Arnold Abbott, 90, was cited for the third time by Fort Lauderdale Police for feeding the homeless. Abbott could face up to 60 days in jail and hundreds of dollars in fines if convicted. Abbott states that feeding the homeless is his life’s mission and that he has no fear of spending time in jail.
Fort Lauderdale police spokeswoman Greenlaw reported that Abbott and his volunteers were not taken into custody for this third incident, but were given notices to appear in court. Due to a recent city ordinances, feeding the homeless in public places is now considered a criminal misdemeanor offense. Abbott plans to fight the citations in court with the help of two lawyers.
Abbott says Love Thy Neighbor has prepared and served meals to the homeless on Fort Lauderdale Beach since 1991. Abbott, founder of the charity, says that Love Thy Neighbor is carrying on the mission of his late wife Maureen, to reach as many poor, homeless and hungry people as they can. Abbott, who was jailed on his first charge, stated upon release, that he will continue to feed the homeless, regardless of the ban.
“I’m Jewish, but I believe what Christ said: ‘What you do for the least of my people, you do for me.”
Thou shalt NOT love thy neighbor
Why do cities even have laws that make feeding the homeless illegal? Why are cities passing laws that make sleeping in public or private places illegal? These are serious questions deserving of serious answers and action.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler says, “The parks have just been overrun and were inaccessible to locals and businesses.” Seiler also feels that feeding the homeless contributes to the cycle of poverty.
According to Michael Stoops, director of community organizing for the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), “I think cities have grown tired of the homeless situation, and businesses and residents complain about the homeless population.”
In addition to restrictions on feeding the homeless, the city passed a host of other homeless laws targeting homelessness altogether. The homeless are not permitted to leave belongings unattended, panhandle at medians, or sleep in public or private places, Stoops stated.
Fort Lauderdale is not alone in these ordinances. Across the country, there has been a clamping down on the homeless issue and new laws are springing up. There are currently 33 known cities that have similar ordinances for the homeless, and the numbers could be higher, Stoops says. Cities are not only targeting public feeding bans, they are literally passing laws that make homelessness a crime. While cities are fighting to control the homeless population, Advocates like Stoops contend that passing ordinances does not solve the issue of homelessness and hunger. they simply make it illegal.
Cities are banning homeless people from lying down or sitting on sidewalks, having possessions with them, and sleeping in public or private places. To control the issue, cities are doing routine homeless ‘sweeps,’ launching anti-panhandling campaigns, and targeting citizens engaged in public feeding of homeless. Under the laws, police are given the right to destroy personal items that are left unattended, and tear down encampments that are set up on public or private property, regardless if the homeless person has permission from the property owner. Some people are even opposed to having shelters set up for the homeless. North Carolina has long been under speculation for sending its homeless to “Fema Camps,” whereas other states are simply throwing the homeless in jails, along with citizens who violate the public feeding bans.
When considering the recent flood of illegal immigrants allowed into America, it makes the situation even more troubling. Illegal immigrants are given housing and food, meanwhile countless American citizens, including veterans, are homeless and hungry. Is there any justice in that?
While cities maintain that charities can feed the homeless, the laws are restrictive. In Orlando, groups wishing to feed more than 25 homeless people are limited to two permits per year for each park. Other cities laws are similar and just as prohibitive.
Abbott Shows No Signs of Stopping his Plight to Feed the Homeless
Even if Abbott obtained a permit, he would only be able to feed in one area, twice per year. “They are asking you please to cease and desist in serving food. Are you willing to comply?” asked one officer.
It is evident by one arrest, jail, fines and two citations later, that Abbott will continue doing the Lord’s work. Abbott refuses to leave the beach, stating:
“Everybody in the world has the right to come to this beautiful beach and enjoy eating a meal on this beautiful beach no matter where it comes from,” he said.
In the faithful Service of Jesus Christ,
Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
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Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. read more.Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. – James 5:1-6 (KJV).
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? – James 2:5 (KJV).
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: – 1 Peter 5:5-6 (KJV).
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. – Luke 6:20-21 (KJV).
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV).
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land -Deuteronomy 15:11 (KJV).
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse -Proverbs 28:27 (KJV).