Why is it Illegal to Feed the Homeless?

100px-Seal_of_Fort_Lauderdale,_Florida

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

Did you know that somewhere in America, it is illegal to feed the homeless in public?  It can’t be true can it?  It is true in Fort Lauderdale, Florida after the recent passage of an ordinance by the city council.  The real scary part of that news is that Fort Lauderdale is not alone in taking this anti-compassionate stance!

“Over 30 cities across the nation have outlawed or are considering criminalizing the provision of food to homeless people. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, over 20 cities have devised laws against giving food to homeless people since January 2013.” Nation of Change

While I can understand this stance if these cities are adding health guidelines to make such feeding attempts safer, I am shocked that over 30 cities have outlawed it or are considering outlawing the practice of giving food to the hungry and homeless.  Are public picnics next on the hit list?

Why would any city want to stop the feeding of the homeless in public?   Just who are these brigands who are trying to destroy the city of Fort Lauderdale by having the audacity to feed the hungry?

“In an act of compassion and civil disobedience, a 90-year-old man and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale openly defied a new city ordinance barring anyone from feeding homeless people in public. After police intervened and charged them with a crime, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott and Pastor Dwayne Black returned several days later to break the draconian law again. Although Abbott received another citation, police decided not to place him in custody.

Last Sunday, Arnold Abbott, Pastor Dwayne Black of The Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale, and Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs fed homeless people in a public park in South Florida two days after the city passed a new ordinance outlawing the provision of food to vagrants in public. After getting arrested, the two pastors and elderly homeless advocate each face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

“One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” recalled Abbott. “It’s man’s inhumanity to man is all it is.”

On Wednesday evening, Abbott and Pastor Black remained undeterred as they served a four-course meal to nearly 100 homeless people at Fort Lauderdale Beach. After police officers recorded the simple act of kindness on their video cameras, they escorted Abbott away from the crowd to fingerprint him and issue another citation. Wary of public backlash, law enforcement officials chose not to place Abbott in handcuffs and haul him off to jail again.” Nation of Change

The City of Fort Lauderdale claims that they don’t want hungry and homeless people fed in public because they claim it will only keep them from trying to get out of the cycle of homelessness.  Of course, one has to wonder if the real reason might be related to the tourism trade that brings in big dollars to Fort Lauderdale.  After all, it seems that this latest ordinance to ban the feeding of the homeless in public is just one of the anti-homeless ordinances passed by the city fathers of Fort Lauderdale.

“Backed by the Chamber of Commerce, the recent city ordinance is the fourth law Fort Lauderdale has passed this year against the homeless. The other laws ban homeless people from panhandling at traffic intersections and outlaw sleeping or storing their belongings on public property. According to Pastor Black, the recent food-sharing ordinance passed after a long meeting past midnight after many people had gone home.

“It’s a pubic safety issue. It’s a public health issue,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler rationalized. “The experts have all said that if you’re going to feed them to get them from breakfast to lunch to dinner, all you’re doing is enabling that cycle of homelessness.”

One of these so-called experts is Ron Book, a city lobbyist who commended the Fort Lauderdale commissioners for passing the ordinance. Book told the commissioners that feeding impoverished people on the streets merely sanctions homelessness. Book added, “Whatever discourages feeding people on the streets is a positive thing.” ‘ Nation of Change

I just love it when experts turn out to be lobbyists pedaling their bosses wares.  Mr. Abbot has made it his life’s work to help the poor and this isn’t the first time he has fought with Fort Lauderdale over feeding people in public.   He won a court case against the city in 1999 over this same issue and Fort Lauderdale may be looking at another court case over this issue.

While I do understand that large groups of homeless people can impact the look and feel of any city, the realities of how many of these people end up on the streets is no mystery.  However, it seems that Fort Lauderdale would rather punish the poor and the people trying to help them rather than attempt to help solve some of the problems that leads people into the streets.

Mr. Abbott and the ministers have taken it upon themselves to treat these homeless people as humans and strive to provide them with a meal.  Fort Lauderdale gets an early Grinch award for punishing the modern-day Samaritans who are doing the job that Fort Lauderdale refuses to do.  Kudos to these individuals who are risking themselves to help the less fortunate.

I think it is time for the Mayor and the City Council to start rolling up their sleeves and helping feed and house and treat the homeless.  Or get out-of-the-way.  What do you think?

 

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182 thoughts on “Why is it Illegal to Feed the Homeless?

  1. When we hear reports that local governments routinely buy 1 way bus/train tickets for the homeless and/or mentally ill, so they can become another cities problem, then you know for certain that these governments are clueless and heartless incompetents.

  2. “Let’s set the record straight.

    Contrary to reports, the City of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless. We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.”

    http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/news/2014/110514mayors_update.htm

  3. We probably need to ask how easy or difficult is it to get food stamps in that area? Are groceries available in the area? How available is the nearest approved/inspected soup kitchen? How well are x-cons prepared for the world when they are let out of prison? Generally it seems that in the US social services provide food to whomever needs it. If not, we need to know why not because there is no scarcity of food in this country.

    A couple days ago there was some fresh fruit on the ground at the edge of the local Wal-Mart parking lot where people usually stand with signs asking for help or donations. I imagine someone gave one of the homeless folks some fruit which they didn’t want and left there for someone else.

  4. I read about this earlier and what a storm has been created by this. And, the city officials have only themselves to blame for it.

    First, why was this man booked? He is 90 years old and it is a minor misdemeanor. There is no excuse for that. If he must be charged they could easily issue him a citation/summons and bind him for court later.

    The issue presents two sides.

    From the business point of view congregations of homeless people make customers feel uncomfortable and many, if not most, will go elsewhere. That can cause economic harm to the business owners especially small family run businesses that have a small store front. Entire blocks can be affected by this in many large cities. Panhandlers drive away many people. Whether this is immoral or not people are deterred and go elsewhere. The city does have some obligation to keep its residents and businesses from feeling unsafe and economic development. It is not just the business owners, but if businesses do not succeed it leads to less employment and business to business transactions lessen.

    The other side is the moral side where charity and alms such as this benefit other human beings in that someone is providing life giving nourishment and comfort to others. The man here is associated with a church and his beliefs are such, I am presuming, that all individuals are valued equally, that it doesn’t matter if they are wealthy or downtrodden they are equals before God. In many ways some are not comfortable, or have the means to accept government aid, especially when they lack permanent places of address and receiving government benefits is difficult, so reliance upon the alms of individuals or charities is the only stable means for which these homeless individuals receive benefits. Otherwise, they rely upon bad options that are not healthy or nurturing to their well being. That someone is willing to take charity to those in need is a cultural aspect of our society. One could argue from a legal point of view he man is expressing his religious rights in providing alms to others and the state is interfering with it. The state is prohibited from barring individuals from lawfully assembling and engaged in religious acts on public sidewalks. I believe it could be argued on those merits. As for the public health and safety issue many states, I don’t know if FL is one of them, have good Samaritan laws that remove liability from the state and the individuals who provide food to others in manners such as this.

    A reasonable accommodation for both sides could be that the food service could be held not directly in front of store fronts, such as those next to a park, vacant lot, or area such as this and perhaps a rotating location every week. I see this as being worth consideration for both sides.

    Cases such as in the example of this man are civil disobedience violations that are a badge of honor in my view to have on a criminal record.

    Good article Larry.

  5. Jack Seiler is the mayor of Fort Lauderdale. He is an attorney. Jack served in the Florida House of Representatives prior to be electing mayor of Fort Lauderdale. Jack Seiler is a Democrat. As we know, NOBODY loves to REGULATE more than Democrats.

  6. It isn’t illegal to feed the homeless. It is WHERE he is doing this activity. Public property. Public park or other venue. They can set up homeless food centers in other places. To set up a food distribution center on public property creates all sorts of hazards: health hazards and public safety hazards.

