TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal lawsuit has been filed by City Walk Urban Mission against the city of Tallahassee.
In January, the Tallahassee Leon Planning Commission denied City Walk's permit to operate as a homeless shelter.
The legal battle goes back to March 2021 when City walk was ordered by the cityof Tallahassee to stop sheltering the homeless.
The current lawsuit details the religious beliefs of City Walk and states their mission is a "form of free speech protected by the first amendment."
"Operating a homeless mission for this group is the expression of their religious faith so it's inseparable," said City Walk attorney Gary Edinger. "They're not just providing social services, they're ministering to the souls of the homeless. So that involves speech activities and also an expression of religious faith and the place we go to have those rights vindicated is federal court."
Edinger adds the federal process will likely take about a month to complete and that the requested injunction would prohibit the City of Tallahassee from enforcing discretionary zoning against City Walk.
"We expect that they will find full vindication of their federal rights, their constitutional rights in the federal court," Edinger said. "But they're also championing larger and broader rights. So the free speech and the free exercise rights that we're championing in this case are for the benefit of everybody in Tallahassee."
Below is the full lawsuit:
This is a developing story.