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Local church helping the homeless may be forced to stop services due to violations

Life Restored Church has served those in need for four years now but fears possible shutdown of services

SAN ANTONIO — Life Restored Church has been helping people in need for four years now. 

"We provide food, clothing, showers, and temporary shelter when it's below 30 (degrees)," Pastor Alex Fleming said. 

The church serves 400 meals a week and 180 free showers a month. 

Pastor Fleming told KENS 5 three years ago the church converted a shed into showers. He said it was not an issue until recently with a Code Enforcement Officer with the City of San Antonio Development Services Department said the church was in violation of ordinance.

"We raised money $12,000 to build and to get it according to their satisfaction then they said we have to rezone for human services," Pastor Fleming said. "We serve humanity so why would we have to rezone for that? but anyway they said even if I do I still might not be able to get the permits pulled."

The City's Development Services Department confirmed with KENS 5 Wednesday morning the church does not have the proper zoning or permits for the services provided but did not say how long the Church had to make the changes.

"I don't know what's going on, but we as a church we are not going to let anybody bully us or stop us or infringe on our religious freedom to help the poor at no cost to the City," Fleming said. 

KENS 5 received this official statement from the department Wednesday afternoon: “The first issue that needs to be addressed is that the property is not properly zone for what the church is trying to do. Our goal is health and safety, regardless who will be inside these facilities. We want proper safe water and sewer. There is no question the goal to provide these services for the homeless is well intended, but regulations must be followed.”

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