02/24/2012 10:46 am ET

Punki McNamee, Ore. Woman, Faces Court For Sheltering Homeless People In Backyard

When homeless people in the small town of Estacada, Ore., have nowhere to go, they turn to one woman's backyard that's been a refuge for years. But neighbors are getting fed up with the shantytown and have signed a petition to shut down her operation, KVAL reports.

Those who live near Punki McNamee say that her "guests" are drinking and smoking near an elementary school and are causing property values to drop. But McNamee says she's simply doing her part to help out, according to KVAL .

"If they don't like what I'm doing," McNamee told the news source, "let them take one in and see if they'd do it."

Residents have signed a petition to make sure the homeless people are cleared out and the city is taking McNamee to court.

But those who rely on McNamee's kindness fear that they will have nowhere to go if they're kicked off her premises.

"There's nothing out here for homeless people," "Pepsi' Rea, one of the people who lives on McNamee's property, told the news source, "and she's the only resource that we have."

To read more about homelessness, click here.