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Category:News & Politics, Crime
Tags:homeless, florida, charity, ft. lauderdale, Arnold Abbott
Submitted:Albuquerque Halsey
Date:11/04/14
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Comment count is 59
Rodents of Unusual Size
I have been ranting about these laws for years now on my Facebook.

Fuck anyone that supports this, you are a fucking pile of irredeemable shit if you do.
EvilHomer
Are there any supporters? How do they justify this?

Rodents of Unusual Size
rich people that don't want to look at actual homeless people because they want to live in Florida guilt free.

infinite zest
Is it a food handler's issue? Oregon has the right to shut down places, even churches' food pantries for health code violations due to people not having their food handlers' license. It's a silly rule, but in my opinion it's also a necessary one (I'm confident that everyone cooking food knows the rules such as the "danger zone" in the same way as drivers know the speed limit.) The cops used this to their advantage during Occupy Portland and in a way I agreed that nobody should have been eating that food, and everyone from homeless people to rich kids from the suburbs who bought their "V for Vendetta" masks at Spencer's Gifts who didn't know shit about the movement got sick. However if this is a law that just says "don't feed the homeless" like a sign at the Zoo, well that's just one more reason for me to never step foot in the Sunshine State again.

Rodents of Unusual Size
the people making these laws generally want the homeless to die in droves so their property values go up. Fuck all of them.

EvilHomer
Does the law say the government can arrest rich people for eating in their homes if the rich people don't have a food handlers' licence? What if they cook bad food and then get sick?! What if they have guests over and everyone DIES?!!

infinite zest
Anyone billionaire with a top hat and a monacle can host a dinner party with undercooked land dwellers or the deadliest catch from the deep if they want to in their own homes, it has more to do with the public nature in general. In my example, people were making and serving free food in a very unsanitary environment and while their intentions were good the food was bad, leading to lines of hungry Occupiers at the closest market that hadn't shut down during Occupy (ironically the Qdoba, one of the largest corporations in the world) whose employees are pretty versed in how to not make people sick. Seriously, Qdoba's owned by the same people who own Jack in the Box, and we all remember what happened there.

I do think a license is a bit de trop: every other state I've lived in didn't require it, and while most employers let it slide if you don't annually renew it there are benefits for those who pay the small fee retain theirs' (free service industry nights at bars and free shows) but the law itself prevents some random person from giving a stranger something that could potentially harm them if eaten.

knowless
it's a land management issue.

EvilHomer
Caveat eator. I'm not opposed to all forms of paternalism - well, I am, but I'm willing to make comporomises. If the government wants to interfere with charity on the grounds that it is trying to look out for people's "health", then do it with a soft touch. Ask that all food servers set up on public land consent to health inspections _at the state's own cost_; any food server who does not wish to be inspected or who fails to pass muster will be required to prominently display a sign informing the public that they were not vetted by The Man. This way, you will ensure that the public is informed about the risks, and are able to make *their own* choices regarding whether starving is preferable to a miniscule chance of eating a bad turnip.

Another thing, if it is really just an issue of land management, and supporters are interested in having the state exercise control over *public* land (like parks filled with dissident protesters), then OK. I can kind of accept that. The state can justly claim jurisdiction over public land - that is, after all, part of the point of "public land", it's land that the state claims to own. But IZ, you just said that they were shutting down *church pantries*. Church pantries are usually not on public land; they are on *church* land, which is private, and actually a higher class of private, owing to the separation of church and state and the various privileges churches get from this. So, if this is simply a matter of the state exercising it's right to control it's own property, how do they justify imposing on charitable pantries?

>>the law itself prevents some random person from giving a stranger something that could potentially harm them if eaten.

But why? Why must it be a stranger? Why must the state decide what you can and cannot chance eating? Why must it only affect the poor?

If the idea at work here is that the state HAS the right to decide what you can and cannot eat, and that even even the slightest risk of eating something unhealthy is so unacceptable that the government needs to step in, inspect kitchens, and sell people licenses at prohibitive cost *even when these people are not economic actors*, then why should this power grab arbitrarily stop with the homeless and political criminals? If the terroristic threat of serving unhealthy food to other people is this far under the purview of the American criminal-security apparatus, then it should, logically and naturally and immediately, extend to licencing private kitchens. (particularly kitchens that intend to serve people outside of the immediate family.) That is the spirit of the law, is it not?

