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Christian group claims county violated its rights - abc27 WHTM

Christian group claims county violated its rights

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A group that offers food and scripture to the homeless says Dauphin County officials are violating its First Amendment rights.

The non-profit Christian group Isaiah 61 Ministries says it was booted off courthouse property after working with the homeless there for the past five years.

"The county's basically come up to them and said they're not welcome in any area any longer and threatened them with loitering," said Randall Wenger, an attorney representing Isaiah 61.

Dauphin County officials say they've been working with the group to find a new location because their presence on county property had created a health and safety issue for county workers and for the other tenants of the county complex.

"We've had escalating events of urination and defecation on the county property," said Dauphin County Deputy Chief Clerk Scott Burford.

"That's where we need to be," said April Ocasio, the President and Founder of Isaiah 61 Ministries. "Where people can easily access us and we're just asking that the County Commissioners would respect our right to exercise what we believe in."

Attorneys for Isaiah 61 hope this can be settled without going inside the courthouse.

 

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