You would think going to church wouldn’t pose a security risk, but some Detroiters beg to differ. On the city’s West Side, between Seven and Eight Mile Roads near Telegraph, rests a tightnit community that has grown tired of vagrants who frequent a park near their homes. On any given day or night, prostitutes, drug dealers and other trouble makers can be seen hanging out in Fargo-Fenton Playground. Too often, they leave behind syringes, liquor bottles, and used condom, according to one resident interview by Fox 2 News Detroit.
Other residents told the television station that they believe the shady people hanging around the park are connected to a string of recent home break-ins in the neighborhood–especially during church hours.
Watch Detroit residents talk about worshiping at your own risk:
Here is more of what some residents told Fox 2 about break-ins during church hours:
“Come home and find that their windows have been pried open,” said a resident. “You don’t know who’s going to attack you next.”
“Your hands are tied basically as a citizen. You really are at the mercy of the criminals.”
“We have to defend ourselves against the criminals who want to just singly take over,” said another neighbor. “People are afraid, and they’re getting older, and the kids now beginning to move them away.”
Things have gotten so far out of control, the criminals are just so rotten to the core, so calculated and callous, one neighbor said, “We’re being targeted when we go to church.”
Church on Sunday for some is no longer a staple in their routine because they say now it’s come down to worshiping at your own risk.
“Come home and everything should be fine, but when you come home and everything you’ve worked hard for is ripped apart and then you’ve got to pay to repair the damage that was done to your home, it will deter you from going because you want to try to protect what you have because no one else is going to do it for you,” said a resident.
“People are trying to police themselves and trying to make sure that their families are safe the best way they can. If that means that we might not have to go to church today, God understands why you’re not going.”
“Pray at home and hope that they can get some forgiveness that way.”
A police spokesperson told the station that they will pay more attention to the area.