The Homeless Guy, Kevin Barbieux, reports some disturbing news today about police officers chasing away people in Nashville public places who are trying to feed the homeless. “It's just another attempt to rid cities of homeless people, based on the idea that homeless people are attracted to certain areas because of offerings of food,” he said.
But he says church groups take the food to places where they think homeless people are. He says this effort to thwart the feeding of homeless people is a way for “certain people” to cut off the source of food for the homeless so that homeless people won’t congregate in certain areas. It seems cruel to try to zone off certain public places for only certain kinds of people. Why not let homeless people eat and sleep in places like parks? Is it that we don’t want to see the devastation that this society has caused in various segments of the population?
Also, the practice that Kevin mentions of “declaring that any food given to the homeless must be prepared in a kitchen subjected to the same municipal codes as restaurants,” is ridiculous. My mother, who lives in Delaware, says that officials there and in Pennsylvania have tried to enforce the same kind of silliness for churches and other groups who feed homeless folks. But a judge in Delaware called an end to the farce. He allowed a church to continue to feed the homeless without any kind of “inspection.” The judge, in essence, said officials took the code guidelines too far. Did it really take a judge to tell them that? Anybody with a modicum of compassion could see that holding a church kitchen to the same rules as a full-fledged restaurant is quite unnecessary.
Anyway, as Kevin said, he’s never gotten sick from food offered by independent operations. On the other hand, he has barfed a few times after eating food prepared at a rescue mission.