As the Thanksgiving season approaches, I, along with many Scouting troops, churches, and other volunteer organizations, prepare to work in local soup kitchens to provide homeless people with hot meals during the colder months. American citizens from all across the country are signing up to cook and serve meals to their fellow underprivileged citizens, but some areas around our country are looking down upon these charitable actions. Fort Lauderdale, Florida even went so far as to pass an ordinance restricting its citizens from feeding the vagrants, claiming that it just condoned the lifestyle and tainted their city.
One example of this ordinance in action is 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, who was recently charged for distributing plates of food to his local homeless community. This has been an ongoing battle for the previously convicted elder, local clergymen, and many advocacy support groups such as Love Thy Neighbor, who are all fighting against officials for the right to aid their fellow citizens. But is there really a difference between feeding homeless people on the streets and feeding them in soup kitchens, or collecting nonperishable food items for them? Some are charitable methods of helping, while others are criminal. Has it really come to a point where helping our neighbors is looked down upon, just for the greater good of a city’s reputation? (Huffington Post, CNN)