Neighbors Oppose Delaware Church’s Plan to Give Tiny Houses to Homeless

NBC 10

A Delaware church’s plan to give tiny houses to the homeless has sparked a backlash among neighbors.

Pastor Aaron Appling of Victory Church West in Dover, Delaware initially came up with a plan to develop a neighborhood of tiny houses for homeless people in the area. The houses would sit in a field the church owns and the church would rent them to the homeless for only a few hundred dollars a month.  

“We would be seeing 15 houses here in this open field,” Pastor Aaron said. “A transition to a place that would be similar to what you would have in regular society. Your own place.”

Church leaders told NBC10 that those who ended up living in the tiny houses would have to maintain their home and work to pay their rent money. The tiny house cul-de-sac would be gated and monitored on a 24-hour basis. Any resident who failed to follow the rules would have to move out, according to church leaders.

When news of the church’s plan spread to the surrounding community however, many neighbors opposed it.

“It has really nothing to do with being anti-homeless,” said Thomas Farrington, who lives near the church.

Residents told NBC10 they believe the Appling of Victory Church has been a bad neighbor and has allowed homeless people to sleep in the church at night. Pastor Appling admitted to NBC10 the church allowed the homeless to sleep there even though they’re really not supposed to.

“We feel spiritually obligated to help,” Pastor Appling said.

Neighbors say police are often in the area breaking up fights between the homeless people and that the music and yelling can often get loud. One neighbor told NBC10 he isn’t convinced the church would put quality people in the tiny houses.

“We are not talking about a mother and a couple of children who she lost her job,” Farrington said. “We’re talking about people that are chronically homeless. They can walk, they can talk, and they can carry a collection plate. But they can’t get a job?”

Roughly 100 homeless people seek shelter every night in Dover. In order to build the village, organizers would have to persuade Kent County to make zoning changes.

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7 thoughts on “Neighbors Oppose Delaware Church’s Plan to Give Tiny Houses to Homeless

  1. “They can walk, they can talk, and they can carry a collection plate. But they can’t get a job?”

    Obviously we’re hearing from someone who hasn’t been job-hunting in the last decade.

    I don’t think there’s much you can do with a population who’s been taught to worry more about their property values than other human beings.

    “Greed is good, as the movie tells us, so screw the rest of the human race as long as I can throw another nickle on my pile”

    We NEED the money to become worthless so people can have some value once again. When these rich scumbags become broke overnight, they might be able to recalibrate their moral compass, if they’re not hanged before that happens.

    1. I have a neighbor just like that that comes down from Idaho to winter, luckily they just put their house on the market, funny thing is though they priced their home 26k higher then any has ever sold for previously and the houses are all built exactly the same in the area. They are supposedly loaded yet so greedy to price their home 25% higher in a 46 year old department of agriculture subdivision (it was a low income tract with predatory loans that caused it to get run down until a developer flipped most of the homes, now because of the market all the homes have been remolded, I just finished mine).

    2. “We NEED the money to become worthless so people can have some value once again.”
      YA GOT THAT RIGHT………………………………………….

  2. There’s a typo in the article.
    It should read….
    “Neighbors Oppose Delaware Churches Plan To Give Tiny Hoses to Homeless”.
    Evidently taking a homeless cold shower with a free tiny hose in front of a church is frowned upon in society.

  3. The battle between the homeless, backed by the Victory Church pastor and an advocate, has been going on since last summer. I understand that the Kent County zoning department offered the homeless a good place, where they could hookup plumbing what not and is legal. Yet, the pastor the advocate decline the offer, and continue to attack windmills. Another problem – and I believe the reports from neighbors – is the homeless incessantly making excessive noise, etc. The pastor should take more responsibility for the homeless causing problems, and he and the advocate should take advantage of the county’s gracious offer. If they would have, instead of being anal, they could have had a community of tiny homes built by now, like Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon. I’m an unofficial advocate for the homeless in Bucks County, PA, and when the establishment boots the homeless from a site, they do not offer them an alternative as is the case in Dover. The homeless in Dover don’t know how good they have it. In Bucks County the problem sometimes is individual homeless who create problems for everyone else. A homeless guy who verbal and physically attacked people, sending one guy to the ground, cutting the back of his head, is in the Bucks County prison now. Some official advocates and at least one host gave this kind of behavior a pass, or at least just slapped the drunk on the wrist. Others and I pressed the issue and now the community meals are 99 percent drama free. This is what the pastor and the advocate need to do in their policies and attitude towards their homeless.

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