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City To Ban Street-Corner Feedings of Homeless

By Mike Dunn and Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced a ban on the feeding of large numbers of homeless and hungry people at sites on and near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Mayor Nutter is imposing the ban on all outdoor feedings of large numbers of people on city parkland, including Love Park and the Ben Franklin Parkway, where it is not uncommon for outreach groups to offer free food.

Nutter says the feedings lack both sanitary conditions and dignity.

“Providing to those who are hungry must not be about opening the car trunk, handing out a bunch of sandwiches, and then driving off into the dark and rainy night,” Nutter said.

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The city’s leading homeless advocate, Project Home’s Sister Mary Scullion, voiced tentative support for the mayor’s announcement. She said the mayor is “between a rock and a hard place” on the issue of outdoor feedings.

“I really want to thank the mayor for this courageous … this is not an easy position. But I do think it’s a great opportunity,” Scullion said.

Among the groups unhappy with the mayor’s announcement is Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300 Ministries, a homeless outreach group that does both indoor and outdoor feedings.

“The fact that city of Philadelphia is saying now that the homeless don’t have the right to eat on the Ben Franklin Parkway or eat around Center City is a clear violation of civil rights,” Jenkins explained. “It says that people that have … can eat in a certain place. But people that have not, can’t.”

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Nutter’s aides will work with the homeless groups to encourage more indoor feedings.

In the meantime, the groups will be allowed to offer food on the north apron of City Hall, provided they register with the city.

The ban on parkland feedings takes effect in 30 days. Groups that violate the outdoor feeding ban would face two warnings and then a nominal $150 fine.

Nutter says large family gatherings in the park are not affected by the ban.

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  • UnPCdMOM

    If the homeless can’t be fed ‘outdoors’; the for sure Occupy whatever Philly better not be allowed to have kitchen or food services OUTDOORS. Other than that I find it imbecilic to outlaw feeding the homeless at a state/city level while the Feds are manuevering to have taxpayers fund recreational birth control. I’d much rather donate to a charity that HELPS the homeless with food, clothes, medical, employment & training and self esteem issues than pay even one cent for a college kid/adult to have recreational sex. Pay for it yourself! WE did!

  • Keystone

    I live on the far side of Pennsylvania from Philly.
    Plenty of homeless here, and a businessman “offered” them to anyone who would come down and take them out of his “backyard”.

    The park they harbored was demolished of massive trees, gazebo, and picnic tables for al……so they could not use them.

    Th business has an international clientele of visitors to his place. Can’t have them glancing out to a park of homeless.

    The park was rebuilt, new sidewalks, tiny trees, clean and efficient to walk through, but not stay. No money was appropriated to feed the hungry.

    YOUR story makes me sad to be a Pennsylvania resident, as did ours.
    None of us are higher than the least among us. Give them a hand up any time you can, in any way you can. They could be any of us on any given day to come.

    • blondie

      Its the governments way of taking over your responsibility as a human being to be generous to others.This way they can create another govt program with our money and control us.

      • mikey

        Your are right in what you are stating, blondie. I shared an opinion earlier, but left out that I do, at times and when I feel the Lord is leading me, help the homeless. I have often taken in a homeless man, and a woman once, and helped them get on their feet.
        I noticed in college, in a course in social work, that in the early years of our country, helping people who had differrent types of problems, and which could lead to homelessness, either ther individual’s own family, or the church would the ones to help the person out.
        But, down through the years, the government has stepped in to fill this role; until where we are at this time–with the government trying to shut out the church, all-together in bestowing charity–except when the government has it’s fun in irritating the churches into doing something that goes against their religion, e.g. contraceptives.
        Ane here again, I believe when the government steps into a place that the church used to fill, the gov. does it to gain the “glory” for their “good works”, and that particuliar administration, instead, gets the honor that comes from helping the poor–instead of the church.

      • Keystone

        When my Maker inquires of MY meeting my responsibilities to my fellow man, I am contented we will enjoy the discussion.

        I do agree government is in more of a need of a diet, than the homeless.

        But in a country, with decline in some areas, we have food galore. I am inclined to have that food shared with anyone who is hungry, especially the homeless.

        My own brother came home from war, divorced, and traveled away.
        I asked his ex wife where he was.

