored.

Anonymous said...

Ira left for France. He might be reprehensible but he's no fool.