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arrested for feeding the homeless

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It's the first trial of its kind. A man is facing a judge and jury for violating Orlando's ban on feeding the homeless.
http://www.wftv.com/news/14289861/detail.html
What do you think?
post #2 of 29
Whats wrong with feeding homeless people? They have to eat too...
They are people just like you & me, except without homes. We would of done the same thing! If we could feed & home all of the homeless, we would do it in an instant! Helping people & animals is one of the greatest feelings There are more important issues to take on then banning feeding the homeless...jeesh!
post #3 of 29
I thought the law would forbid feeding homeless cats, because I unfortunately know of towns that prohibit that. I've never heard of criminalizing feeding homeless people.That's outrageous!

Does Orlando have soup kitchens? I suspect that the idea is to get the homeless to move to other cities, where they do get free meals, to save the town money.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I imagine that Orlando has soup kitchens, but I don't know.

Orlando also recently banned begging after dark. During daylight, begging is only allowed in specific areas. These areas are the painted blue boxes. These were painted long ago and need another coat because they are barely visable.
post #5 of 29
Well, you know, if you feed them, they'll never go away, they'll just keep coming back, showing up at your doorstep at all hours, bringing their friends along for handouts...

Oh, wait, we are talking about HUMANS? That's even worse than regular strays. You can't TNR them!

Remember: Never extend a hand toward a feral human or try to make direct eye contact, as they'll only see that as a threat...

::: removing tongue from cheek :::
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Well, you know, if you feed them, they'll never go away, they'll just keep coming back, showing up at your doorstep at all hours, bringing their friends along for handouts...

Oh, wait, we are talking about HUMANS? That's even worse than regular strays. You can't TNR them!

Remember: Never extend a hand toward a feral human or try to make direct eye contact, as they'll only see that as a threat...

::: removing tongue from cheek :::
No kidding.

I don't understand how or why anyone would make it illegal to feed the homeless. What is that law even supposed to accomplish?
post #7 of 29
Victory for him, he was found Not-Guilty, but the city has vowed to continue to enforce the ordinance:

http://www.wftv.com/news/14303721/detail.html

I did some digging to try to find the "whys" of this seemingly outrageous ordinance. I found more background, but it's still outrageous IMO.

Quote:
The city council passed a plan Monday that requires groups to get a permit to feed more than 25 homeless people in a park within two miles of city hall and that group can only get two permits per year.

The ordinance came in response to complaints about crime after homeless meals at Lake Eola Park.
http://www.wftv.com/news/9571421/detail.html

So, it's not the whole city, just close enough so the politicians and visitors to City Hall won't have to see that there's a problem.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
So, it's not the whole city, just close enough so the politicians and visitors to City Hall won't have to see that there's a problem.
Oh, of course! You wouldn't want them to feel obligated to take any sort of action to help the homeless!
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
Oh, of course! You wouldn't want them to feel obligated to take any sort of action to help the homeless!
Out of sight, out of mind. Now on to the next issue: Do we (the politicians) vote ourselves another salary raise this term?



Of the people, DESPITE the people. That should be the new wording...

Do I need to type in Orange from now on?
post #10 of 29
We had something like that happen here.

People that go to the city parks with their families and such and people that live around said parks were getting very upset with the homeless people that were, basically living in the parks. The garbage factor and the feces and urine factor and so on. Sooooo, they passed some law that said people could not go to the parks and feed the homeless.

That law did NOT stand up to a challenge.

I think it is a sad day when someone can make a law not to help the homeess.

But, I also think that I would be bummed if I lived by the parks in question and there was garbage, feces and people relieving themselves on my property.
post #11 of 29
Wow! That's insane! I can see a law against pan handling, but to be arrested for taking food out to homeless people? Crazy!

I don't give money to people, but I've fed many homeless people. Not in groups mind you, but I have taken homeless people into restaurants and bought them a meal and paid for coffee refills for them. Have even stayed and had had my lunch with them too. And amazing enough I've never had a restaurant refuse to serve the person no matter how scruffy they look. Granted it's not fine dining.

