For nearly three decades, Debbie Nall has opened her home to those in need, but she recently was told by a city notice she could face large fines if she continued to do so.
The woman from Lawrence, Kan., said she frequently helps the homeless, military members and victims of domestic violence. In the 26 years she has lived in her three-story home, Nall told KCTV-TV she has helped more than 90 people when they needed it most by letting them take temporary residence in six of her bedrooms.
“Usually it’s abused women, displaced women or people who have gotten out of the hospital who don’t want to die in the hospital,” she told the news station. “If people only knew the blessing that comes out of it.”
As it turns out, Nall taking in a number of guests for a certain period of time is in violation of a city ordinance. KCTV reported the city of Lawrence ordinance does not allow a homeowner to put up more than three unrelated guests in their home in a 90-day period. Nall said the city approached her after a complaint was made by a neighbor.
City officials were not available to comment on this issue due to the Thanksgiving holiday, KCTV reported.
Nall’s daughter doesn’t understand how her mother is violating an ordinance.
“These are her guests. The house is not overflowing. If you have eight bedrooms, own your home, how can the city impose fines for opening your home to guests?” Nall’s daughter wrote to KCTV. “Not renters. She takes no money. She asks for no help. She has worked her whole life to pay her house off and now the city fines her heavily for opening her doors.”
Nall told the news station, in general, she’s not against the ordinance but hopes the city will make an exception for her so she “can continue to do what I’m doing.”
Watch the station’s report about the situation:
Nall currently has her house on the market as for sale by owner. She might sell her home and move out of the city to avoid any ordinance violations.