    The man had probably been warned several times to cease and move his charity to another location. He is flaunting the laws and creating purposely public annoyance as well as hazards. Garbage, homeless defecating in the public park, loitering and all sorts of other public issues.

    If this man is affiliated with a church, then why don’t they set up a service for this AT the church or on other private property. There are several ‘rescue’ missions and other shelters in a town nearby where the homeless can find meals, take showers, sleep in safety. Instead of using the public’s property for this…use private property.

    Just like feeding the pigeons from your lovely park bench. At first it seems like a nice idea and the birds seem to be grateful. But soon you have flocks of angry pecking pigeons demanding more and more food. Squawking and pestering you. Pooping all over the place and making it impossible to enjoy your peaceful park bench anymore.

  7. The nanny state doesn’t like us treading on there turf. These people need to be relying on the govt. for their needs not ordinary people. Just think of the horrible message that would be created if people started realizing that they didn’t need the nanny state. I would think progressives would like these types of laws.

  8. Hi Jonathan,

    I suspect the reason Lauderdale made this rule is for public image. They don’t want potential travelers to see indigents on the beaches! It may be similar in many other cities.

    Candy, in WI

  9. Since it appears too onerous for people to read the linked letter from the Mayor, here is the full transcript:

    “Innovative Leadership Key to Addressing Homelessness
    Let’s set the record straight.

    Contrary to reports, the City of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless. We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.

    While the ordinance regulates outdoor food distribution, it permits indoor food distribution to take place at houses of worship throughout the City. By allowing houses of worship to conduct this activity, the City is actually increasing the number of locations where the homeless can properly receive this service.

    At recent outdoor food distributions, citations were rightly issued for non-compliance with the process enacted to ensure public health and safety. Contrary to what was reported in the media, no one was taken into custody. Had these activities taken place indoors, at a house of worship, they would have been in full compliance with the ordinance.

    Experts agree, however, that homeless individuals need more than just food. The homeless need shelter, clothing, and comprehensive medical and social services in order to help them get back on their feet.

    Few cities have done more for the homeless than Fort Lauderdale. We are taking a comprehensive approach by working with numerous agencies, non-profit, charitable and faith-based organizations that, like us, are dedicated to effectively addressing this complex and important issue. Our overarching goal is to provide a long-term comprehensive solution for the homeless population. While aiming for that goal, we are concurrently working to protect public safety and maintain quality of life for our neighbors, businesses and visitors.

    Our efforts include:

    Fort Lauderdale was the first City in South Florida to establish a dedicated Homeless Outreach Unit as part of its Police Department. This Unit makes approximately 8,000 referrals a year working with the homeless to provide them with access to housing, critical medical care and social services. The award-winning initiative stands as a model that has been replicated by local, state, and national police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country.
    Fort Lauderdale is home to the only full service comprehensive Homeless Assistance Center in Broward County. The Center has been operating here since 1999. Recently, the Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed an ordinance allowing the Homeless Assistance Center to expand its size and scope of operations to accommodate more beds and serve more homeless.
    The City maintains an active partnership with Mission United, a program dedicated to providing housing and social services to homeless Veterans.
    In addition to Mission United, the City maintains partnerships, provides resources and support to Broward County, the Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale, Salvation Army of Broward County, United Way of Broward County, Hope South Florida, and the Task Force for Ending Homelessness. These partnerships represent an outstanding example of how homelessness needs to be addressed – by bringing together a variety of agencies and organizations to collaborate, share resources, and leverage strengths in a unified effort to comprehensively impact homelessness through the coordination and delivery of essential programs and services.
    Fort Lauderdale is the only city in South Florida and one of 235 communities in the United States taking part in the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a national effort to move disabled, chronically homeless people from the street to a place of their own. Using the motto “Housing First,” the campaign reverses the traditional approach that required the homeless to go through addiction counseling and job training before earning a roof over their heads.
    Through the Housing First program, Fort Lauderdale is providing the most vulnerable homeless individuals with housing, medical, and social services. The program is funded by a $441,000 federal grant that the City of Fort Lauderdale secured from HUD. It is currently providing permanent supportive housing for 22 chronically homeless people.
    The City is proud to report that our initiative was recently re-funded by HUD. During the current year, we will have an additional $455,000 to continue to operate and expand this effort to serve even more chronic and vulnerable homeless in our City.
    As part of our comprehensive strategy, the City has passed new ordinances that aim to reduce the public safety hazards and inappropriate nuisance activities that are negatively impacting our community. As a City, we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our public spaces are accessible and can be safely enjoyed by everyone – families, children, residents and visitors.

    Our quality of life in Fort Lauderdale and our economic viability are directly linked to our stewardship of public spaces. The City continues to provide leadership in the implementation of innovative ideas to protect our quality of life while ensuring continued funding for programs and initiatives that address humanitarian needs.

    The City, our neighbors, and our businesses have a long and distinguished history of compassion toward those in need.

    We encourage those groups that are feeding the homeless to partner with agencies and organizations that, like Fort Lauderdale, are taking a comprehensive approach to this issue so that we can begin to make real progress – instead of enabling the downward cycle of homelessness to continue.

    If you would like to make a contribution to local non-profit agencies that help fund homeless assistance, substance abuse, and community support services in Fort Lauderdale, please visit: http://www.fortlauderdale.gov/give

    Again, thank you for your interest in this important humanitarian issue.

    Mayor John P. “Jack” Seiler
    City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida”

  10. Feeding the homeless outdoors looks infinitely better than starving people laying in the gutter. I doubt we want to emulate Bangladesh. We still are a country that takes care of it’s vulnerable. When we stop caring for the least of us, we’ve lost our humanity.

  11. Instead of giving hand outs of food on the street or in the public parks, it would be a MORE humane thing to set up those rescue missions or homeless shelters as is done in a nearby town.

    There the homeless can get meals, take showers, do their laundry, sleep in safety (especially important for families with children who are homeless). From this sheltering, they are steered towards more long term housing. Guided to medical centers and to get medical attention. Job training and job placement is also a big part of these centers. Additional clothing for those who don’t have it also to help in getting jobs and in general improving conditions and improving morale.

    Most of the centers are religious based, but there are also a couple that are not. The Soroptomists have a special program for homeless and battered women.

    Just handing out food and grandstanding is not the answer.

  12. I’ve read various accounts of this Ft Lauderdale law and the controversy surrounding it, and the thing that stands out to me is the language of those who defend it.

    They talk about the homeless as if they were vermin, describing how public areas are becoming “overrun” with them. The FL mayor’s statement boils down to “Don’t feed them; they’ll keep coming back,” as if they were stray dogs.

    The tacit understanding is that public areas are for people like us, not people like them. They’re unsightly, they smell bad, and they make us feel guilty and uncomfortable. We’re here in the park to enjoy a lovely sunny day and they are marring the landscape.

    We just want them to go and be hungry and unwashed somewhere we don’t have to look at them. Is that so much to ask?

  13. I doubt the people feeding the homeless outdoors are merely grandstanding or looking for attention, obviously there is a NEED and they recognize it and take action. Good for them.

  14. Funny stuff. Banksters rob and pillage the nation to the tune of trillion$ and bring it to the brink of economic collapse and they are rewarded with huge bonuses and oversize retirement packages. No one goes to jail. Politicians give mufti billion$ contracts to defense firms for weapons the Pentagon says it doesn’t want or need and these same politicians cut food stamps. No one is arrested. Halliburton subsidiary designs faulty showers that electrocute troops. No one pays a price. But feed a homeless person and the law will handcuff you and throw your butt in jail. Stunning, but apparently that’s the new America. Feed the wealthy and starve the poor.

  15. I don’t think the link paints a different picture at all as this is what was in the link – As part of our comprehensive strategy, the City has passed new ordinances that aim to reduce the public safety hazards and inappropriate nuisance activities that are negatively impacting our community. As a City, we have a responsibility to ensure that all of our public spaces are accessible and can be safely enjoyed by everyone – families, children, residents and visitors.