If you're a rich banker and are a hosting a party; if you're a suburban mom whose kid brought a schoolfriend home for dinner; why should you be exempt? Why should you be above the law?

EvilHomer
"In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets, and steal loaves of bread."

Anatole France wrote that almost one hundred fifty years ago now. It is still true today.

Waugh
You do understand that these laws you're fecklessly "ranting against" are only one small part of a vast social-darwinist hierarchical ideology with which you yourself choose to participate, right?
Keep complaining about injustices on Facebook instead of examining their causes, and your own role in causing them, though. Society's victims are bound to show you some gratitude, soon. Real soon.

cognitivedissonance
I come from a place where the homeless are routinely mauled by cougars, wolves, foxes, coyotes and roving packs of raccoons.

Binro the Heretic
Keep it up. Be as shitty as you want.

The shittier you are, the deeper you dig your holes.
Spaceman Africa
The city is basically saying "we just want the homeless to die in the streets". 5 for evil.
misterbuns
Fucking yuck.

:(
boner
They were breaking the law about what kind of facilities you need and what locations aren't allowed. So yeah, there may have been good intentions about food safety, but it's also just another way to keep the homeless out of sight.

There is some good stuff in this article:

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2014/10/supporter_of_an ti-homeless_laws_follows_around_homeless_people_with_camera.php
Rodents of Unusual Size
there should be no laws whatsoever about where to feed the homeless and what facilities can do it.

Anyone that supports laws stopping people in any way from feeding the homeless is violating human rights and are traitors to humanity. I know that sounds harsh but that is how I view it.

SolRo
yeah...no.

there are well intentioned but stupid people that could get a lot of homeless people very sick, and homelessness doesn't have the best healthcare plan.

Rodents of Unusual Size
yeah we can't trust people to give food away. Someone should DO something!

Seriously, how often do the homeless get poisoned by people giving them food? The mere idea of using that as an excuse to further the tactics of a police state is laughable but the fact you are eating it up SolRo makes this even better.

SolRo
I don't know how often homeless get food poisoning from improperly made free food.

But neither do you.

You're being very stupid in assuming that homeless people never get food poisoning.

Rodents of Unusual Size
And you are being a complete tool and cheerleader for fascism.

SolRo
Actually I'm not...this law requiring arrests is dumb and draconian.

The shit you're ranting about is retarded hippy thinking.

Rodents of Unusual Size
You are saying that the government has to approve of the handing out of free food. You are gullible as to believe this is for public safety. Stop backpedaling from your completely complacent attitude towards the overall fascism totally inherent in this.

SolRo
Fucking hippy. I'm not backpedaling about anything, I just said arrest and possible 2 months in jail for it is draconian, not that the law has no use. The government just has to certify that you know how to make not-poisonous free food and accept liability if you still fuck up and hurt people, they give fuck-all after that.


There is an argument to be had about anti-homeless zoning or whatever it's called, but that's not what you're frothing about...your stupid idea is that food safety shouldn't apply to the homeless.

And then you have some balls saying I'm unknowingly helping the rich while you're intentionally endangering the homeless

EvilHomer
SolRo, feigning concern over "public welfare" is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to criminalizing the poor. Either you're a fascist, or you're hopelessly naive.

The Great Hippo
No, SolRo is being perfectly reasonable.

This law looks stupid and draconian. That being said, we should ensure programs feeding the homeless engage in basic practices of food hygiene. And for the most part, they probably do -- because the Venn diagram for 'People Who Want To Feed the Homeless' and 'People Who Don't Give A Fuck About Food Hygiene' is probably just two non-overlapping circles on opposite sides of the chart.

But sometimes, programs will outsource their catering to outside parties who *don't* give a crap about the homeless. Or they'll hire employees who know next to nothing about food hygiene. Or they'll end up with some sort of mentally ill person who decides to take a piss in the kitchen sink. Or any other number of problems in the food service industry that none of us here are competent enough to know about.

So a little regulation might be a good thing. Now, yes, if you're not reasonably clever about how you do this, it can lead to people using that regulation to attack programs to feed the homeless: But that's why you should be reasonably clever about how you do it.

And no, EvilHomer, that isn't the oldest trick in the book. Accusing people of engaging in the oldest trick in the book is *actually* the oldest trick in the book.

EvilHomer
I mean, heaven forbid a homeless guy gets a tummyache! Far better to have them starving to death or eating out of trashcans, where it's safe.

