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Miami Considers Ban On Feeding the Homeless Without Training

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the watch-your-fingers dept.

Idle 18

The Miami City Commission will consider a proposal next month that would make it illegal for "unauthorized people and groups" to feed the homeless. They say the ordinance will cut down on litter and ensure the safety of the food that the homeless eat. Anyone without formal training who is caught giving food away would first receive a warning and then fines up to $300 for subsequent food offerings. Without laws like this the homeless might start to associate people with food, and the only thing more inconvenient than having to look at a homeless person in the morning is having to run away from cannibals.

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Uh... (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31319968)

Wouldn't a ban on giving the homeless money for alcohol and drugs do a lot more to protect their health? Fining someone for buying a homeless person a burger sounds like a real dick move.

Re:Uh... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320478)

I've had homeless people refuse food when asking for money.

One guy was panhandling outside a Subway sub shop and asked for "some change so I can get something to eat." I was feeling charitable and I had time on my hands, so I asked him "you want money so you can get a sub or something?" He said yes.

So I said we should both go inside the sub shop and I'd pay for his sub. He said no thanks and just wanted the money. I repeated my offer, and he got pissed off saying "if you don't want to give me any money just fuck off."

It was never about a sub, it was about money for smokes or whatever.

Re:Uh... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330390)

He was probably already being fed by the government.

Zombing the nation (1)

The Abused Developer (1730734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320536)

So, if you feel pity for the poor, or have christian believes you want to follow - this will be illegal? Being compassionate towards your fellow will be a crime? Giving help will be punishable? Good planning Corporate America for the *Zombing the nation* project

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31320684)

Have you been asleep the last decade or so? The "dick move" here is exactly the idea - the goal is to make it illegal to be homeless, so that way the Republicans don't have to look at "those people" on the streets.

The prospect that something other than criminalizing poverty might help isn't even considered - apparently, in the "Conservative Bible", Jesus spits on the poor instead.

Re:Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31324198)

This coming from a guy who apparently favors the current administration which has killed the job market and killed the school voucher program.

Re:Uh... (2, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325360)

Exactly, because this is the land of opportunity, so all those poor people are just leeches who refuse to go get their $150,000/year job so they can make us all look bad. Naturally, if we make poverty illegal, it will go away, just like recreational drugs! Mission accomplished!

Were I a resident there, I would suggest to the homeless that they go follow a cop around going 'oink'. Repeat as needed until they're arrested or given food. If they're arrested, they will get fed by the jail. Repeat as necessary. That should give the 'enlightened' community the choice between feeding the homeless or having their cops running from them.

Re:Uh... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330294)

No... the goal is to make it illegal to fund the homeless bums’ booze and drug habits, which tend to be counter-productive to them finding jobs, keeping jobs, or being motivated to do so in the first place. Millions of dollars are already spent feeding the homeless, but the government won’t buy their booze and drugs, so there they are on the street corner asking for money.

Re:Uh... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330360)

And yes, I’m aware that this ordinance does nothing to accomplish that goal.

The goal of this ordinance is quite simple, and exactly what they said it is: To cut down on litter, and to ensure that establishments that feed the homeless are inspected and follow the same health regulations as the for-profit establishments that produce and handle food. Although I admit, I don’t see how this reduces litter. Maybe they assume that ensuring enough trash cans and such will reduce the amount of trash people carry out with them and drop on the ground...

Ah, the idiocy of the well meaning... (3, Interesting)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31320752)

A couple of the food establishments around here used to give their waste food (pre-made snadwiches that were "on date" or always sold as "made today" being the main constituan, though fruit and veg was involved too) to a local hospice at the end of the day - an arragenment the hospice and the people (the truely homeless and those escaping from bad homes) it cared for. The council put a stop to it on health and safety grounds, lord knows why. Now the same food goes into bins that the homeless raid - how much more healthy and safe is that?!

Ah, the idiocy of the righteous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31327494)

its really not that hard to donate food, just get your kitchen licensed/inspected and follow safe food handling procedures. A surprising amount of people do not know these simple skills.If you're in the food business, your're licensed, so just feed the homeless directly. Even the homeless deserve safe food.

Re:Ah, the idiocy of the well meaning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330792)

Well-meaning my ass. The business of government simply doesn't want competition. People voluntarily helping other people without going through the middle-man of bureaucracy doesn't do much good for the business of government. By "regulating", they pull more money through the power pyramid than by letting altruism take its natural course. That's all there is to it.

Stated and actual goals often differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31321212)

In a lot of affluent places, laws like this are passed as an excuse to "clean up" certain areas. They use the excuse of protecting the homeless, but in reality use it to mask the social problem of poverty. They are usually only enforced in places that the city does not want to see homeless people, i.e. around the civic centers, etc.

cannibals?!?!?!?? (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31323076)

wait cannibals what? that is a logical jump even evil Knievel could not make.

Re:cannibals?!?!?!?? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31330098)

It's called irony. It was parodying the signs telling you not to feed wildlife in case they begin to associate people with food.

A useful test... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31325910)

This, like this other slashdot story [] from a little ways back, is a useful test for distinguishing between enthusiasts of property rights and the just plain evil fuckers who often hide among them and use them for moral and intellectual cover.

To say that the homeless have no right to my property is simply a property rights position. To make it illegal to voluntarily practice charity, on the other hand, is the action of a worthless shitbag who hates the poor so much that they are willing to deny even the rights of those who aren't poor in order to hurt them.

(Now, ostensibly, this isn't an actual ban; but if anybody seriously expects this to be anything other than an attempt to discourage the practice, and if nothing else give the cops a pretext for hassling anybody seen feeding the homeless, I have a bridge to sell them.)

Re:A useful test... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31338066)

It makes sense. Think of all the charity worker jobs. People who go around giving away charity for free are costing them millions. Billions, maybe! And how are the politicians supposed to get elected without promising to feed hungry people? And, if they can't get elected, how will they feed their children? Think of their children!

The Central Problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31330124)

The central problem is distinguishing:

Poor by Choice

Poor by Circumstance

Poor by Habit

The Poor by Habit will often masquerade the Poor by Circumstance (ex I don't have a drug habit - but my boss fired me and none of my family will take me in etc). And yes, this issue should generally be addressed by professionals, or you are far more likely reinforcing the same habits that got them there.

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