    Our quality of life in Fort Lauderdale and our economic viability are directly linked to our stewardship of public spaces. The City continues to provide leadership in the implementation of innovative ideas to protect our quality of life while ensuring continued funding for programs and initiatives that address humanitarian needs.

    The City, our neighbors, and our businesses have a long and distinguished history of compassion toward those in need.

    To me it sounds like homeless people are not allowed to enjoy beaches and parks. Just go to the United Way, Salvation Army and so forth. Nothing natural that is Gods gift for the homeless thank you very much.

    I think that raffaws article was passionate and right on and I was cheering him on all the way through it and I opened the link because I am on to the hope and change that government agencies offer for the homeless as opposed to good old fashioned free will charity and the Church which is not popular anymore.:)

  16. So you can’t feed people in public – SAFETY ISSUE – so does that mean that folks having a picnic in a park will now go to jail?

    Or is the feed in public OK as long as it’s white folks driving SUV’s are the ones getting fed?

    Smells like selective enforcement to me

  17. To me it sounds like homeless people are not allowed to enjoy beaches and parks.

    Of course they can enjoy the parks, beaches and open spaces. They just can’t live there 24/7. Neither can you or I or anyone else live in the parks or public places. Homelessness is caused by all sorts of conditions and to ignore the homeless is heartless. It is also heartless to give sops and not solutions.

    This is why organizations like Churches, Salvation Army and yes even government funded shelters like the ones I described above are key to helping the homeless.

  18. These people who are feeding the homeless outdoors ARE affiliated with churches. Again obviously there is a NEED beyond what the areas homeless shelters and feeding centers can deal with, hence the outdoor feeding.

  19. It’s refreshing to see a near unanimous condemnation of the bureaucratic state. This reminds me of what I understand JT’s position on policy vs principle is; the constitution comes first. Just because one believes in a particular foreign or domestic policy, it is NEVER acceptable to violate the rule of law to implement it.

  20. While there are some homeless people who are merely down on their luck, many of the homeless are mentally ill. They don’t always act or think rationally. What may seem “more humane” to us is not necessarily what they want or like. Unfortunately, I speak on this topic with first hand experience in dealing with a family member who is mentally ill, won’t take meds, and was at one time homeless by choice.

    It’s easy to marginalize the homeless as long as they remain nameless and faceless. Everyone one of them has a name, a story to tell, and needs assistance far more than any of us. While people can disagree in good faith about the degree and nature of assistance to give them, they won’t get very far without food.

  21. While people can disagree in good faith about the degree and nature of assistance to give them, they won’t get very far without food.

    I agree with Don on almost all points. However, the issue is not giving the homeless food. It is the location of being ….outdoors on publicly owned property.

    There can be food locations IN churches. In non public buildings…Maybe even inside of public buildings. Hell…if you feel that strongly about it invite some homeless to YOUR house for dinner. Food served at tables with plates, flatware and napkins……. instead of on plates balanced on knees while squatting on the grass or in the bushes. Food eaten in healthy surroundings and able to be cleaned up after the meal is over. Meals eaten in a communal setting with dignity.

    The serving of food is NOT the issue. No one wants the homeless to be hungry. It is that the outdoor location is not sanitary nor is it lawful.

    Of course, since no one in our government actually obeys the laws they write or enforces the laws unless they feel like it, I guess I understand the idea from many here that the laws are only to be followed if you want to or if you feel like it.

  22. It is the place that is the problem, not the feeding of the homeless. Although the reports have been somewhat suspicious in saying the cops waited and watched for 45 minutes before busting him. I am not sure if they were trying to get most of the crowd fed or waiting for the food to cool.
    Phoenix, like most major cities, has a homeless population that is a problem. My wife, who works downtown, is accosted both morning, noon and night by homeless.
    Personally, I gave up giving to the ‘homeless’ after a trip to NYC and learning that some of the panhandlers there make $100k plus a year. Experiments by social scientists (I use the term very loosely) have shown that you can make $200-300 a day getting change from cars coming off the freeway. Triple that if it appears you have a baby.

  23. I would hope any travelers would BOYCOTT the city as long as the bigots are making such laws. I can only imagine what they would have done to Jesus.

  24. The Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, and 3 of the 4 City Councilman are Dems. As we know, Dems LOVE to control and regulate everything. They are the nannies. They would rather pass stupid laws in the guise of “helping” protect people and crap all over the poor and good people trying to help them. Thanks raff, for showing us just how depraved the Dem nanny state has become. I know you’re a hardcore Dem, this took courage. Or, did you just not research? LOL.

  25. The mentality of these visually offensive and vapid grammar school cartoons is that of the people that marched for months @ the Wi. State Capitol, defacing it and having on big, childish, hissy fit. They have gotten their butts kicked TWICE since that temper tantrum and they have made Walker even stronger because of these childish and stupid tactics. “Stupid is as stupid does” as raff likes to say often.

  26. “would you like to point out exactly how the law is unjust?”

    Paul,
    You ask a very good question and it’s one that is often ignored (just like now). What rights are being infringed?

  27. It is NOT unjust to jail someone for up to 60 days for feeding the homeless on the street? You seriously don’t recognize this? This is sad.

  28. Is it not unjust to jail someone for living their faith? What about the expression of one’s Christian beliefs?? It was OK when Hobby Lobby did it, but not for those who feed the hungry? Rank disgusting hypocrisy.

  29. Sometimes people are as crazy (or as poor) as they want to be. If you feed them, they will come. It is an old scam:

    In that curious source of our domestic history, the “English Villanies” of Decker, we find a lively description of the “Abram cove,” or Abram man, the impostor who personated a Tom o’ Bedlam. He was terribly disguised with his grotesque rags, his staff, his knotted hair, and with the more disgusting contrivances to excite pity, still practised among a class of our mendicants, who, in their cant language, are still said “to sham Abraham.” This impostor was, therefore, as suited his purpose and the place, capable of working on the sympathy, by uttering a silly maunding, or demanding of charity, or terrifying the easy fears of women, children, and domestics, as he wandered up and down the country: they refused nothing to a being who was as terrific to them as “Robin Good-fellow,” or “Raw-head and Bloody-bones.” Thus, as Edgar expresses it, “sometimes with lunatic bans, sometimes with prayers,” the gestures of this impostor were “a counterfeit puppet-play: they came with a hollow noise, whooping, leaping, gambolling, wildly dancing, with a fierce or distracted look.” These sturdy mendicants were called “Tom of Bedlam’s band of mad-caps,” or “Poor Tom’s flock of wild geese.” Decker has preserved their “Maund,” or begging —“Good worship master, bestow your reward on a poor man that hath been in Bedlam without Bishopsgate, three years, four months, and nine days, and bestow one piece of small silver towards his fees, which he is indebted there, of 3l. 13s. 7½d.“ (or to such effect).

    Then sometimes, it is cheaper to turn the truly mentally ill loose to save money! That is also an old scam:

    Bethlehem Hospital formed, in its original institution, a contracted and penurious charity;1 its governors soon discovered that the metropolis furnished them with more lunatics than they had calculated on; they also required from the friends of the patients a weekly stipend, besides clothing. It is a melancholy fact to record in the history of human nature, that when one of their original regulations prescribed that persons who put in patients should provide their clothes, it was soon observed that the poor lunatics were frequently perishing by the omission of this slight duty from those former friends; so soon forgotten were they whom none found an interest to recollect. They were obliged to open contributions to provide a wardrobe.2

    In consequence of the limited resources of the Hospital, they relieved the establishment by frequently discharging patients whose cure might be very equivocal. Harmless lunatics thrown thus into the world, often without a single friend, wandered about the country, chanting wild ditties, and wearing a fantastical dress to attract the notice of the charitable, on whose alms they lived. They had a kind of costume, which I find described by Randle Holme in a curious and extraordinary work.3

    And there is the most wonderful poem at the link:

    https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/disraeli/isaac/curiosities/chapter190.html

    FWIW, I stole a copy of this book from my father. He stole it back. Then, last Christmas, I stole it back from him. I think he has finally given up on it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  30. My opinion is that the Obama admin is telling local communities to stop this so that the homeless wild rely on the government the admin took out the vrefit for charity giving

  31. I wish to know where the food that is being fed come from. Is it safe Next is this a 501c3 doing the feeding or is this just concern citizen using their own money ? I smell an irregularity in the details.