(It's worth pointing out that according to the Washington Post, this poor old man wasn't even arrested over health concerns. He was arrested because he couldn't afford to buy a portapotty, one of a number of absurd, byzantine demands imposed by the city in order to criminalize poverty)

The Great Hippo
To put this another way: Whatever system you use to regulate programs to feed the homeless, they should be constructed in such a way that the majority of programs to feed the homeless *welcome* them.

Because, for the most part, people who feed the homeless don't want to see the homeless get sick. So the solution here is less 'We need to stop you from feeding the homeless bad food' and more 'We need to help you feed the homeless good, safe food'.

Of course, in your desperation to paint SolRo as 'hopelessly naive' or a 'fascist', you might miss subtle nuances like that -- like how we can actually work with these programs to ensure the food is always safe.

But hey -- by all means, continue to screech like a pack of libertarian harpies about how the government should never, ever, ever work with anyone to guarantee they have access to safe, clean, good food.

And yes, EvilHomer -- that's a stupid, ridiculous law. Even a 6 year old child could see that the intent there is to criminalize homelessness -- not protect them.

The Great Hippo
Also, by 'tummyache', I presume you mean salmonella -- which can (and does) actually kill people. And which, I bet, homeless people are more prone to getting than non-homeless people.

But hey, please, by all means: Continue to assert that homeless people don't have a right to safe, disease-free food.

EvilHomer
Mr The Hippo, you do realize that the strictly hypothetical nightmare scenarios you are concerned about *are not* addressed by the new Fort Lauderdale ordnances, nor by any other of the "charity bans" currently in vogue across the nation, that I am aware of. And this assuming that the problems you mention are even real problems - which they are not.

"A little" regulation would be something like having a plain-clothes guy pop by a food cart every few months and arresting the guys if they happen to be feeding homeless people plywood and asbetos. Maybe have an officer on two set aside *specifically* to advocate for the homeless; to listen to their issues and respond to any health and safety complaints the homeless themselves might voluntarily bring up to the police (you know, like all middle-class people are allowed to do). Cracking down on as many harmless charities as possible for the purpose of driving the homeless out of your city is not "a little" of anything.

Again, I'll direct you to the quote I posted above by Anatole France. And I'll also say this: just you wait. Watch and wait. This old codger is going to take the city of Fort Lauderdale to court over this bullshit, and he is going to DESTROY them.

EvilHomer
And in response to your ninja'd strawman; you should be well aware by now that I am not against letting the homeless eat good food. I am against preventing the homeless from eating *any* food, and selling the public your nakedly classist anti-poor laws on overblown, if not outright false, paranoia-laced health concerns.

Mark my words, the homeless will eat, one way or another. If they cannot get their meals from popular charities that have been operating smoothly for decades, they will eat from dumpsters, or they will rob you. I put it to you that neither of these alternatives are particularly "healthy", and that in light of this it is, in fact, SolRo who believes the homeless have no right to healthy food.

The Great Hippo
I stopped reading what you wrote after the phrase 'strictly hypothetical nightmare', because it became abundantly clear you didn't bother to read what *I* wrote. Discussing these issues with you is downright near impossible; you rarely if ever take the time to understand what the other person is saying.

A feed-the-homeless program outsourcing part of its food preparation process to another company is not a strictly hypothetical nightmare. A feed-the-homeless program hiring employees who are ignorant of proper hygienic food preparation techniques is not a strictly hypothetic nightmare. A feed-the-homeless program employeeing someone who is a complete fuckhead who decides to piss in the porridge is not a strictly hypothetical nightmare.

They are neither hypothetical -- nor are they nightmares. They are simply risks -- risks that are easily addressed by working with the feed-the-homeless programs to ensure that the food they provide is always safe and hygienic.

Again, feed-the-homeless programs will WANT YOU TO WORK WITH THEM TO DO THIS. A good 'flag' that a regulation isn't good? The people running these programs DO NOT SUPPORT IT.

But, again, whatever: Clearly, what's important here is that you're right, I'm wrong, and homeless people deserve absolutely no protections whatsoever regarding what food they are provided.

The Great Hippo
Okay. I calmed down a little, and I actually read your post. And while I wasn't wrong (you really didn't understand any of what I said), I still shouldn't have put it the way I did. I'm being insulting toward you, because I find your failure to understand the things people are saying extraordinarily frustrating. I have anger issues; I'm working through them. I apologize.