        “Under a bridge” she told me
        “Can you narrow that down?” I asked.
        “In Florida”.

        I traveled the state until I found him.
        He is now in a Vet’s Hospital, pretty messed up.

        I returned to Oregon to work, and found MORE homeless there than in Florida.
        Florida is a transient population to begin with.
        The stable population in Oregon seemed to have a heart for their fellow man, knowing it could be them.

        I returned to PA to take care of mom. She died.

        If you plan on going to Heaven any time, there are 4 walls and each wall has 3 Gates. I will meet you just inside the Middle Eastern Gate of Heaven, and hopefully laugh with the fun people we meet there.

        Until then, skip government, and do the best you can, for as many as you can.

  • Enigma

    Stop looking for the anti-christ, he’s living well in Philadelphia.

    • Sue Bell

      I guess he would have slammed Jesus’ behind in jail, what with all those loaves and fishes being consumed outdoors.

  • nutters-heart

    No Nutter, YOU lack empathy. But since you’re worried about “dignity,” how about weening all the illegals (ie your voters) off welfare and other social programs that the city’s taxes are going towards? You are less of a human. If you’ve cared to notice your tax base in that city is dropping, you know why you heartless animal, the smart people are LEAVING.

  • TJP

    Some people are homeless because they have nowhere to go. But some are homeless because they actually prefer being homeless, and a lot are homeless because they’re drug addicts or alcoholics. And there’s no inherent “dignity” in being homeless – if there were, there’d be no motivation to try to better your position. If it reduces mess to eat indoors, then by all means eat indoors.

    The people handing out food, while their hearts are in the right place, are probably not also cleaning up the mess left around afterwards. Namely, leftovers that attract vermin and spread disease. The taxpayers get stuck subsidizing that.

    • remmy

      Some homeless are mentally challenged and may prove a threat to themselves and others. Legally, a police officer can not make that determination and can’t take any action until a violation has been committed.

  • N. Hampshire

    There must be plenty of abandon, foreclosed houses and commercial buildings in Philly. We waste so much money on nothing in this country. Get some of that wasted stimulus money from the Democrats in DC, fix up some properties and feed them there. Some practical thinking and common decency can pull us out of this mess we are of a country. Get back our pride Americans

    • Frank

      Waste of money, I don’t want my taxpayer dollars renovating foreclosed homes.

  • YeahRight

    Why is it that democrats pine for the poor and homeless but are the first to throw them under the bus? And the lame stream media says nothing but boo!!!

  • coffeedrinker

    This is why real people don’t live in the city anymore……stupid greedy democrats running big cities into the ground who are losing touch with society. Maybe it would be better to see the homeless digging out of trash cans for the half eaten veggie wrap that some city yuppie threw away because they were full from their Grande Starbucks drink!

  • Bippy Bellito

    The city is a dump. The corruption starts ad City Hall and extends in all directions. The mayor, City Council, the school administrators, the police…..all need to go!

  • GStefan

    Let them eat cake! Just let them do it inside! No one is allowed to challenge the establishments homeless plantation The Dems got to keep them on the plantation.

  • Tricia

    I am OFFENDED by the term feedings, indoor or outdoor, are these animals, pigeons??????
    PEOPLE IN NEED of housing and food can be given MEALS or food anywhere, its about compassion and charity. If the language you are using to describe serving hungry people is any example of your mindset, you should be working with Zoo animals, not people. Any compassionate reasoning you can use after this “feedings” terminology is feigned.

    • Jeff

      I, too, was offended by the term feedings. The use of the word does shed light on the mindset of the civil “servant” who has “imposed” this ban. I am unfamiliar with Pennsylvania government structure but it does seem a bit odd that the mayor can “impose” something.

    • Walnut

      Excellent comment. This bothered me as well. I was going to blame the bi-line person at CBS but the mayor used the term in the video. Acts of charity are a crime now…what next?

      Where there is Hunger, Law is not regarded; and where Law is not regarded, there will be Hunger. Ben Franklin

    • Springer Rider

      ” you should be working with Zoo animals”
      They are.

