Friday, November 7, 2014

Feeding the Homeless Deemed Illegal

I read an article on RawStory about a 90 year old man and two ministers who were arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for feeding the homeless on a sidewalk.

Remember--Fort Lauderdale is where a significant amount of Spring Break partying and debauchery occurs annually.

The article, titled, 90-year-old Florida man faces 60 days in jail for feeding the homeless is an interesting read. Homeless advocate Arnold Abbott describes the incident as follows:

“As contemplated on Sunday, I was arrested for feeding the homeless and received a citation to appear in court,” Abbott explained on Facebook. “However, only 4 people were fed before an officer told me to, ‘Drop that plate immediately!’ As though it were a weapon I was holding, and to go with him to the police car. After a time I was allowed to get the food back on the van and we were able to find a small churches [sic] driveway, where we set up, and fed the people who followed us over.”

I am confused. How is a non-profit organization feeding homeless people that otherwise might have to resort to public assistance a problem for the city? As I read the article, the larger problem may be the number of homeless in Fort Lauderdale--but apparently, the city isn't solving the problem only exacerbating it through their "police state" actions. And it seems Ft Lauderdale has no problem with encouraging the annual partying and problems associated with Spring Break.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail when the courts get involved.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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