Just reading this hurt my heart

These people tried to do something as simple as give hungry people food.  There’s no place, apparently, for a homeless person, man, woman or child to go for food on weekends-imagine that, if you have a child who is starving and you have no way to provide for that child-Raleigh doesn’t have any choices for you on the weekend.  A group of churches provided food on the weekend and they tried to keep it, from what I can tell, in the downtown area where a lot of the homeless are.

And now the city is telling them…nope, try it, and you get arrested.

Thanks for showing us what a friendly city you are, Raleigh.  A place I don’t wanna visit.

This morning we showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.

Today officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested.

“They will arrest me if I give you a biscuit.”
Me addressing the crowd. “They will arrest me if I give you a biscuit.”

Our partner church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.

In the past, we have had a good working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department. We knew that we could not use the park itself, as doing so required a permit, but that it was fine if we wanted to set up on the sidewalk, as long as we did not block the sidewalk and cleaned up after ourselves. We have operated, unmolested, under this assumption for the last six years.

By the way, each permit to use the park costs $800. Yes, eight hundred dollars. That would cost us $1,600 every weekend, and the officer we spoke to said the City likely wouldn’t approve it anyway.

Now, however, we are hearing that we can’t distribute food at the park, period. No representative from the Raleigh Police Department was willing to tell us which ordinance we were breaking, or why, after six years and countless friendly and cooperative encounters with the Department, they are now preventing us from feeding hungry people.

From Love Wins blog.

UTA: If anybody feels inclined to write the city… the emails are:

Mary-Ann.Baldwin at raleighnc.gov
Russ.Stephenson at raleighnc.gov
Randall.Stagner at raleighnc.gov
John.Odom at raleighnc.gov
Eugene.Weeks at raleighnc.gov
Thomas.Crowder at raleighnc.gov
Bonner.Gaylord at raleighnc.gov

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