Point of Connection helps make its community safer. By providing shelter, assistance, and training at no cost to the taxpayer, Point of Connection is contributing to the overall well-being of its community.
“In transformational housing the goal is to give a person a place to live, but also to give them a new start with life in a positive direction,” said Neal Isley, President of Point of Connection.
Keisha Russell, Associate Counsel for First Liberty Institute, added “Ministries like Point of Connection help make communities safer. We’re confident the Planning Commission and Wallowa County will recognize what a tremendous service Point of Connection provides.” Russell continued, “The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) protects religious ministries like Point of Connection from government action that would burden their religious mission.”
Point of Connection has used its facility in the past, in accordance with the County’s previous approval as a “community center.” Neal Isley hosted events for up to two hundred members of the public and encountered no problems accommodating the parking demands associated with such events. Now, POC is merely looking to house 5-15 residents. This change required County approval. Wallowa County originally denied the conditional use permit application. After an appeal was filed, the county agreed to reconsider and the appeal was dropped. POC’s conditional use permit application is now being resubmitted to the Planning Commission with the assistance of First Liberty Institute and Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.
First Liberty Institute and its network attorneys at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt will monitor the process every step of the way to ensure County officials adhere to all federal and state laws, including RLUIPA which protect Point of Connection’s right to use its property in furtherance of its religious mission.