One particular day there were a group of 3 young adults sitting on the sidewalk downtown and when I walked by they asked me for money for food. I told them I didn't have any, which was true. I don't usually carry cash with me and tend to use my debit card.

I went and did my erands and then stopped at McDonalds and ordered 3 meals for them. I happened to mention to the person taking my order who it was for. The restaurant manager heard me and came over and told me that I was doing a kind thing and then he told me that the food was on the house. And he doubled everything I ordered. I went back to where those "kids" were and gave them the food. They were surprised and grateful. I'm sure they would have preferred money because I tend to think that most who ask for money aren't asking because they want food. But they got a hot meal that day.

While some people choose to live a homeless life, most people don't and there is a real need to not only feed these people but to help them get off of the street and into a job where they can support themselves. It's hard to get a job when you don't have an address or clean clothing or a place to sleep. Hand outs isn't the way, but it's a step towards helping those who really want to change their circumstances.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
Well, you know, if you feed them, they'll never go away, they'll just keep coming back, showing up at your doorstep at all hours, bringing their friends along for handouts...

Oh, wait, we are talking about HUMANS? That's even worse than regular strays. You can't TNR them!

Remember: Never extend a hand toward a feral human or try to make direct eye contact, as they'll only see that as a threat...

::: removing tongue from cheek :::
this is insane, A lot of people I know would be in Jail, includeing me, I have bought an extra sandwich and given to a hungry person, we have all had hard times at one time or another, buy a coffee a sandwich, who's it gonna hurt
post #13 of 29
Personally, I don't think a law against pan handling would stand up to a challenge either, and I think people should be free to beg for crying out loud.
post #14 of 29
It is such a shame that our fear of the homeless has gone so far as trying to criminalize homelessness. There's also a tendency for politicians to believe that since the presence of homeless people is a sign of poverty, the solution is to chase the homeless people away or hide them in institutions.
So sad.

We need MORE compassion, not less.
post #15 of 29
I for one, don't give them money.

I have no problem giving them food.
All too many times have I seen people give them money and them buy alcohol
post #16 of 29
It is the old and infirm poor people that tear my heart out and yes I do give them money.
The guys that look and act able bodied I don't.
post #17 of 29
I personally do not give them anything (anymore).

When I was in high school I gave some money and food away to one person on a trip.
#1) I was approached by other homeless for money and/or food
and
#2) I was yelled at by the 10-12 others that I couldn't afford to help.

So I stopped freely giving. I can't help everyone.
post #18 of 29
I was a homeless person for 8 months in 1986, and I can tell you that those who sleep in the parks are the ones that really don't WANT help.

The homeless that DO want help are going to shelters and seeking assistance, doing whatever they can to make their lives turn around.

Those who have made the CHOICE to stay homeless are the ones that choose to urinate and defacate in public places rather than seeking out restrooms.

They are either mentally ill and can't get their lives together because they don't know how, or they are substance addicted and just DON'T CARE.

The very best way to help out the homeless is to donate to food kitchens and shelters, as those are the places that help the homeless get off the streets and into better living conditions.
post #19 of 29
Just to clarify, this particular law would not affect an individual giving food to another individual. It is saying that within 2 miles of City Hall it's illegal to set up a group feeding station for more than 25 people without a permit. By the letter of the law, you would also need a permit to have a family reunion in the park and providing food for more than 25 people.
post #20 of 29
I agree with Ginger's post. Ginger that post is sooooooo un-liberal of you.
post #21 of 29
We see Gingersmom's point...we suppose not every homeless person wants help. Good post Gingersmom
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I agree with Ginger's post. Ginger that post is sooooooo un-liberal of you.
I have never, ever claimed to be a liberal or a conservative. I vote based on issues that are important to me, and for candidates that I think will do the right thing. I do not play party politics.

