Did a simple sign fix the problem in downtown GF?
By: Pat Frisch
Comment at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The problems with the homeless trespassing on the property of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Great Falls appears to have taken a turn for the good, many would say. The church has posted no trespassing signs and those signs now allow police to enforce the removal of people from the property. The signs were posted this week. And the pictures below will already show you some of the before and after pictures.
This picture was taken in October
You can see all the tents set up along the south side of the church.
Here is a picture taken today, Nov 15, 2022 of the same area.
looks like trespassers are gone and the cleanup has begun.
Here are a couple more before and after shots (below).
This pic taken around October 15, 2022
This pic was taken today, Nov 15, 2022
Great Falls Police say they have already been contacting people on church property and enforcing the no trespassing laws. It was 560 KMON that told you last week that the new trespassing signs would be put up to help police remove people from the property. In looking at the church property today there were no homeless camping. This issue has been going on for more than a year ever since the church decided to let homeless people stay on the property. That lead to a battle with city officials who wanted the property cleaned up after having to respond to a countless number of calls to the property and from repeated complaints from people who lived in the area.
Now to my thoughts
this has been going on way to long and city officials gave the church way too much leniency. As soon as people started complaining city officials should have done something to rectify the issue. Who in the city is to blame? Was it police or maybe the city attorney? That is yet to be determined. I think the city needs to be more aggressive on things like this before it gets out of control. And it got out of control! Just my opinion.
Now to my thoughts on the church. I know you are trying to do good, but when your place turns into a dump you need to fix the problem right away, not let it drag on. You need to be a good neighbor. There are a heck of a lot of people that live in that area and they paid a lot for those neighboring houses. There are people that have invested in businesses in that area and were thinking, heck I will build my business here next to a church, that should be safe. How wrong were they? My guess is several businesses in that area suffered for the past year and a half as the church did nothing. And what I find even more interesting is, that it only took a sign (no trespassing) to apparently clean the place up in two days. Why wasn't this solution used, say a year ago?
I wonder if things will continue in what many will say is a positive direction?
One last thing, lets see if we can clean up that dumpster on church property. It is disgusting.
Dumpster picture from early November.