  32. Sounds like a good law to me. We need to truly help the homeless by getting them off the street and into drug rehab or medical attention. Many of them have mental health issues that need to be addressed. As usual, you have a lot of grand-standing lefties who don’t really care about the homeless, but wish to feel good about themselves.

  33. You seriously think that there are enough facilities to handle the number of homeless that suffer from mental illness or drug/ alcohol addiction? Do you know you can’t just commit the mentally ill against their will unless they’re a threat to themselves or others?

  34. In the left’s moral rigidity, they demand to harm the poor and the homeless by feeding them instead of solving their problem.

    It’s not a lack of food that troubles the most of these people. But really, the left doesn’t care what their real problem is, or what steps might actually alleviate it.

    Instead the high status lefties rush to judgement, and the herd quickly follow. This, even though in the long run they make the people they pretend to be trying to help worse off.

    Because they care only about status. Not the poor. This man is merely playing to the cameras.

  35. rcocean,
    I believe we have those that would like to bypass the cumbersome legislative process and simply rule by majority opinion. Of course this would place the security of natural rights subordinate to whatever morality happens to be in vogue. If you want hypocrisy, just put the moral relativists in power and allow them to administer to the will of the Black Friday majority.

  36. The US has a serious problem of ethnic and social hygiene which can only be remedied by a robust policy of mandatory euthanasia of those for whom the respectable people have no use.

  37. See what I mean? Preening self-righteousness with threats to expulsion from the in-group for straying from dogma.

    Instead of a reasoned discussion on what is best for these homeless, there is mockery and misrepresentation.

    As ever.

  38. Perhaps a lot sooner than one might think.

    “Anecdotal evidence by leaders of prolife groups such as Created Equal and Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust said in interviews that not only do they see more college students willing to say they support post-birth abortion, but some students even suggest children up to 4 or 5-years-old can also be killed, because they are not yet “self aware.””

    “This is the whole problem with devaluing human life at any stage—it will naturally grow to include other groups of humans; in this case, born humans as well as preborn humans,” Harrington said. “[I] talked with one young man at the University of Minnesota who thought it was alright to kill children if they were under the age of 5 years old, as he did not consider them persons until that age.”

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/19896/

  39. “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.”
    Martin Luther King “Letter from Birmingham Jail,”

  40. When I lived in St Louis the Homeless would help me in the ice with my Husbands wheelchair when I didn’t have a car up to the service station to get some air and get him cigarettes. I would give the homeless man a cigarette and a couple dollars and a sandwich and a soda too. Larry Rice Center was right up the Street and those guys stayed to themselves but there was always new guys coming in. And I agree about the Ft. Lauderdale Mayor making them sound like vermin. Say what you want.

  41. If I am at a park and I bring food for a gathering, all my friends can partake and no city permit or law is violated. If people who are deemed homeless come over to partake in the activity, the law is being violated and people may be arrested. Seems these people are treated as subhuman. Many on this board have even made comparisons to pigeons. Outlawing giving a person food in a non_government sanctioned location is not a humane answer.

  42. Pogo

    I’m very interested to hear how someone like you proposes to “solve their problem.” Your solution apparently doesn’t include feeding them.

    I’ve been trying to solve the problem of my sometimes homeless mentally ill family member for a long time. I tried involuntary commitment only to see them prevail in the commitment hearing. I’ve tried helping out myself, only to have the help rejected due to paranoia. They are extremely intelligent, as they were HS Valedictorian in class of over 600, so education is not the solution. I’m all ears if you can take a time out from spewing vitriol to offer a real solution.

  43. There are some people on the blog that make fun of others and accuse them of being paranoid schizophrenics if they say they have been up all night. It is very pleasant. And that’s from a Liberal – of course

  44. This reminds me of a story about a man who was not welcome….

    An impoverished old man applied for membership in a wealthy church. The pastor tried to put him off with all kinds of evasive remarks. The old man became aware that he was not welcome there and finally told the pastor that he would pray about it. After several days he returned. “Well,” asked the pastor, “Did the Lord give you a message?” “Yes Sir, He did” was the old man’s answer. “He told me it wasn’t any use. He said, “I’ve been trying to get in that same church myself for ten years and they won’t let me in either.”

  45. @ Don the drain
    … a very difficult situation with your family member. Unfortunately, many of the homeless are paranoid schizophrenics and it is a viscious cycle.

  46. Some claim there are issues of public safety that support restricting feeding in public spaces.

    We have decades of evidence in The District of Columbia about public safety. McKenna’s wagon has been distributing soup and sandwiches prepared at Martha’s Table for decades. There are other groups that distribute food to the homeless as well. But McKenna’s has a well established program that uses several vans that make several stops each. They feed a lot of people 7 days a week – even on holidays. There are no problems – none, except the discomfort of those who do not like to be reminded of the numbers with severe problems not being served by society.

    Perhaps the single real threat to safety is food borne illness. To the best of my knowledge that has never been a problem DC. But jurisdictions concerned about food borne illness could easily require registration and inspection of the preparation kitchens and distribution resources by their local health department for those who wish to distribute food to the homeless.

    Those who suggest that the food distribution to the homeless should be restricted so that they will seek solutions for their problems fail to distinguish short term and long term needs. People have to eat every day. Learning or reacquiring life skills to get and keep a job may take months. And I would argue that if local government actually put in place the resources necessary to support the homeless climb back into society then the feeding lines would be greatly reduced.

    Those who interfere with feeding the homeless without first putting in place a strong program to address issues like shelter, life skills, job skills, and mental health issues demonstrate they have no interest in helping the homeless. We should recognize that claims regarding public safety and helping the homeless for what they are, rationalizations to justify keeping the homeless out of sight and out of mind.

    As for those who complain the homeless and those feeding them are using public space, I would ask what more appropriate space could there possibly be? It is their space as well, isn’t it?

  47. “Don de Drain
    Pogo

    I’m very interested to hear how someone like you proposes to “solve their problem.” Your solution apparently doesn’t include feeding them.

    Institutionalization includes food and shelter, the dignity of work, and medical and psychiatric care.

    The liberal solution offers sporadic food outside as if people were pigeons, but primarily confers the opportunity for morally pretentious drama, mostly for the press.

  48. “The liberal solution offers sporadic food outside as if people were pigeons, but primarily confers the opportunity for morally pretentious drama, mostly for the press.”

    I don’t know whether it is due to fundamental dishonesty or profound ignorance, but if there were ever a flatly wrong characterization that has got to be it.

    I am not aware of any one who claims that feeding in public spaces is the only step necessary or desirable to help the homeless.

    On the contrary if you ask people who actually want to help the homeless and others with significant problems you will likely get a long list of services that are poorly funded by the politicians in power.

    As for “morally pretentious drama”, who do you think you are kidding?

    It is called civil disobedience. And why shouldn’t we use the press to point the spotlight at the shameful practices of those who harass the homeless and those who attempt to help them.

  49. “I am not aware of any one who claims that feeding in public spaces is the only step necessary or desirable to help the homeless.

    You could not be more mistaken. The liberal left made certain that institutionalization carried a moral stigma, and has repeatedly fought for the “freedom” to be crazy and frightened and homeless.

    The insane are “free” to sleep under bridges, defecating in public parks, and harass passersby, and be beaten and robbed by other crazies or yutes out looking for fun.

    The “long list of services” are “available” to persons who are cognitively unable to take advantage of them, or too crazy to comply. Eventually, the only institutionalization favored by the left is imprisonment once they become violent.

    Save your moral preening for the choir.