And that first post was meant to be 100% sarcastic. I hope you realize that!

My more recent post was not liberal or conservative, either. It is based upon my direct experience having survived within the homeless community, and having pulled myself up out of it.
post #23 of 29
I do give money sometimes. I also support shelters, give them my old but still serviceable clothing, and buy them meals.

I think that there is some truth to that statement, although, as in most cases, it's a grey area. Some homeless do not want help. Some do. However, some of the ones that do want help can't get it because there's only so much shelters and soup kitchens can do to help them. Their funding only goes so far. Housing will only house so many. For instance, here, the shelters are full often times, and if a person doesn't get there early enough, they don't get space.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
I do give money sometimes. I also support shelters, give them my old but still serviceable clothing, and buy them meals.

I think that there is some truth to that statement, although, as in most cases, it's a grey area. Some homeless do not want help. Some do. However, some of the ones that do want help can't get it because there's only so much shelters and soup kitchens can do to help them. Their funding only goes so far. Housing will only house so many. For instance, here, the shelters are full often times, and if a person doesn't get there early enough, they don't get space.
Not only that, but many homeless people fear that they'll be victims of crime in shelters, or won't go to them because their pets aren't allowed in.

Note to those who are going to say that homeless people shouldn't have pets: I had that attitude years ago, but after more than a quarter of a century working in center city where there are a lot of homeless people around, I've come to see that most of the pets kept by the homeless are indeed well-cared for, and that those pets are a life-line. They give warmth (emotional and physical), companionship, and a reason not to give up.
post #25 of 29
I'd bet most of those pets were strays and homeless themselves before they found the homeless human.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
I think I've posted this before, so if you already read it you may want to skip this part:
A seemingly homeless man with his dog on a bicycle asked me directions when I was in the front yard. I noticed that he was keeping his distance. My husband came out to offer a sandwich. The man looked terrified of him and petaled away quickly. It just broke my heart. This man had obviously been abused before to cause him to be so scared. Whether or not he wanted he wanted or needed help, he still deserves to be treated like a person.

I hope you don't mind, but I have to brag on my DH a little. We live above a business. There is a dumpster on the property. He saw a man digging in it. He yelled over to him and I wondered what he was going to do. He went over and helped him get cans out. He then asked if he was hungry, but the man said no. He looked him in the eye, shook his hand, and asked his name. The man asked for nothing. Most people ignore him. My DH treated him like a human being.

Kind of a hijack, but just thought you might be interested.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
I'd bet most of those pets were strays and homeless themselves before they found the homeless human.
I recently met a homeless, teen girl a runaway, she was horribly abused all of her life, the only thing she has to keep her going is her dog, she found him eating out of a dumpster scared cold and shaking, the dog is very protective of her, and she finds food for the both of them, I wanted to help she said no, she does better in life helping herself.
post #28 of 29
I can barely stand the thought.. when I pass by someone who so obviously needs the money more than I do and I don't have any cash for them.. and here I was the night before blowing money on something that is so far beyond a luxury for someone in their situation that you know they're never going to have it... like crab legs, or cheesecake or.. $15 for the hot foods bar at Whole Foods. For that matter, my cats eat better than these people do.

And as far as how they spend the money they get, if alcohol is more important to them than food, or whatever, who am I to judge and tell them what they can or can't do with it?... I'd say that a.) they're entitled to make their own decisions, and b.) I can't say I blame them for wanting to drink away their troubles when their life is that bad. In some cases it's just *not* that easy to fix as "get off your butt and get a job". There's no law in this country that prevents people from making bad decisions. Just because they're homeless doesn't mean they're not entited to the same rights as the rest of America, diminishing as they may be currently.

*NOTE* I do realize that no one has said that in this thread... this actually stems from a discussion I had here at the office a few days ago.
post #29 of 29
I would have to agree that the police have much better things they could be doing. How on earth could anyone think FEEDING another human being is a crime?!!!! What's next, laws against feeding wild birds!
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