Church unfair: squatters

Police talk to squatters at the Uniting Church property.d417777
Police talk to squatters at the Uniting Church property.d417777

The group claims the church is being un-Christian by telling them to leave.

Merle, a friend and relative of the group who was not living at the premises, said squatting in the home had kept them off the streets.

‘Before they were living on the streets, being here has kept them clean and out of trouble,” she said.

‘Police come around and check on them too.’

Chelsea, a member of the group said they had kept the house clean. ‘It’s a better house than it was, we have made it a home,” she said.

‘Where’s the Christianity?’

Jason said he had finally been able to sleep because he felt safe.

Fred said the group just wanted to live quietly and the house was looked after.

‘Everyone needs a roof over their head,’ he said.

‘We made something out of nothing, we want to make it even more of a home with gardens.’

Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of WA Moderator, the Reverend Ron Larkin said the Uniting Church strongly refuted the claims. He said the church had ongoing homeless programs to help those in need.

‘Locally, FinUCare, a free community service of the Mandurah and South Mandurah Uniting Churches established in 2004, caters for those experiencing financial difficulties.

‘FinUCare is based in Mandurah and provides an outreach to all consumers in the Peel region.’

Senior-Sergeant Dean Snashall said homelessness was a local issue that had noticeably increased in the past 12 months.

‘Police do not condone the practise of squatting and will always apply the law and can often result in trespassing charges,” he said.

He advised homeowners with vacant houses to safeguard against the house being used as a squat.