Church sues St. Paul over homeless shelter restrictions

A St. Paul church is suing the city in federal court over strict conditions on a drop-in day center for homeless and low-income residents.

The lawsuit filed Friday says the city is infringing on First Lutheran Church's religious right to minister to the poor and homeless by placing restrictions on the shelter called Listening House. Restrictions include limiting operation hours and number of people served.

The city implemented the additional 14 conditions in October after neighbors complained about loud, intoxicated and threatening individuals coming and going from the shelter.

The shelter's been in the church's basement since last year. Listening House filed a similar lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court last week.

City Attorney Lyndsey says her office hasn't yet received the lawsuit but recognizes the shelter's importance.