I *did* like the quote you posted earlier; I even thought to mention how much I liked it, but decided not to. I don't think it's relevant to anything I'm saying. Again (and again, and again): Feed-the-homeless programs will want to work with you to ensure that the homeless get safe, clean food. If you find yourself working *against* these programs, that is a huge, huge red flag that you're on the side of criminalizing the homeless (and criminalizing *feeding* the homeless).

In other words, if you find yourself in a situation like the video above -- where an organization that provides homeless people with food is willfully breaking your laws to demonstrate how stupid they are -- that's a pretty good sign that your laws are stupid.

Good regulations will be supported by these types of programs.

dairyqueenlatifah
Does anyone have a link to what the law actually is? Like, what the reasoning behind banning people from giving away food is? Is it okay to give free food to people who aren't homeless? Are churches still allowed to hand out free turkeys/hams for the holidays or is that banned too?

This is the most bizarre thing I've heard in awhile.
Rodents of Unusual Size
dairyqueenlatifah, I was researching this recently and found this

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/10/22/357846415/more-cit ies-are-making-it-illegal-to-hand-out-food-to-the-homeless

which led me to this

http://nationalhomeless.org/about-us/who-we-are/

some highlights

"Street feeding is one of the worst things to do, because it keeps people in homeless status," he says. "I think it's very unproductive,
very enabling, and it keeps people out of recovery programs."

OH. MY. DEAR. GOD. This person is in charge of consulting people on how to handle the homeless problem. Guess what. If you were homeless you wouldn't want someone talking to you about how you can get back on your feet if you don't have anything in your stomach. This is the problem with so called experts handling social issues that want to interfere with humanitarian aid. It's always different when it's you.

"Instead, he thinks food sharing programs should only be located near what he calls the "core areas of recovery": mental health, substance
abuse and job readiness services. Otherwise, he says, homeless people may spend more time pursuing food than the services that will help them get back on their feet."

Okay NUMBER ONE, those places are far and few between and difficult for most people to reach because often they are not all lumped together in the same place and NUMBER TWO what you really mean is, keeping them away from residential neighborhoods where people that pay more in taxes won't have to have their eyes blighted with the mere sight of these people just trying to survive. My head hurts from this. Also, it's really difficult to NOT PURSUE EATING when you DON'T HAVE MONEY. Thank you for your ideas, guy with a PHD in in International Relations (with an emphasis in international terrorism and Wahhabism)

SolRo
ehh, your last point is wrong.

the idea is to have food and shelter areas located near those services.

in a lot of cities those services are located in the "nice" or "nicer" parts of towns while the homeless shelters are put in the parts far away so the riches don't see them. and you end up with people that have to travel from one side of the city to the other in one day to get services and then go back to get food and shelter to survive.

this is workable for motivated and healthy homeless people, but not ones with mental and physical illnesses.

Rodents of Unusual Size
Obviously the answer is to make life more difficult for them altogether and forbid the populace from giving them any kind of assistance. Only the government, which is just RENOWNED for its competence in these matters should be allowed to do anything about them.

You. Are. So. Fucking. Dumb.

SolRo
And you're the idiot spazzing about the place screaming how one old guy on a corner is going to feed all the poor.


Governments and organizations try to fix the causes of homelessness, not make twits like you feel good.

SolRo
And just to highlight how fucking stupid you're being;

You think it's more important to shove the homeless problem into a rich neighborhood to make monocles pop rather than put shelters and food kitchens near services that help homeless people get on their feet.

Rodents of Unusual Size
No SolRo I am for the freedom we once enjoyed in this country that is slowly being eroded by a government telling stupid people like you its for the betterment of "everyone" when everyone includes only rich people.

I love how you have fallen for it though so congrats on being utterly useless.

SolRo
You're telling the biggest communist on this site that he's for the rich....yeah.

Rodents of Unusual Size
Well not purposefully. You just believe the lies that benefit the rich which makes you an extremely shitty communist.

SolRo
No, I just believe statistics instead of my bleeding heart.

Homeless people with easy access to mental health, job, and other services don't stay homeless as long.


Your whole argument is that homeless people should be kept where rich people can see them and feel bad for 10 seconds during their morning commute instead of having them self-relocate to areas with services that actually help long-term.

