When Rev. Katie Grover arrived on a recent morning at Patapsco United Methodist Church, one of two congregations she pastors in the Baltimore area, she was surprised to find a $12,000 citation attached to the door. According to the citation, the church, located on a busy street in Dundalk, Md., had violated a county regulation that prohibits “non-permitted

rooming and boarding” houses by allowing homeless individuals to sleep on church grounds. Patapsco UMC failed “to cease exterior use of property as housing units,” read the inspector’s comments. “People still living in rear of property under tarped area.” Now the church has to decide by Sunday, Dec. 18, whether to evict homeless individuals from its grounds or pay a $12,000 county fine that would severely strain the small congregation’s lean budget. READ MORE