SAN ANTONIO- She's been living on the streets to bring attention to homelessness, but Sunday night a local pastor stayed behind bars.
Reverend Lorenza Andrade Smith had a warrant out for her arrest, because she was cited for sleeping on a park bench, which she says proves her point, that the homeless have few places to lay their heads.
“I got a ride to Milam Park, got left there July first one year ago and then I had to ask myself where am I going to sleep, where am I going to eat, where am I going to go to the restroom,” explained Reverend Lorenza Andrade Smith.
Andrade Smith is ordained by the United Methodist Church. Her mission for the past year has been carried out on the streets of San Antonio, and that is to understand the plight of the homeless and the needy.
“It's been a huge learning curve and very difficult physically, health wise, mentally and spiritually,” added Pastor Lorenza.
Along her journey the pastor has discovered what she calls an unjust judicial system for the poor.
She said, “This will be the second time I’m in jail for that same ticket and I’m just trying to survive out in the streets like hundreds of others here in San Antonio”.
The pastor was arrested for sleeping on a park bench in what the law describes as "camping in public". Reverend Lorenza was sentenced to community service at a shelter. It’s a sentence she chose not to carry out.
“In protest to the criminalization to the poor and marginalized I refrained from completing that service, a warrant was issued for my arrest,” said Andrade Smith.
She was then given the opportunity to pay for a $150 fine, which she replied, “Obviously I am unable to pay for that fine so another warrant was issued”.
But Reverend Lorenza stands by her decision to go against the law to bring awareness about the poor and to walk in their shoes.
“Unfortunately I think our laws and ordinances are based on continuing to stack up fines and more judgments”.
At last check, the pastor was still jailed late Sunday night.