  50. Out reach programs for the homeless feed in the parks because that is frequently where the homeless can be found.

    Public spaces like parks are one of the very few spaces where the homeless have a right to be.

    Some homeless have the awareness and resources to seek the support of shelters. But shelter space is limited and for many reasons some homeless do not choose life in a shelter. As a result many homeless remain on the street either through choice or because there simply is no space for them.

    As a result, aid to the homeless must include a component for outreach to contact the homeless where they are.

    Feeding homeless in parks is safe, efficient and effective. We have decades of data to prove that is true.

    If you want to reduce the numbers fed in parks then fund shelters and other programs to help the homeless back into the system.

  51. @Nick ” In this case, it is Dems “harassing” the homeless w/ nanny laws.”

    I think I have mentioned before that I am independent.

    I don’t care who is harassing the homeless. It needs to stop.

  52. BFM, I don’t remember your declaration but I guess I always assumed you were based on your balanced and reasoned comments. I just like to keep pointing out that fact. This thread interests me because the politics and philosophies has caused a cross rip on this thread. I like when that happens. I think the author assumed it was evil Republican pols doing this. I like it when politics is turned on its head.

  53. “and for many reasons some homeless do not choose life in a shelter.
    Crazy people cannot choose. They are unable to do so. Their brains do not function normally; that’s what ‘crazy’ means. Behaving as if you are offering them something they can’t take advantage of is either cruel or insane itself.

    “Feeding homeless in parks is safe, efficient and effective. We have decades of data to prove that is true.
    Yet you seem unable to understand why the rest of the Democrat-run city might not want their public parks to become de facto homeless shelters. If it’s so ‘safe’, why do they oppose it.

    And ‘effective’? You mean they get food?
    What does the word ‘effective’ mean here?

    “fund shelters and other programs to help the homeless back into the system.
    But just above that you wrote that the homeless reject this help.
    Ludicrous.

  54. BFM,
    It’s interesting that it’s mainly Dems and liberals who are in favor of allowing the outdoor feelings of the homeless and the conservatives talk of defecation and compare them to pigeons here in this thread.

  55. And it leaves unanswered the problem common to warmer cities is that offering free food attracts more and more indigent to the area.

    So the base working population has to spend more and more to fund a failed system. This leaves less money for the region’s poor. Why are you disenfranchising them?

  56. I’m fairly certain Rafferty knew full well what party was involved and because of his decency he didn’t care and recognized the injustice. But I’m sure he can speak for himself. Interesting how someone wants to see the glass half empty and attribute the worst possible traits to people. I think it’s projection.

  57. Pogo, put down your partisanship for a moment if you can, I know it’s hard, but try.

    I worked with the mentally ill in the County hospita years ago. I saw the wards empty to dump these people out into halfway houses and apartments. Because they suffered serious side effects from the antipsychotic meds they stopped taking their meds and eventually got kicked out of their living arraignments. They lived on the streets sometimes by choice, there was more freedom from rules and regs they couldn’t comply with. I think institutionalization is better than street living but do you think that the commitment laws will ever be relaxed? Realistically, no. At this point there aren’t enough facilities and institutions to house the numbers that are out on the streets at this time. In the meantime, there is an obvious need to feed them, homeless shelters and feeding centers are overwhelmed. You think your ‘tough love’ will work on the mentally ill? Really? You’re a doctor, you don’t know they can’t be reasoned with when they’re not on their meds?

  58. It is NOT against the law to feed the homeless in Fort Lauderdale if those who are providing meals also provide a portable toilet (a good idea – if you’re going to feed dozens of people, where exactly do you think they go to have a BM after you’ve fed them?), obtain a permit OR permission from the landowners where they’re distributing food, and be spaced 500 feet apart from other outreaches. There is nothing unreasonable about any of these expectations.

  59. “Unfortunately, many of the homeless are paranoid schizophrenics and it is a viscious cycle.”

    Shelly,
    I had to reread that as I thought you were talking about a certain subset in this blog. Who knows, maybe one of the 19 are homeless.

  60. “And ‘effective’? You mean they get food?
    What does the word ‘effective’ mean here?….“fund shelters and other programs to help the homeless back into the system.”
    But just above that you wrote that the homeless reject this help….Ludicrous.”

    Effective means that we can maintain contact and offer services that range from feeding to informing them of resources available.

    Its seems ludicrous only if you read without comprehension. Your claim is based on selectively presenting words to support your position because you have no fact or logic to make a coherent argument.

    I clearly indicated that many do seek help at shelters. I clearly stated that many are turned away because shelters and other resources do not have the capacity.

    But some homeless do not choose to use the resources. That is part of why we need outreach to inform and convince.

    And you are correct some homeless have serious mental or cognitive problems and are incapable of making reasoned decisions.

    I am sure that even a person like you can understand that there is some complexity to the problem of homelessness. Some homeless actively seek to use the resources made available. Some are not aware and need help and direction. Some choose not to use the resources but may be convinced with thoughtful intervention. And some for one reason or another cannot make reasonable, informed decisions to help themselves out of homelessness.

    That is all complicated by the fact that resources for homeless are typically underfunded with inadequate capacity to serve those in need.

  61. ” …even a person like you can understand
    The sure sign that illogic is about to be presented.

    “Some choose not to use the resources but may be convinced with thoughtful intervention.
    So why support decisions that are harmful in the long run?
    It’s not unreasonable to conclude you do not want them to get better.

    “And some for one reason or another cannot make reasonable, informed decisions to help themselves out of homelessness.
    And…? And…?
    This clearly requires institutionalization.

    It is in fact only a tiny portion of homeless for whom your methods are ‘efficient and effective.’
    For the majority it makes things worse.
    So why do you support failure?

    “…the fact that resources for homeless are typically underfunded:”
    Underfunded by what measure, that you could always spend more on it?
    Instead it is a clear indication of the failure of your method.

  62. ““Some choose not to use the resources but may be convinced with thoughtful intervention.”
    So why support decisions that are harmful in the long run?”

    What, exactly is harmful about reaching out to inform the homeless of resource available and to convince them to use those resources.

    ““And some for one reason or another cannot make reasonable, informed decisions to help themselves out of homelessness.” …This clearly requires institutionalization.”

    It seems to me that forced institutionalization may be an alternative for some homeless, but that is far from clear. That is why we have commitment procedures.

    “It is in fact only a tiny portion of homeless for whom your methods are ‘efficient and effective.’
    For the majority it makes things worse.”

    In fact your my procedures are only an extension of what those on both sides claim to support – resources like shelters. I am not aware of anyone who has been made worse by having shelter, clean clothing, job training, health care, and yes food through food stamps or feeding in public areas.

    These resources support both the short term goal of getting through the day and long term goals of returning to society.

    ““…the fact that resources for homeless are typically underfunded:”
    Underfunded by what measure, that you could always spend more on it?”

    When I mention that these resources are typically underfunded I am pointing out that there are frequently more individuals who need help than capacity to help them. That seem like a very direct measure of underfunding to me.

  63. @Nick: “Made a lotta money exposing liars. Working on a case right now exposing a big liar.”

    Uh Ohhh, does that mean we have to stick to the facts now?

  64. Nick,
    Your guess is incorrect. I knew the Mayor was a Dem, but I didn’t care. You are the one who has attempted to make this a partisan issue. It is really about restricting organizations like these churches and charitable organizations from helping many homeless people.
    Kelley,
    if the charities are providing food on the beach, there are many public restrooms available to the homeless and the beach visitors. Any restriction on a public place location seems to be an attempt to dissuade the target population from that location, in my opinion. Are you suggesting that the public bathrooms along the beach front are not available to the homeless?

  65. @Pogo believe it or not, I’m writing that as a bleeding social liberal. I love helping others get to a better place. I love it so much that I’ve dedicated my life to it. However, most liberals fail to understand that people like Mr. Abbott, while they have good intentions and want to do great things, are only putting barely effective bandaid on something that needs major surgery and teamwork on a bigger scale than they’re willing to work with. It’s so very frustrating to try and reason with people who just don’t get the bigger picture.

