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3 More Groups Banned from Feeding the Homeless

3 More Groups Banned from Feeding the Homeless

When you see people who are starving, it seems like a natural impulse to want to feed them. Unfortunately, politicians are trying to circumvent this very human response by outlawing private individuals and groups from giving free food to the homeless.

Forget belittling the rich, this is real class warfare. By forbidding people from sharing meals with the poor, politicians are exacerbating the crisis rather than improving it. As backwards as it is to pretend that hunger disappears when groups stop feeding the homeless, a disappointing number of cities have adopted this policy:

Tragically, rather than seeing that list shrink, recent weeks have shown that the list is actually expanding. Here are three recent bans on feeding the homeless:

1. Crazy Faith Ministries

For two years, Crazy Faith Ministries gathered in a public parking lot to feed Olympia, Washington’s homeless population. When local businesses complained, city politicians attempted to shut down the Christian group’s charitable act, but Crazy Faith Ministries refused to comply since there were no legal grounds.

Subsequently, the City Council found a legal reason, namely by passing a new law requiring groups to obtain expensive permits to gather in a public parking lot. Though the politicians claim they weren’t targeting Crazy Faith Ministries specifically, they acknowledge stopping the food service will improve “traffic” in the area. Think of all the malls and businesses that generate traffic jams that aren’t considered “problems”!

While some politicians have said they will help the group find a better location to serve the homeless, Crazy Faith representatives say that no one has followed through on that claim.

 

2. The Buttery Shelf

Many believe that it should be up to individuals to take care of the poor rather than the government, yet when a local business steps up to feed the hungry, the powers that be intervene to shut that down, too. Case in point: the Buttery Shelf Eatery in Lafayette, Indiana. Cherrie Buckley, the diner’s owner and all around good person, gave away free meals each Thursday to people in need… that is until fellow local business owners started suing Buckley, as reported by Care2′s Kristina Chew earlier this week.

They allege that Buckley’s generosity was scaring away patrons and costing them business. According to them, the line of needy people that lined up would drink alcohol, swear and litter, scaring others out of the neighborhood. However, even the police denied that these accusations were true, citing that at least one report of rampant drug use was definitely false considering an officer was already on the scene that could verify no such thing was occurring.

Despite the charges being bogus, Buckley lacks the resources to fight her peers’ lawsuits in court and has had to discontinue the free lunch service.

 

3. The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition

Los Angeles is working overtime to maintain its title as the “meanest” city toward homeless people. Not only has it recently banned encampments in a large portion of the city, but it continues to fight the courts to be able to prevent people from sleeping in their cars. If those battles weren’t enough, a pair of city councilmen are currently proposing making feeding homeless people in public spaces illegal.

Though a number of groups that currently serve food to the city’s large needy population in parks and street corners would then be subject to fines and arrests just for trying to help out, the potential new ordinance was drafted to address an ongoing conflict between the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition and well-to-do homeowners. It turns out that rich people don’t want to have to see homeless people “loitering” anywhere near them and politicians like Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge are happy to prioritize the petty complaints of the affluent over the basic survival needs of the less fortunate.

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Photo Credits: Buttery Shelf Eatery from Facebook & GWHFC from their photo website.

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726 comments

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11:05AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I simply say what a great Master Teacher stated, "Whatsoever you do unto the least of these, you do also unto me."

So much confusion as to the simplicity of being "a kinder, gentler nation."

Thank you for sharing.

9:37AM PDT on Aug 15, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

6:04PM PDT on Aug 14, 2014

Thanks

4:41AM PDT on Aug 8, 2014

Only if that's for good and when the homeless are assisted to help themselves

9:16AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

horrible

8:55PM PST on Feb 8, 2014

How can you stop people from feeding hungry people? That's inhumane.

1:13PM PST on Jan 15, 2014

I am a homeless person, but I believe that the government should ban feeding the homeless, or any other type of destitute person. Hunger will drive us to go out of our way to make sure we have food. I am not talking about relying on food stamps or similar program.
It is as simple as just going around and finding work.
Also, missing a meal or two won't kill most of us homeless folks.
By the way, have you ever been around a homeless crowd when there's free food?
I have seen pigs behave better.

5:44PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Thank you.

5:43PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

Thank you.

12:56PM PST on Dec 26, 2013

ARRON C: Very sad; but also very true: there have "always" been HOMELESS people and there "always will be". Don and WE CAN! :-))

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
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