Church agency backs off bid to put family out of their home

The church and social service agency that would have left one family homeless in order to buy a home for another is now offering to make amends.

The Dream Center, an inner-city church and social service program run by television evangelist Joyce Meyer, was looking to buy the house that Marilyn Hopgood rents in the 4800 block of Margaretta Avenue. That would have put Hopgood, her three kids and her two grandchildren on the street.

The plight of Hopgood, a former Dream Center employee who was fired last year, was detailed in the Post-Dispatch on Friday.

The center at that time said it wanted to buy the house for a homeless family. On Monday, the church said it has temporarily backed off the purchase.

“The last thing we’re going to do is make someone homeless for another homeless family,” said center spokesman Mark Sutherland.

Sutherland said Monday that the center is offering to help Hopgood find a new place to live and to help pay her first six months of rent elsewhere.

Hopgood, who had moved into the home hoping to buy it, has refused to leave since her landlord asked her to last month. She remained steadfast Monday even with the Dream Center’s offer of help.

“I want to keep my house,” she said. “That was the original plan.”

While Hopgood looks for financing to buy the home, her landlord, Steve Stillwell, is suing for possession, his attorney said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, USA
July 12, 2004
Adam Jadhav

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday July 13, 2004.
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