  66. Kelley, I think most people I recognize that there is a “bigger picture”. I’m certain all of us want to solve this problem not just put a bandaid on it. In the meantime, these people are hungry, and people are feeding them. As someone who cares, such as yourself, what do you think is a realistic solution to the homeless issue? And how do we Americans help to enact such solutions?

  67. @Annie: “I think most people I recognize that there is a “bigger picture”.”

    I agree with you. The accusation that those who support the homeless think that short term solutions like feeding programs are all that is necessary is just false.

    I know of no one who actually claims that feeding programs are all that is necessary. But we hear lots of accusations that those who advocate feeding programs do not realize that more is required. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    If you actually talk with people like those at Martha’s table of the DC Central kitchen, who actually devote their time to feeding the homeless, I know you will find a very informed view that understands the multiple causes of homelessness and the complexity of helping the homeless put their lives back together.

    What some fail to recognize is that the homeless have short term needs and long term needs. Restricting resources at any step makes it less likely that those with that need will manage the long process back into society.

  68. So true BFM. A short term need of every human mentally ill or not is to eat. What do the people who advocate a ‘tough love’ approach to the homeless think the homeless will do when they are hungry and there is no food? Work? Who will hire them? Would there be enough employers who are willing to hire a vagrant mentally ill or drug user/alcoholic? If they get fed they won’t steal and panhandle less. Again as you said BFM, everyone here recognizes there is a big picture to be solved.

  69. Raff, it’s amazing to hear this pushback against these churches and ministries that help the homeless by street feeding. I thought they were in favor of churches and charities doing so instead of the government.

  70. “Restricting resources at any step makes it less likely that those with that need will manage the long process back into society.

    There’s no evidence that feeding people in parks is necessary and sufficient for that long process.
    The arrest was merely a theatrical display for moral preening by someone uninterested in the big picture, nothing more.

    “The accusation that those who support the homeless think that short term solutions like feeding programs are all that is necessary is just false.
    And not an argument that anybody actually made.
    Instead, when I pointed out was that the vast majority of homeless are mentally ill and that focusing energies on changing public law to allow feeding people like pigeons in the park is both demeaning and counterproductive.

    “a very informed view that understands the multiple causes of homelessness and the complexity of helping the homeless put their lives back together.
    NO one argues otherwise.
    Public park feeding is not a requirement, the topic here.

    “What some fail to recognize is that the homeless have short term needs and long term needs.
    Straw man.

    “Restricting resources at any step makes it less likely that those with that need will manage the long process back into society.
    I doubt there’s evidence to this effect.
    Restricting resources may in fact channel people into the right spots.

  71. Great question, Annie. Forgive me if I sound bullheaded – I do appreciate that there is actual dialogue happening here instead of the uninformed, emotionally charged ranting that’s generally taking place around the web.

    Solutions? Sure. Does Love Thy Neighbor have a steering committee in place to brainstorm for solutions on how to operate while abiding by the law? Do other outreaches have committees? If not, put one in place. If so, keep thinking. The churches are allowed to bypass the public ordinances – why not have a volunteer car pool or provide a shuttle using church vans (most churches have at least one, usually more, 15 seater vans. Some have 26 seaters and many have retired school buses). Shuttle the homeless to churches, feed them, then bring them back to the designated area. Or how about the thousands of dollars people are so willingly throwing into gofundme accounts all around the web to pay Mr. Abbott’s legal fees? That just slays me – the general public is much more interested in “winning” and “sticking it to The Man” than they are in invoking change for good. If people really want to help, here’s an idea: set up a gofundme account to pay for portapotties rather than fund some attorney’s vacation to Tahiti!

    There are so many things people could do without breaking the law. And, while these starter suggestions might not fix everything from the get go, they’d at least get people pointed in the right direction, working together to find solutions that work for the greater good.

  72. For the record, I am also an advocate for helping the homeless. I operate a program here in Chicago called Neighboring The Neighborless and I network/brainstorm with fellow advocates worldwide.

  73. Pogo – the City of Phoenix channelled the feeding of the homeless away the direct downtown in an effort to disperse them. It was not effective.

  74. Excellent suggestions Kelley. Can you explain the purpose of a steering committee as it relates to the church organizations? Who would compromise the steering committee?

  75. Once again. It is NOT illegal to feed the homeless. It is illegal to use the public lands to do so.

    No one is objecting to providing food to the homeless. To say otherwise is basically a lie. You just can’t do it THERE.

    Kelley has many great ideas on how to comply with the public laws and get the homeless to areas where they can be fed AND provided with other necessary services and support. Merely throwing food at the situation in a unprotected park setting…… is a short term tactic and doesn’t solve the long term issues that the homeless are struggling with.

    I have provided many examples that I know of from local agencies. The key to helping is to get the homeless to arrive at those centers and get help that they need.

  76. Kelley do you think it should be illegal to feed the homeless on public lands? Is this ordinance a just one in your opinion?

  77. It’s not illegal to feed the homeless in public. Organizations are allowed to them on public land without a permit OR written consent from the land owner. They don’t even have to have both things. Written permission from the property owner will suffice as long as there are 500 feet between outreach groups. And, no, I don’t think that’s bad.

  78. It should be illegal to have ANY large organized event on public land without prior permission or permits being issued. Parades. Political events. Tent revivals. Marriage ceremonies involving large groups of people. Things that require setting up of equipment and dismantling of equipment.

    The reason for this is so that the “event” doesn’t interfere with the average public’s ability to use the public land or inconvenience public access and availability to the lands. To prevent colliding or overlapping events. To pay for the resulting cleanup of the event. To cover the costs of repairing any damage to the public lands. To pay for possible additional security that may be needed.

    This doesn’t or shouldn’t affect the ordinary person who wants to picnic, use the park or even stand and protest or speak in public about any issue (as long as they aren’t damaging the property or preventing others from using it). This is why in general, the homeless are not evicted from sitting on a park bench or otherwise using the park. Living in the park is another issue entirely. Permitting should be for ‘larger organized events’ such as setting up an outdoor kitchen and feeding large numbers of people as an event for YOUR church or organization.

    The property belongs to the general public and all of our taxes go to maintain the property. If the people in the town want to have an ordinance that prevents damage to the property and/or compensates the city for the work that must be done to repair and maintain the property after being used for other than ordinary uses, that is their prerogative.

  79. @Paul C. Schulte
    ” the City of Phoenix channelled the feeding of the homeless away the direct downtown in an effort to disperse them. It was not effective.

    As I would guess.
    Because the problem with most homeless is not the lack of food or shelter.

  80. If people are mad now (They have every right to be this is beyond sick) just wait til people start dieing from hunger or is that what they are trying to do? Hey stop feeding them because now they wont try to get out of being homeless *thinks quietly* and if they happen to die as well that works for me because that will be one less homeless person taking away my money I get from tourist and my city will look the best because I have fewer homeless people. Also now when people do it they are Breaking the law and will now be charged and again I get more money.

  81. raff, I’m the last guy you want to try and BS. Most people realize that. But, unlike you, the person who always asks “for proof” of assertions, I will just say, “Sure you did!” Let’s leave it @ that. And, if you’re smart, you’ll do just that.

  82. Nick,
    First of all, you are the one that was concerned which political party the mayor belonged to. The article did not make it a political issue, just a humanitarian one. Your response seemed a bit uncivil suggesting that I should do as you say. It is not a political issue to stand up for an injustice being meted out by any city council or any mayor, no matter the party.

  83. A “bit uncivil.” Is that an uncivil ordinance violation? I see the Barney Fife, Civil Deputies, have assembled. Everyone got your bullet? Notify Sheriff Andy of any and all violations!! LOL!

  84. I posted the Mayor’s letter early in this thread to counter the article but I must have missed some comments. Has government lying become so commonplace that no one bothers to question it any more? Rafferty cited this quote:

    “After getting arrested, the two pastors and elderly homeless advocate each face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.”

