South Dallas church frustrated over nearby homeless encampment

A South Dallas church that helps the homeless is getting frustrated over a nearby homeless encampment.

Pastor Chris Simmons of Cornerstone Baptist Church says the mess in the parking lot is a danger to the congregation, and finding a solution has not been easy.

Simmons and others have become well acquainted with the sights and smells of a homeless encampment growing since the city recently dismantled two larger tent cities a short distance north.

“We are dealing with needles, broken glass, human waste and we are dealing with a lot of issues that are in this neighborhood that make it hazardous for the community,” Simmons said.

Simmons says he and church members have begged for someone to at least clean up the mess -- calling the city, state, code compliance, state reps and city reps. But seemingly everybody says it’s everybody else's problem.

Church members have even tried cleaning it up themselves, but it got too dangerous.

“There's no other neighborhood in this city that would allow this, this to happen,” said church member Charles Jones.

Simmons says he isn't against the homeless themselves, but the problems homelessness creates. He hopes someone -- anyone -- will hear their cry for help. Other members agree.

“We tried all the other avenues but it just hasn't been working. We want people to know we are concerned about our neighborhood and we want you to be concerned as well,” Jones said.