EvilHomer
Three things, Mr Ro. First, please cite your statistics regarding access to services, and any other statistics that you've used to arrive at your position. Second, please demonstrate that limiting access to food and jailing old men actually results in increased access to services. Third, explain what it is you think the end-game should be for all those whacky homeless people; assuming they can get services, how do *you* feel they are they supposed to live their lives? And a sub-question, would you feel offended if the homeless made descisions for you on how you should live *your* own life?

EvilHomer
And a more meta question: would your attitude towards this law change if it were Israelis arresting people for distributing food to Palestinian refugees? On the grounds of "public welfare", of course - since governments try to fix the causes of homelessness. yes that is what they do.

The Great Hippo
This entire discussion is silly: Food services for the homeless should be located wherever the programs setting them up want to set them up. Maybe I'm lacking in creative thought, but the only reason I can think of that we'd want to *regulate* where you can set these programs up is to prevent homeless people from appearing in places where we'd find them 'repellent'.

Yes, a program to feed the homeless set up in the Atlantic Ocean is incredibly stupid and pointless, but regulating *against* it is even more incredibly stupid and pointless.

The Great Hippo
...I just used 'more' in front of a superlative, didn't I?

Fuck. Nevermind. I'm even more sillier than this entire comment thread.

Rodents of Unusual Size
"Homeless people with easy access to mental health, job, and other services don't stay homeless as long."

Well we all know how easy it is for the homeless in America and how easy it is for them to get access to help that will get them off the streets, because those programs are just everywhere!

And by that I mean they barely exist. I've BEEN homeless SolRo. No one gives a SHIT about the homeless for the most part, certainly not the government.

I mean its obvious to me and anyone with half a brain that literally everything you are spouting is fucking wishful thinking that somehow the state is going to step in to monitor things to help out. That isn't why this law exists. It shouldn't exist in the first place. Anyone that tells Americans who to give food to for free is submitting themselves to fascist thought.

Welcome to your glorious future.

Nikon
What a stupid little craphole of a town. That guy's just a kindly old man.
That guy
I hope that he does have to go to court.
I hope he shuffles up to the stand at like 0.5 mph.
I hope he says what he said in the video, with as much sensitivity and intelligence as he did in the video.
Then I hope he slowly stands up, and takes a step to get off the stand.

Then I hope he goes Howard Beale, excoriates the lawmakers, and invites them to eat a bowl of their own shit, and when the judge threatens to hold him in contempt, he invites the judge to suck his wrinkled dick.

I hope that's what he's saying when they put the cuffs on him, "Suck my wrinkled dick, motherfuckers", and I hope he bites the bailiff.

TeenerTot
Fuck you, Florida.
craptacular
land of the free huh?
il fiore bel
Oh.

Florida.

Of course.

takewithfood
I assume he was really just trying to offload a bunch of muffins stumps.
Waugh
lol a bunch of confirmed morons blaming anything on Florida.
That guy
lol lol

delores_showboat
I kinda just want to go to Florida right now and feed as many homeless people I can as protest and have other people join me. Fuck this shit.
Rodents of Unusual Size
I wrote to the mayor of Fort Lauderdale when this story broke and just got a response back. It's a form letter.

"Thanks for your input and for caring about the homeless. We truly appreciate the concern and respectful approach, and we recognize that this is a very difficult and emotional issue.

The City Commission did not realize that requiring the homeless be fed in safe, secure, sanitary and healthy conditions would be distorted by the media as an attack on the homeless. The City Commission did not ban feeding the homeless in the City of Fort Lauderdale and did not make it illegal to feed the homeless; the City Commission only regulated the location of those feedings. In fact, there are numerous locations where homeless feedings may be legally held in the City, including our downtown. You can read the ordinance online at our website: FortLauderdale.gov.

Further, the cycle of homeless and homelessness on the streets of Fort Lauderdale is unacceptable, and this City Commission will do everything possible to get them off the streets and into the right programs, to the appropriate facilities, and to the proper resources necessary to turn their lives around.

This City Commission also does substantial charitable work for the homeless here in South Florida, volunteer at the local homeless assistance center, contribute financially to assist homeless programs and benefits, and work on several successful homeless veterans programs and projects. You can find many of those programs listed on our website at FortLauderdale.gov.

Your assistance is also appreciated, and we welcome volunteers, partners, charitable contributions, donations, and all levels of support.

Best wishes and Happy Thanksgiving.

John P. "Jack" Seiler"


Happy Thanksgiving. Don't give anyone turkey or we'll arrest you.
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