    The Mayor’s letter stated the following:

    “Contrary to what was reported in the media, no one was taken into custody.”

    Are both factually accurate? What am I missing?

  85. Olly – Darren would have a better take on this, but I think you can be arrested, ticketed and released. Custody usually infers jailing, taking fingerprints, strip searching, etc.

  86. A very wealthy Jewish man from Peru was at Nothern Trust on Las Olas today. I was cashing a wealthy clients check for my services. I could have passed for a homeless. 2 dogs walked through, I petted both since I am an animal lover, an animal rescuer (Just went to Cesar Milans Coctail party sat night)A dog trainer and a dog behaviorist.The wealthy man, with whom I conversed in 4 of the 5 languages I speak, told me he almost died from food poisoning after buying fish at Winn Dixie. So make sure you do not buy food for the Homeless at Winn Dixie! A stern employee then asked if I knew the wealthy man, looking at my dirty paw covered clothes. The man said yes. I then asked if Mrs Lee still worked there. The man said “She’s my boss”. Tell her Anna, her dogs dog trainer said hi!
    Moral of this story: I was looked down upon by because I was dirty today.

  87. Anna,
    Was that supposed to be remarkable? You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone that will judge you for any number of reasons. Newsflash: You judged them to be looking down on you because you were dirty. Both of you might be equally wrong. That’s called human nature; it’s the one thing progressives believe can be improved and precisely why they will always fail.

  88. This new “law” reminds me of Ken Keechls Dangerous Dog Law. A dog biting another dog ONCE would result in a quick trip to BCAC. Fine was $500 to get your dog back. You had to hire your own lawyer. Those who could afford neither had their dog euthanized. No due process and the law was actually found to be unconstitutional. Chip Lamarca (R)led the other commissioners to vote out the law. 40+ people spoke for 3 minutes to the Commissioners.I just endorsed Chip for re-election as I did not want Keechl (D)(Michael Vick) back.
    90 yr old breaks this new law, arrested and put in handcuffs, taken to jail, $500 fine and if he can’t hire a good lawyer he might be sent to jail for 60 days. Might get shanked and die. Will then probably be sainted, like Mother Theresa and discuss giving fish and bread to the hungry, then teaching them to fish like Jesus did.
    We are famous! Tourists from everywhere will want to come her to photograph and feed our wild homeless in their natural outdoor habitat! Maybe the native and almost extinct Homo Homelessius Stinkius, which travels on 2 legs with all their belongings in a shopping cart in a migratory pattern from den to den, can be trapped and put on display at the Metro Zoo or Monkey Jungle? Foreign visitors would love that! Radio collars are placed around their necks to locate this elusive relative to Homo Sapiens.Stay tuned!

    Anyhoo. Everything is Obamas fault. Or the President who abolished slavery hence killed the thriving Cotton Picking Industry. Do Mexicans or Illegal Immigrants pick cotton? Nevermind. they are Illegal too.Or whoever made it legal for everyone to vote. Foreigners, women and LGBT people caused this. And bankcrupted America. Obama started a war that cost trillions and killed loyal American soldiers. Obama and Israel secretly funded Islamic Terrorists that later became ISIS. Barrack HUSSEIN Obama.

    Great, creative, innovative, inspiring worldwide PR Campaign Chamber of Congress, Mayor Seiler and the 1% right here in Broward!

  89. Anna, etc. – Mexicans pick cotton in Arizona, or used to under the bracero program. Now there are combine pickers that are much more efficient.

  90. Olly,
    Just a true observation from my perspective. I have talked to homeless humans in Brazil, prostituted young boys and girls in Rio de Janeiro, given high value items like jeans and sneakers to people in Havanna Cuba and homeless and prostitutes in New York. I’m from Sweden but traveled the world with my dad. I was born with a natural love and understanding of animals. I guess Im an empathic person because I feel a need to help and rescue. I spend Christmas and Thanksgiving serving meals to homeless women, children and men at the Mother Theresa shelter in Miami. I don’t need praise for that. I was born in a great country, to great parents. I’m a stage 4 cancer survivor (diagnosed 6/17/2012) but was strong enough to build my business up, start some major rescue work, start a support group called Project Shine On where I donate free wigs, free makeovers and emotional and nutritional advice for newly diagnosed. I’m sure I was spared because my job is not done.None of that is remarkable to me. I read animals feelings by observing their eyes and body language. I don’t care that I didn’t fit in. I’m not ashamed I dressed like I did today. He dressed like a banker. That was supposed to illustrate a point. Im a Vegan so I don’t like the thought of swinging a dead cat because that actually happens. We can agree to disagree. I know the Mayor and all the Commissioners. It’s a Machiavellian situation. Plus I really like all people, from all countries, from whatever the religion they believe in. Since they are saying it’s to protect homeless from food poisoning, and denying its their filthy conditions, smell, addictions, panhandling and making people uncomfortable in front of small businesses that’s the motivating factor I think my true story from today fits great on this thread. I am not remarkable at all.

  91. If we cut through the justifications, we will recognize that communities do not know what to do about the homeless, but they do know how to respond to the demands of businesses that complain about the homeless. That response is typically in the form of ordinances designed to encourage the homeless to go someplace else. The old vagrancy laws have largely been struck down by the courts, so the strategy is increasingly to make the homeless as uncomfortable as possible. The Fort Lauderdale ordinance is hardly unique.

    But the refusal to deal seriously with the problem of homelessness is reflective both of a lack of political will and an underlying sense that homelessness is a function of moral failure. And I’ve already said what I think about that attitude. https://jonathanturley.org/2013/09/29/snap-and-the-bauer-theory-of-behavior-modification/

  92. Paul C. Shulte states, “Personally, I gave up giving to the ‘homeless’ after a trip to NYC and learning that some of the panhandlers there make $100k plus a year.” You need to get your facts straight before talking about a city where you do not live & only briefly visited! I live in NYC & work in Manhattan. The REAL homeless do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, make $100k plus a year! What YOU are talking about is a criminal ring(s) that uses panhandling as a hustle! There are “workers” who are sent out to different locations to panhandle & then they have to give the money to their “bosses”! These “workers” are NOT homeless, although they do tend to be poor & living on welfare. They participate in this hustle to make a little extra unreportable money, but it is their “bosses” who make that big money! Also, these “workers” are sometimes given a young child or even a baby to help get more money. The baby or young child is usually given a drug, like heroin, or alcohol to keep them calm & silent throughout the day while the “worker” is panhandling. And these “workers” hand over the money to their “bosses” out of fear of what will be done to them if they are caught holding back any money! But, again, the legit homeless do NOT make no $100k plus a year! And one can usually tell the difference between the one who is hustling and the one who is truly homeless! There tends to be a BIG difference in the clothes, appearance, and hygiene!

  93. Jay – I really do not have the time to shake down the homeless to decide which are real and which are not. If you do, tell us you technique.

  94. “You need to get your facts straight before talking about a city where you do not live & only briefly visited!”

    Jay,
    With an exclamation point no less! So if I’m reading you correctly, Paul was factually correct with his reasoning but he lost the moral point by refusing to contribute to any of them as a result of this criminal activity?

    I believe this is a perfect metaphor for how the electorate should deal with politicians. Don’t assume they are honorable in their pursuits simply because they appear to act the part. Do not provide ANY support (including a vote) without being fully informed it will lead to the greater, constitutional purpose.

  95. its generosity that he is doing i vote him out of prison who is with me here.I don’t
    know why its illegal but he was caring for others and thats what matters
    and if people don’t care they can turn around back home then when there all old like arnold they can cry me a river and then GET OVER IT. What i mean here is what sort of government is ruling that country its plain wrong .

    my name is bethan and i am 11 i would do anything to help with people because i care for people and i don’t swear or do bad things i am a good girl and u can’t change that because thats me. Thats who i am.

    and know body should have the right to change anybody.

    this is a human right people

    who agrees with me!!!!!!!