  • christie

    what if the volunteers brought the food in a picnic basket and sat on the lawn with the homeless? It would be no different from the large family picnic doing the same, so that cant be illigal if they did it picnic style otherwise the idea that it is a sanitation issue is a lie because there is no difference between me having a picnic with my brother and me having a picnic with a homeless person

    • Kathy Mitro

      dear christie While your idea of a picnic seems a great one, to skirt the laws it doesn’t “fool” the law enforcers. i was having picnics in Daytona Beach with my friends yes friends after sharing food with them every day for 3 months and I was still surrounded by police and threatened with arrest and fine ever though that particular day the number of people was about 15. I have tried everything including having 1 single hungry person take the food and distributing it himself. Still almost busted. Now I take 3 of them in my car to a picnic area and it works but I only get to share food with 3 of them at a time

  • Chris Scott

    I guess you’re not homeless if you’ve been starved to death.

    /Sad indeed

    • Bonnie

      You said just what I was thinking. Easy to say don’t feed them when one hasn’t felt hunger themselves.

  • Tiza

    I just bet that Nutter has never been extremely hungry before, and maybe he needs to get a chance to see how it feels so he can gain empathy for others. Too much evil attitudes going on in the US right now.

  • linxudood

    what will you do Mayor when you are hungry? BTW: Outdoor feeding makes it sound like you are in a petting zoo. So disrespectful.

  • Kayhla

    Jesus is dead, at least in America, and this is the proof. God bless the homeless, there will be a lot more of them soon. Maybe they will have the courage to stand up for freedom, while all of those who have so much sit around and do nothing. They have nothing left to lose, while we lose our freedoms. As for people like Q… you are lost, and may we never find you.

  • Louis Shipp

    Friggin Democrats… loot the city and then starve out the people who have been most adversely affected by Democrat policies. Who’s going to have compassion for the people who are suffering so? At least if they get to eat, they might have hope for a better day. Let them starve at the hands of Democrats and they end all chances for a better future.

  • AlbertG

    Nutter’s flippant comment about people providing food to the homeless is disgusting. They don’t just open their trunks and throw sandwiches to people. They make the food, pay for the food, drive down to distribute it while Nutter sits on his lazy but(t) and makes snarky comments about actual concerned people doing something.

    Nutter’d rather stop something good than do something to resolve the issue.

  • Keith

    Kinda looks like this is directed at the occupiers (small o) doesn’t it?

  • mike taye

    awesome. get them off the parkway. seriously

  • George

    My church has vowed to defy the ban. What would Jesus do?

    • Daisy

      Speaking of churches, it would be far better for churches to take on the job of housing/feeding/tending to the homeless than government.

      Of course, in order for churches to do charitable work, more people would need to attend church and support – with considerable time and money – charitable endeavors. And, there my friend is the rub.

      Glad to communicate w/someone who is actually part of the solution rather than just flailing about in the problem.

  • ms

    Why not pass a ban on feeding the corrupt politicians’ steeling money in city hall or working on fixing the budget crisis? No the are passing bans on feeding the homeless and building a 50 million dollar ice skating rink at city hall. What a joke this city is turning into.

    • Tiza

      Great point, and I don’t live there. Doesn’t make any sense at all to do that, does it? I agree.

    • Fred

      Just look up “Nutter” in a dictionary of British slang

  • QQQqqqq

    “So, if I have a large gathering with friends or Tailgate party, it’s OK”

    NO, it’s not OK. You are not allowed to have a party on the Parkway, especially tailgating with alcoholic beverages.

  • More: City’s Feeding Announcement FAQs – MyFox Philadelphia :: Center City Local

    […] outdoor homeless feeding6abc.comMr. Mayor, try for that soda tax again!Philadelphia Inquirer (blog)Nutter Announces Ban On Outdoor Feeding Of HomelessCBS Localall 9 news […]

  • Nick Rumpl

    So, if I have a large gathering with friends or Tailgate party, it’s OK.
    But feeding the homeless is a health hazard! Wow, what a hypocrite.
    Why don’t you put the homeless, poor people in camps or brand them with star of David, so nobody gets hurt, when they try to survive.Dignity? What dignity they eat to survive. And for you sister, did Jesus say lets get inside when he feed the hungry or poor, because it’s not dignified or sanitary.
    The homeless will not dissappear or vanish, right now it seems they are growing,because of greed, from the rich and mighty.
    To fine those, who try to help them, is not the solution.

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