FT. LAUDERDALE: “If you’re poor–just STOP being poor!”
[Like Olympia’s Ben Charles, a resolute native American pastor with a street ministry that insists on feeding the hungry in the face of municipal opposition, Good Samaritans are under attack by ordinances across the nation making poverty a virtual crime and those who attempt to assist the poor, criminals.]
by Katie Zavadski
Fort Lauderdale, FL (11-4-14) — Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, wasn’t kidding about its new law, which established strict regulations on where organizations can feed the city’s homeless residents. Two local pastors and 90-year-old Arnold Abbott were cited for violating the ordinance Tuesday, and each face up to 60 days in prison and a $500 fine.
The city has about 10,000 homeless residents, but as of last month, outdoor food stands need permits or special permission and can’t be closer than 500 feet to a residential property. (Owners must also provide toilets.) Proponents of the law say that distributing food to the needy is “sanctioning homelessness.”
These restrictions don’t sit well with Abbott, who runs a nonprofit called Love Thy Neighbor, which he founded after his wife’s death. He intends to be out there feeding the homeless again on Wednesday, whether the police cite him again or not.
Volunteers with Love Thy Neighbor were given notices to appear for sharing food with homeless people under Fort Lauderdale’s new “sharing ban” regulations. They were forced to shut down the sharing and relocate to private property. Unfortunately the people most in need of food aid are in this area where the sharing ban enforcement is being focused…
[“But, if you feed them, they will come! The poor have no ‘skin’ in the game!” Yeah, that’s the problem with the poor, they have too much skin left.]