Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Orlando Bans Feeding Homeless on City Property

I have no words, or perhaps too many. Here are a few highlights from the news article and a link to read it:

ORLANDO, Fla. -- City officials have banned charitable groups from feeding homeless people in parks downtown, arguing that transients who gather for weekly meals create safety and sanitary problems for businesses.

The measure, approved Monday, prevents serving large groups in parks and other public property within two miles of City Hall without a permit. The American Civil Liberties Union vowed to sue, saying it's a superficial fix that ignores the city's homeless problem. ...

City commissioner Patty Sheehan pushed for the ordinance after complaints from business owners and residents that homeless people were causing problems at a downtown park popular with joggers and dog walkers.

A group called Food Not Bombs, which has served weekly vegetarian meals to homeless people for more than a year there, said it would continue illegally.


Christopher said...

This raises some interesting questions about what constitutes public property and more specifically what uses are appropriatae to that property. For example, I'm not free to run around naked just because a park is public. There are standards of decency the society dictates. I know it sounds cruel and unusual but I'm sure it's a question of rights (in this case, the bums rights vs. the joggers rights), and of course the bums probably have no decent advocates.

But not being able to serve bums in parks doesn't mean you can't serve them in shelters or other public areas, does it?

Btw, I just rented the "Girl in the Cafe". I hope to have a review up after I watch it. Thanks for the recommendation!

Rebecca Snavely said...

Ahh - the realistic perspective. I rarely go there first, always thinking idealistically. Thanks for the comment. Look forward to reading your review of "Girl in the Cafe."