In more recent years, other activist groups have gotten into the act. And, suddenly, feeding the homeless is a problem. A crime in some places, actually.
Florida cities such as
They panhandle. But if they’re already in these areas, they’re probably panhandling anyway. Look at this way – while they’re busy chowing down, they’re not likely to approach anyone for money. "Look honey, they're eating. Let's run to the car while they're preoccupied!"
They use shrubbery as toilets. Again, if they’re already in the area, they probably do that anyway. Where else are they going to go? They are homeless, and most local businesses (somewhat understandably) have a “Restrooms are for paying customers only” sign on the door.
They commit crimes. I suppose that’s possible, but no homeless person has ever demanded money of me. The worst they've ever done is given me a guilt trip if I refused them for one reason or another.
All of these issues serve to illustrate the heart of the problem - that people are homeless. That some groups want to feed them (these activist groups feed them but don’t typically preach to their guests beyond, maybe, the wearing of a t-shirt with their group's slogan), is not the problem.
Not that the cities are responsible for anyone's home situation, but they could stand to be smarter and more compassionate when dealing with the issue.
I can’t imagine being a city council member, with my municipal salary on top of the income from my day job, and voting to take food out of the mouths of the homeless.
Come on, folks, try harder to feel something. And while you're at it, drop your sneaky little attempts at suppressing activism.