Thursday, June 7, 2012

Don't Feed the Bears

And by bears, I of course mean homeless people in Philadelphia:

The city of Philadelphia is being sued in federal court for its ban on feeding the homeless in city parks.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of a group of community and church organizations who have distributed meals for years in parks along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The area is also home to many Philadelphia museums and tourist attractions. The city moved in March to ban the feedings.

Homeless advocates say the city wants to keep the homeless hidden. But businesses in the area complain about health hazards and crime in the feeding areas.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the city wants to get the homeless indoors where they can get medical and other services.

Signs have been posted prohibiting outdoor feeding. Repeat violators are subject to $150 fines.

I realize that there may be legitimate concerns on the part of the city, but the humane course of action seems to be to provide indoor places for the homeless to be fed and receive "medical and other services" before penalizing the charitable groups that are doing the best they can with what's available to them.

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