  96. To what Annie said your absolutly right about that.I cannot believe what this country is coming to.Those self asorbed greedy public officials will pay the price one way or another.Maybe one day the public officials will find them selves on the streets. And one last thing has any one posting here heard the story of St Peter from the bible ? The story of the wealthy well fed man who would rather see the less fortunate die of hunger in the streets than help them with his wealth.The end result was St Peter was led into hell after his death.I sure would not want that kind of Karma on me.

  97. A city not far from me in Illinois that prides itself on it’s wealth and McMansions had 1 homeless man who actually did not consider himself homeless, but instead considered his situation as a choice, and done in protest of corrupt city government practices that ran him out of business over 10 years prior. A couple of years ago they actually implement city ordinances aimed at driving him out, after being arrested numerous times for violations of that ordinance the city was finally able to get the courts to ban him from the city.

  98. shelly,
    Thank you for the link concerning Mr. Abbott’s trip to Washington. I hope it helps get the message across that we are a second class country if we won’t allow people to help other people with the basics of life.

  99. If we are limited to how and where we are to feed someone, what is next inspections of our backyard bbqs?

  100. Why limit charitable acts, when it takes the homeless off the streets? Having served others, I find great joy in it; why should the USA government (more of an aristocracy) get in the way of us doing the right thing? File a lawsuit in supreme court!

  101. Why limit charitable acts, when it takes the homeless off the streets?

    @ john doe

    That is exactly the point. The charitable act in question was NOT taking the homeless off of the streets. They were feeding the homeless in a public park and in fact ATTRACTING the homeless to the area to hang around and await being fed.

    The mere act of feeding the homeless is not the question…..it is the location. Other events are also banned in that area. Not just the feeding of the homeless.

    If you want to feed the homeless you can do it in many other locations. Rent a church hall. Open a soup kitchen. You just can’t do the open air meals in that publicly owned location.

  102. It’s truly remarkable that in a place like Fort Lauderdale Florida where the police refuse to do their jobs a great portion of the time, they’re harassing advocates that want to feed the homeless. I called the police once because someone took my cell phone and they told me “We don’t have the manpower to respond to these types of calls.” Another time a neighbor was in my face screaming and threatening me so the 911 operator could hear, again they did nothing. Finally, I contacted the police on another occasion (This is over a 6 year period by the way) and they said they would send someone out. I waited three hours and nobody ever came, yet 12 will show up to demonstrations and to stop people from feeding the homeless. It’s disgusting!

  103. Wow I have just heard it all this state is a disease stat that any one who is a humanitarian should stay out of. They cut government assistance and then they throw you in Jail because you use your OWEN money to feed the homeless wow please don’t say they are lazy a lot of family’s are homeless. They are down on there luck and they need a helping hand and it is not government helping them, it is one human being helpful to another. I well never visit this state ever. And don’t clams you are true Christians that would be a lie. In the bible Jesus feed the people. shame on all of the states that have these laws on there book. Shame on all who voted for this starve the poor of food and there dignity.

  104. Predjudice, judgemental,stereotypes
    No one has walked in my shoes,no one knows whole truth, $ to feed animals,give homes,yet we cannot help humans?
    Judging a person when u haven’t walked in their shoes very wrong.
    I have recently ldost my family,death,sorrow,still wrked, divorced, company closed ,hve medical conditions,always wrked hard ,over 45 now, hard obtain job,i lost home,over past yr as single mom trying alone hard,waited til had under 20.00 to my name,swallowed pride,amazing I had go social.serv, took 2 wks got 398. Food stamps, cash 30 days 380. A month i received for food, shelter,for me and my 2 children.no car so yr later still struggling,we take for granted having food,a home family, we take for granted basic needs,try to start over with just a suitcase look into ur home,could u replace every thing from furniture to utensils, recently found out my son,when we counting change to eat,he had for a week seen man sitting outside,homele ss long story but while we then had v.little he giving man half his sandwich,his drink,as my son saw a man had less than he.so my son was committing a crime,? really?think ,yes some lie,beg,steal .I ashamed going to get welfare ,waited til desperate only to find takes weeks,then grateful,yet still given not enough to provide us w.home,buy car,clothing scraping buy basics as fs cannot buy soap,even bathtissue…… try living on 380. Month to give kids home….. also go on try get job almost 50 yrs old w.med.conditions…… b4 judging try think … U say it never happen to U…. think again it could, and welfare never showers u w.$ , the wrkers there overwrked,cannot keep up, i see both sides,been both sides, i still trying dig myself out of the hole of poverty w.little help,but now no longer take 4 granted even small things …..

  105. Making homelessness illegal is basically making domestics violence legal. Now if a sociopath is at large- abusing his wife- and the woman has a choice between homeless or staying with him- what’s she going to have to choose

    Stay with him.
    We need to make Domestic Violence- not homelessness- illegal.

  106. I just hope that the mayor and none of his anti-homeless law-maker cronies are trying to represent themselves as “Christians,” because this is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Christ taught and exemplified by his life and sacrifices. He would be DISGUSTED by these self-involved, heartless, soul-less people! Read your New Testament, you hypocrites!!!!!

  107. I believe that has actually already taken place on the technology front, it simply hasn’t had the complete impact yet.

  108. Please take note that it is supposedly illegal for artists to offer free food and drinks to their patrons unless they first obtain a permit to do so in San Francisco, the city that used to know how to care. At least that is the warning the artists received from the Health Department, or what ever the title is, last spring. Not exactly the same as feeding the homeless, but, in a city that lays claim to embracing the sharing economy it is hard to reconcile the concept of controlling the sharing of food.

  109. Surely, the most obvious way to ‘Help someone out of the cycle of homelessness” is to stop creating that cycle in the first place by not have sufficient affordable housing, by not giving them equal rights to employment as ‘housed’ people, and by not having sufficient support services. The city itself, and any other city that bans feeding the homeless is to blame for perpetuating the cycle of homelessness, as the vast majority of homeless people are not homeless by choice.

  110. I like the last comment…Theres a home dude that hangs out on my front porch from time to time in the mornings..I have gotten to know him,being from the streets myself ,I help him with things …Hes very grateful for breakfast..always says thank you….I told him its no problem….I know its no fun to wear the same socks /clothes for days,weeks,months at a time.I know no one chooses homlessness…circumstance’s happen,low income,pay check to paycheck,financial instability,Job loss,medical,physical/mental impairment,all that and more contributes to being homeless…Also being homeless is not being lazy…Its hard work…and most of the time its life or death in the elements up here in my city of Duluth Minnesota..Many home ppl…die of the brutal winters ,me included (almost) so Does anyone here posting remember the story of Peter in the Bible? Well the wealthy would be wise to read that and maybe second guess their decision to outlaw feeding the homeless…

  111. OMG!!!! To publically feed the homeless….what a terrible crime. God have mercy on these people who make these draconian laws.

  112. The comment about people getting comfortable being homeless when fed in public places is crazy. Although the food from the pastor or other places that feed the homeless is a blessing and will keep you from starving to desth.. It’s almost inedible.

  113. Also.. Fort Lauderdale is the worst place to be homeless. They do not want the tourist to see you on the beach or anywhere else. It’s a city with million dollars houses and luxury cars but I couldn’t find one shelter or person to help me! They claim millions were donate to the city to help the homeless.. That’s BD

  114. I was fortunate enough to drive one of McKienna’s wagons in DC both to pick up donated food and to distribute soup and sandwiches.

    Any one who thinks those homeless lucky ducks are enjoying their vacation is stark raving nuts and probably ought to be committed for their own and everyone else’s safety.

    Remember most homeless are without homes and jobs because of social policies that make it better for the rest of you who are lucky enough to have jobs and a safe place to sleep.

  115. It is strange the reasoning behind the ban on feeding homeless. My first guess is that people are rampantly and maliciously poisoning the homeless. According to this article, pigs thing that providing sustenance is a harm to the hungry. What a strange world those pigs live in.

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