Is it Illegal to Feed the Homeless in Your City?

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On November 2nd, 2014, Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident Arnold Abbott made national news after being cited for feeding the homeless. For many outraged Americans, this news came as a shock, however this typical policy has existed in quite a few cities around the U.S. for years. Could your city has a ban on feeding the homeless?

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, by January 2013, twenty-one U.S. cities had passed measures aimed at restricting people from feeding the homeless. Today, there are seventy-one cities across the nation who have either passed or are trying to pass, ordinances that criminalize feeding the homeless.

 

FoodSharingBanMapNEW

 

While many cities have taken positive steps towards helping their homeless populations, the issue of “feeding-bans” isn’t going away. Michael Stoops, director of community organizing at the National Coalition for the Homeless, says that the number of cities trying to pass the feeding-ban is on the rise.

Some cities are actually taking it a step further and are in the process of evicting their homeless completely. Albuquerque, New Mexico, whose poverty level is ranked the fifth highest in the nation, is in the process of evicting its homeless population from the various tent encampments around the city, thereby taking people’s last resort for housing. Where the homeless population of Albuquerque are supposed to go isn’t made clear.

 

We compassionately care about our homeless population, but public safety certainly comes first in this situation,” stated deputy chief administrative officer Gilbert Montano. “We are not going to pull them out, and drag them out and move them along. But we will go through the court process. We will file an eviction notice to get them out of there.”

 

Stoops claims that many cities are pressured to prioritize economic development and tourism. Food sharing programs are considered problematic since they attract dozens, if not hundreds of people. Cities like Houston, Texas have made it illegal to feed the homeless within the city without the permission of property owners. As such, it is not just the common citizen who is prohibited from feeding the homeless, but charitable organizations as well, like local food drives. Some Houston organizations have been forced to relocate outside the city in order to avoid fines.

Many are attributing the heartless solutions proposed by the elite to Western society’s growing lack of empathy. There are many examples of blatant, callous apathy on behalf of society, such as a 2012 case in which 35-year-old Edgar Francisco was struck by a car as bystanders simply walked on.

Here’s another horrific example of society’s lack of empathy written by a mother from Canada who suggested an autistic boy should be euthanize.

 

Letter-to-family-with-severely-autistic-child

 

As life gets harder, it seems mankind’s heart grows colder. Most of us are struggling with our own problems and seldom have time to help others through theirs. It’s easier to keep our heads down or avert our gaze than to stop and offer compassion. And this is the same stance the Elite are taking on a national scale rather than finding a solution to the homeless problem. It’s easier to simply eradicate it and pretend it doesn’t exist.

 


Sources:

  1. Lencho. World Socialist Web Site. Feb 9, 2015. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/02/09/tent-f09.html)

Levintova, Hannah. Mother Jones. Nov 13, 2014. (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/90-year-old-florida-veteran-arrested-feeding-homeless-bans)

Riis, Richard. Daily Kos. Mar 16, 2013. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/16/1194591/-In-Houston-It-s-Illegal-to-Feed-the-Homeless-and-for-the-Homeless-to-Feed-Themselves#)

Snyder, Michael. True Activist. Aug 27, 2013. (http://www.trueactivist.com/it-is-illegal-to-feed-the-homeless-in-cities-all-over-the-united-states/)


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15 COMMENTS

  1. I find it entirely ironic that a person can sit in front of Walmart and be fed, and fed very well, with little or no effort, from people who have little or nothing themselves, but the elitists, whom depend on us for their food, think that closing the food banks, soup kitchens, and food drives will keep us dirty bums out of sight.
    CHARITY PREVENTS CRIME. HAVE YOU EVERY BEEN HUNGRY FOR A WEEK? DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M HUNGRY FOR A WEEK? I WILL EAT YOU. keep this in mind kids

      • yeah, and a house, clothing, medical care,education and what not. some poeple in society fail to undertand that they are talking to their fellow human being, and degrade the poeple below them in the social hirarchy. this is what social classes do, they fuck us up in many ways.

      • And put what address on the job application? Wear what to the interview? Give what callback number? And to those without the mental capacity to work a normal shift what do you propose? Huh? What do you suggest we do with out military heroes who come back to us and end up on the streets? O Ok..

  2. Hey. Great article. It completely amazes me that something like feeding the homeless can be illegal. I could rant for a while…but I’ll just leave with saying, everyone disobey these laws! Go out and feed the homeless everywhere! Recently a few Anons and I went to Charlotte and fed some homeless and hungry people. Charlotte tries to hide the homeless away, but they still found us 🙂 and were very happy to get some food in their bellies! So wish I could do more. No one should be without a home or go hungry. Ever.

  3. I say post a letter to all neighbors nearby to figure out who the letter come from and sue the writer for discrimination of handicap, threatening their constitutional rights, and for indecency against humanity. forfeit their citizenship and send them to a country that would accommodate their view points, such as china or somewhere in the middle east where being viewed as an American would make them indifferent and a nuisance to society for being who they were born to be without choice. then we’ll see if this person feels the same about judging another.

  4. Nathaniel . although Judith `s article is great… last thursday I got themselves a Alfa Romeo since getting a check for $8391 recently and-just over, $10 thousand last-month . with-out any question its the most comfortable work Ive had . I began this four months/ago and pretty much straight away got me at least $71… per/hr . you can find out more….>> w­w­w­.­P­a­y-R­e­v­i­e­w­.­ℂ­o­m

  5. well, I don’t live in USA, but whyyy? aren’t they humans? and humanity is when we help each others, you’re not wrong when you say in an other article that “The riches getting rich, the poors getting poor” and nobody talk!

  6. After 3 years, it blows my mind how the “rules” of this country can keep making it #Illegal2BHomeless
    A group of homeless people in Columbia SC came up with an idea I love. #HomelessEcoVille but the local groups will not help. They keep helping shelters and such but HomelessEcoVille will get them off the streets and self supporting AND they can give back to the community.
    Serve a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

  7. Whoever made feeding the homeless illegal should be jailed/executed, okay maybe not executed but they should have all their property taken from them and sent to live on the streets for life.

  8. I just read an article that said Dallas repealed that ordinance, making it legal to feed the homeless. That article was published last year.

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