Society and Culture
Pastors and Elderly Man Cited for Feeding Homeless in Ft. Lauderdale
I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween weekend! I spent the weekend in Chicago where I was surprised to see many homeless people sitting in front of some of the most expensive shops on Michigan Avenue. Houston certainly has homeless people too, but nothing like what I saw in Chicago, where I felt like we were pretty much stepping over people who were at their rock bottom. My boyfriend has a kind heart and on several occasions this weekend gave food to the homeless, and I thought that was really sweet. So I found it really ironic when I read the news that two pastors and a 90-year-old man were charged with feeding the homeless in Ft. Lauderdale.
Arnold Abbott has been feeding homeless people in Ft. Lauderdale for nearly 20 years! He heads a group called Love Thy Neighbor and was only able to get out three or four meals of the 300 that he had prepared for the day before the cops shut him down. Abbott, Rev. Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs, and Rev. Dwayne Black, pastor of the Sanctuary Church in Ft. Lauderdale, were each cited for willfully violating a city ordinance. Police issued them notices to appear in court where they could be asked to explain their actions. Explain their actions. Why do good people have to all of a sudden explain the actions of giving a helping hand to the less fortunate? Is this the kind of world we want to live in? I know I don’t!
Everyone gets down on their luck at some point and some have it worse than others, but what’s wrong with these people wanting to help the homeless? There is a large number of homeless in the Ft. Lauderdale area, which is why something should be done about that issue. Perhaps the city council should consider creating more shelters instead of taking everything away from them, including the ordinance it passed last Spring banning homeless people from having any possessions in public. They are homeless, where are they suppose to have the few things that they own? I get that the homeless population may be growing in that city, but punishing people who are already hard on their luck is just counterproductive.
Cleaning up your city shouldn’t involve punishing those who are down on their luck and then punishing other people for trying to help.