Homeless being evicted from makeshift shelter in Oceanside church

Grace Full Gospel Church not zoned, deemed unsafe

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Grace Full Gospel Church in Oceanside has been reaching out – too far – in the eyes of Oceanside City Hall.

Several homeless people are sheltered there but have been given notice to vacate.

Suzanne Faulhaber, the mother of two boys, is one of them.

"Coming up on Aug. 5, we're going to be on the streets – me and my children – and I'm going to get emotional again, but this pastor has helped us, brought us off the streets so we can try to have a brighter future," she said.

Pastor Fagatua Tili told 10News, "They came to me. I used my facility as a shelter for the time being and they knew. I told them this is not a residential place."

However, the church is not zoned for a shelter. Inspectors with the city of Oceanside found several violations, including fire suppression and exits.

Margery Pierce is the Oceanside Neighborhood Services Director.

"It's not properly zoned and there's potentially health and safety issues … especially dealing with fire problems," said Pierce.

Tili vows to make it work, eventually. 

"I'm trying to … I'm going to take care of the problems," he said.

That will take money and time and Faulhaber says they have nowhere to go. 

"On the street, sleeping in my car … I've made a lot of phone calls, called a lot of shelters, different places to go and if they're not domestic violence, we don't qualify," she said.  

City housing is not unaware but there is a bottom line. 

"It's dangerous for them," said Pierce. "What happens when people convert garages illegally and they don't want to put them into legal compliance and then there's a fire and lives are lost? Is it more important to be alive or homeless? It's tough."

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