Religion and Ethics Weekly: Criminalizing the Homeless

Ms. ROWLAND: What has been going on is a concerted attempt to keep disfavored, certain disfavored people out of public parks and reserve them for the use of other people with more means and political power, and that’s fundamentally wrong. It’s unconstitutional.

Mr. HUFF: I’ve been through every shelter and everything in this city to help people, and I didn’t get any help from anybody, okay, until I went to church.

SEVERSON: Cody Huff was himself homeless after getting out of prison for drugs and crime. Now he has a successful business coordinating freight shipments for Las Vegas conventions. Now he hands out McDonald’s food certificates.

Mr. HUFF (to homeless people): We love you guys, man. We’re trying the best we can.

I always tell people don’t give homeless people money, because they’re either going to buy drugs, alcohol, or gamble with it, but if you give them a McDonald’s gift certificate for $5, they can go get a really good meal for that.

(to homeless people): Have you guys run into any church groups out here, the people that feed you? Thank God for those people.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Right there, right now. That’s Gail. That’s Gail Sacco right there.

Ms. SACCO (to homeless people): Okay, I got more in the car. Okay, there’s bananas and apples. Take whatever you need.

In the Bible, there’s at least 300 verses that tell — that God tells us to take care of the poor.

SEVERSON: Gail Sacco and Cody Huff were the primary targets of the city’s ordinance prohibiting feeding homeless in parks. This park is right across from city hall.

Ms. SACCO (giving food to homeless): So if we run out of this, I got more.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch

4 comments on “Religion and Ethics Weekly: Criminalizing the Homeless

  1. Creighton+ says:

    At All Souls, we have a Food Pantry, Parish Nurse, Free Lucheon, Medical Clinic, sometimes the Health Department, the Veterans Affairs, and the Salvation Army. It is only on Wed mornings but still provides a need a powerful witness.

    What used to be small has grown.

    Plus, we had a fire in Feb 2007 clearly started by some of our angry homeless and needy…but we continue to minister to them in Christ’s name.

    All Souls Episcopal Church in N. Ft. Myers Florida.

    For a small Mission Church, our Lord has given us a powerful witness to the needy in our community. In spite of the fire, we kept the outreach going and that does not count the clothing and other items given to the needy from our Thrift Store.

    The people here are some of the most generous folks I have ever known.

    What a witness.

  2. Tom Roberts says:

    Sounds like a Corinthian situation.

  3. libraryjim says:

    When I visited Jesus People, U.S.A. in Chicago back in 1983, they had a similar policy with homeless people. Instead of giving money, they’d invite them back to the community for dinner. The poor ate first in the dining room, then when they left the members of the community ate. When one person complained about the quality of the food with “Would you eat that?” We’d respond, yep, in about 30 minutes.

    We never gave out money (we didn’t have any!) but would be quick to give clothing, subway tokens, vouchers for McDonalds, etc.

    It was a lesson in humility and Christian charity to the max!

  4. Cennydd says:

    We have in Los Banos, CA, a ministry called “Manna Ministries,” and our parish, St Alban’s, is involved in it. We meet at the local Methodist church, and several churches are involved. Our turn comes every fifth Sunday, and we feed the hungry and homeless……and anyone else who wants to come and join us. A short sermon, a little music, and good food!