ACLU to Present House of Hagar Case on Monday in Wheeling

WHEELING –American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia Legal Director Jamie Crofts remains hopeful officials will not compel the closure of Kate Marshall’s House of Hagar, despite complaints from neighbors about activity at the East Wheeling property.

Crofts is expected to make her case on preserving the special use permit city leaders granted last year for Marshall to operate a Catholic Worker house at her home last year during the Wheeling Planning Commission meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday in council chambers on the first floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St.

“As far as I’m aware, Kate (Marshall) is in compliance with the provisions of the special use permit,” Crofts said.

Crofts serves as legal director for ACLU West Virginia. She represents Marshall in the dispute involving alleged foul language, debris and other problems in the area of the home, located at 114 14th St.

“I’ll be there to give a little bit of the facts. Kate will then talk about her faith,” Crofts said.

The house’s website states, “You don’t have to live in our house to be part of our community!” Also, according to catholicworker.org, the organization’s mission includes such activities as feeding the hungry, offering hospitality to the homeless, caring for the sick and comforting the sorrowful.

City officials said Marshall agreed to follow a list of 16 provisions in operating her house last year. There are no reports of violations for most of these, but there are complaints from neighbors about alleged problems with visitor parking and smoking, whether the house is serving meals without Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department clearance and if the property is being kept reasonably clean of litter and foul language.

“I am hopeful we are going to be able to work something out in this,” Crofts said.

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