What would you do if you came across someone on the street that had not had anything to eat for several days? Would you give that person some food? Well, the next time you get that impulse you might want to check if it is still legal to feed the homeless where you live. Sadly, feeding the homeless has been banned in major cities all over America. Other cities that have not banned it outright have put so many requirements on those that want to feed the homeless (acquiring expensive permits, taking food preparation courses, etc.) that feeding the homeless has become "out of reach" for most average people. Some cities are doing these things because they are concerned about the "health risks" of the food being distributed by ordinary "do-gooders". Other cities are passing these laws because they do not want homeless people congregating in city centers where they know that they will be fed. But at a time when poverty and government dependence are soaring to unprecedented levels, is it really a good idea to ban people from helping those that are hurting?
Some "rules" are made to be broken, and this one is on the list. Here is a time where obeying God in helping someone out, should take precedent over wicked rules of man. How heartless is our society growing?
So you buy a homeless person a meal at McDonalds or give someone poor food from your kitchen, or hand someone a sandwich and they want to fine you?
Also do not buy all the rules they make for "safety" reasons, using that as an excuse. Soon none of us will be allowed to cross the street for our own "safety". That is just an excuse to starve the homeless and send them underground. After all in the non-depression "Depression", they want to keep the homeless as hidden as possible.
The Squawker and the Reckoner have never been homeless but have been close so they have compassion for those who have ended up this way. It is far easier to end up homeless then anyone could dream. Rent is always paid first in our household, above everything else, but what about those when the income stream totally stops? The landlords may give you a break for a month or two but after that the streets await. The Squawker still remembers when one of her neighbors in a big city became homeless, she ran into her warming herself by a trashcan fire, and asked "What happened?". She had been laid off, and could not get another job and was denied unemployment.
The help of friends and others has kept both of us off the street and fed before. While the stereotype that everyone who is homeless ended up that way from substance abuse or other bad choices, the reality is more and more of them are people who simply lost jobs, and could not keep things going.
It's like they want to legislate heartless cruelty and no more compassion and kindness for fellow mankind. Why are the churches silent in the face of this too? Sadly most of the 501c3 churches, will "follow the rules", hopefully some will realize that feeding the hungry, is a spiritual duty that trumps draconian laws. Even in the many disasters that now impact this nation, many people come together in those to even feed one another. The social worker and out of touch types will say "Oh there are plenty of options for the homeless!". Do not let that deceive you either. There are reasons, some of the homeless avoid shelters. The concerns range from lack of handicapped accommodations to husband, wives and children being separated. The author of the article of the link talks about how they were forced to even give up their walker, leaving them totally helpless. That stuff really does happen.
Many homeless shelters in big cities are in dangerous neighborhoods, they force you to wander outside all day, even if you are ill and old, they have draconian rules, meant to control more then to help. Many ask why don't the homeless use shelters and why do they choose to sleep in doorways or under bridges? Well there is a reason for that. Some shelters are even overtaken by crime, you lose your little bit of stuff, should you dare to actually sleep. I am not trying to dissuade people from the use of shelters to save their lives, but there is more to the story. Those with children fear losing custody due to their poverty and those with ill health fear being warehoused away into a nightmare nursing home. For many homeless, they learn quick survival lies in the area of pretending not to be homeless. Some of our homeless even still have jobs, just too low-paying to keep shelter. There are also those who go to the shelters and find out all the beds are full. Imagine that happening on a cold night where you have no where else to go?
The Squawker has known and befriended numbers of the "hidden homeless" in her old town, who found alternative housing in RV campers, and house sitting and odd jobs. She would worry and ask them about winter, will you be OK and offered what help she could, but she has seen homelessness from the personal level. It is scary they are using food safety rules to outlaw giving help to the homeless, so they leave the homeless to go dig in the trashcan instead? Of course now, they are locking up more dumpsters, surrounded them by locked gates, so the homeless do not even have that option. Having personally seen how bad off the food pantries are, those who lack all options are in far worse shape then ever before. No one should stop anyone from feeding someone in need who is hungry. They are so nuts, soon they will outlaw people even eating at other folk's homes and church potlucks. Will they drag us off to jail as one commenter wrote for handing a friend a sandwich? Something has really gone wrong with this country, really wrong.--The Squawker