Dallas Church has Homeless Safe Zone in Parking Lot

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DALLAS (AP) - A downtown Dallas church has opened its parking lot to the homeless as a nighttime safe zone.

As many as 150 people who sleep on cardboard mats or blankets are under the nightly protection of a security guard outside First Presbyterian Church.

Two portable toilets are provided.

Dallas in the past few years passed laws banning panhandling and limiting feeding of the homeless to designated areas.

The Reverend Joe Clifford says his church's safe zone is a temporary solution until more options are available.

Deputy Police Chief Vince Golbeck says he doesn't really condone the safe zone, but understands that the church has its mission.

But Golbeck says authorities must enforce the law.