The Ferndale First Baptist Church is losing the hard won South Oakland Shelter that was slated to move from Royal Oak, Michigan. SOS’s new Executive Director Ryan Hertz pulled out of the deal with First Baptist Church of Ferndale. SOS had already begun demolition to reconfigure the church building into a temporary homeless shelter. The South Oakland Shelter was not a welcome addition in some Ferndale residents views. Several residents had sued to keep SOS from opening a shelter in the church last year. Residents had lost their lawsuit. The church, not being zoned as commercial, was being granted a special permission to use part of its structure as a shelter.
Now Herz has terminated the agreement saying that Ferndale’s First Baptist Church wasn’t adequate for SOS needs. Herz is seeking an already commercially zoned building and hoping to find one large enough to accomodate up to 200 people. Hertz says that SOS will save money building in an already authorized commercial site. Hertz is new to SOS and now had accrued a financial debt to repair demolition work from the previously begun church remodeling.