Humanity Comes with a Penalty: How Feeding the Homeless Is Now Illegal

Image by Alex Proimos on Flickr

Yep, you read the title right. This goal of this article isn’t going to be persuading you to revolt against our government, or frustrate you to the point where you rage quit and destroy your computer. But it’s your life man, I can’t tell you what to do.

Instead, I want to inform you on the rather harsh and severe laws about feeding the homeless that many aren’t even aware exist. This is all happening right now in our country.

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, a city on the southeastern coast of Florida, was the first city to spark controversy all over social media regarding these laws against feeding the homeless. It all started when a 90 year old man named Arnold Abbott actually got arrested for feeding the homeless.

The video above gives some more insight on just how much tension all these laws create. Instead of looking down on the homeless, we should be helping them up. Just as this Florida resident did.

Food Sharing Bans

The National Coalition for the Homeless (image on page 5) reports that exactly 25 states have bans regarding sharing food with the homeless.

Thankfully we don’t have any of these laws in Minnesota regarding the homeless, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay attention to the rest of the states in our country with these bans. There could be a time where these laws develop here before our very own eyes, so it’s better to think ahead about how we could handle this.

Why do these laws exist in the first place?

According to a Pewtrusts article, the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale said in regards to Arnold’s arrest: “We simply said no one area should have all these feedings. (The park was) essentially overrun with these homeless feedings. Arnold Abbott (and his feedings) weren’t a problem, but we can’t make an exception for one person.” Which basically means in his eyes feeding the homeless is deemed as wrong.

However, feeding a homeless person who is hungry is never wrong, it’s called being a human being with decency.

So why are all these laws still present, and if anything, are continuing to grow?

This all boils down to one thing: criminalizing poverty.

There are practically laws for doing anything while being homeless. Besides receiving food, according to several reports by The National Law Center on Poverty and Homelessness, it is also illegal in some places to camp, sleep, and beg in public. Sitting or lying down in public, and sleeping in vehicles, is illegal too.


To Summarize..

This is how I see it. No matter how many laws there are to stop feeding the homeless, there will still be people who hand out food to them, as long as there are no police nearby. I’m not going to be walking down the street and avert my eyes away from a homeless person who’s trying to tell me they haven’t ate in 2 days. There are just some things you cannot do. If I can make someone’s life easier of course I’m gonna do it. Giving another person food shouldn’t be illegal, and it’s pretty sad that I even have to write about this.

I’ve seen many Youtubers talk about their experience with feeding the homeless, and how they are unaware of the bans that take place.

!! Warning: Explicit Language !!

The video is a bit longer, but you get the idea. The more laws that the government makes regarding the homeless only does one thing: continues to make them stay oppressed.

There’s not much else to say rather then..

Continue to do good in the world, because you too have the power inspire others to stand up for what is right.



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