Houston police ticket man for feeding homeless people

Houston –

Houston police plan to issue a ticket to a man who fed homeless people outside a public library, sparking outrage from charities and challenging a longstanding city ordinance.

A city regulation was enacted in 2012 regarding who can provide free meals outdoors to those in need. The ordinance requires permission from the property owner if such a group is to serve more than five of her, but it wasn’t enforced until recently, said volunteer Nick Cooper. says. He’s Food Not Bombs, he said Thursday.

For decades, the group has served meals outside the Houston Public Library four nights a week without incident. However, the city recently posted a notice on its site warning that police will begin issuing subpoenas soon, with the first notice being made Wednesday night.

“That was last night, the moment we’ve been waiting for for 11 years,” Cooper said. I was given the opportunity.”

Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a city speech in November that he wanted the group to move.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Turner said, “We’re going to take back the downtown Central Library and make it healthier and more appealing to families and children.” There are too many homeless people and feeding programs ahead.”

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment on Thursday. It said it was no longer allowed to distribute free food in libraries. However, there is one approved public place that meets the “requirements necessary for a safe, clean and respectful environment”. .

“The City supports and appreciates the charitable food services provided throughout the city,” the statement said.

Cooper said the approved location wasn’t ideal because it was close to a police station.Members of Food Not Bombs were open to discussing alternatives, but said they hoped to win the case in court in the meantime. he said. In 2021, a federal appeals court upheld the Food Not Bombs chapter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in a similar case.

“If they have a law and use it to intimidate or intimidate people, it’s time for them to challenge that law because this law is not valid in court. Because “this law is garbage”

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