During citizen participation at this week's Shawnee City Commission meeting, the city was called out for inappropriate action based on resident hearsay.

During citizen participation at this week's Shawnee City Commission meeting, the city was called out for inappropriate action based on resident hearsay.

Noting it was second-hand knowledge, Shawnee resident Monty Porter said he heard that someone from the city had called one of the local churches who feed people in the community and asked them to please stop, because it was encouraging homelessness in the community.

“That's a problem, folks,” he said. “That is a moral and ethical issue; we need to take care of those who are homeless.”

Porter said if the city is stooping to the point that it is going to churches to ask them to not answer a calling, it's a problem that needs to stop.

At the close of the meeting Mayor Richard Finley took a few minutes to discuss the concerns with Porter privately.

Shawnee City Manager Chance Allison said to his knowledge, city administration has not directed staff to contact churches to discourage helping homeless citizens in Shawnee.

“The city is currently exploring and researching avenues to build a collaborative environment between the city, business owners, nonprofits and faith-based organizations to best assist the homeless population using the resources already available in our community,” he said. “As we have just began efforts to talk with other communities and organizations more familiar with the topic, no strategies have been defined to-date.”