Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Long Island has cancelled its plans to house immigrant children in response to public backlash. Rev. Dennis Walker had previously agreed to take in 40 children between the ages of four and 17 as they were in a time of transition.
The program was facilitates by Lutheran Social Services of New York. Walker had offered to temporarily house the children which he called the “Christian thing” to do. In exchange, the church would be given $8,000 to $10,000 per month for three years and federal funds would pay for a church renovation.
The plan was abandoned after community members were strongly against the idea.
One resident said, "I have two little kids. Who's to say my house is going to be safe?"
Another community compared the church to “a hotel right next to my house.”
Though Walked said he hoped "people will reconsider in a more rational light," the church’s plan was officially dismissed at a community meeting. Holy Cross has now missed the deadline to apply for the program.
Publication date: August 20, 2014