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Church and GFPD collaborate on addressing 'repeated issues'

First United Methodist Church in downtown Great Falls
First United Methodist Church in downtown Great Falls
Posted at 9:12 AM, Nov 15, 2022

The Great Falls Police Department said on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, that Reverend Skerritt of First United Methodist Church recently met with GFPD officers to discuss "repeated issues" occurring on church property at 610 Second Avenue North.

Among the issues were a homeless camp on church property several months ago, and assaults on homeless people in the area.

Church and GFPD collaborate on addressing 'repeated issues'

The meeting included Chief Newton and Captain Schaffer of the GFPD, Reverend Skerritt, and a member of the church's Board of Directors.

The GFPD said in a news release that the meeting was “positive and productive,” and the agencies agreed on the following steps:

  • The church plans to refocus on their ministry, and provide services to those who need it.
  • Implement processes to criminally trespass individuals from their property who are gathering there to engage in criminal activity. Reverend Skerritt requested GFPD’s assistance in this area.

The GFPD said:

FUMC has taken positive steps forward by working with GFPD to address the behaviors of some individuals on their property. This allows FUMC and GFPD to collectively take a more proactive role. We plan to keep the community apprised of changes to this partnership, as some peripheral issues/concerns may arise. FUMC plans to have staff at the church to provide services, including referrals to other entities focused on assisting the homeless population.
Both the GFPD and the FUMC recognize criminal enforcement is not the answer to homelessness; our collaborative goal is to remove those individuals who have no interest in FUMC or any services they provide. We anticipate the no trespassing notifications and enforcement to begin within the next few days.

Reverend Skerritt is moving forward with securing some areas of the property, posting “no trespassing” signs, and trespassing people who engage in criminal behavior and/or contribute to problems in the area.

We will update you if we get more information.


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First United Methodist Church "homeless outreach ministry"
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