Some people just love to feed the poor, it’s so Christian, I get it. But, in today’s world handing out free stuff to homeless can cause more problems than it solves. Cities are starting to crack down on the street feeders, people who sincerely believe they are doing the right thing but are ignorant of the bigger picture.
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King
The following story may sound very familiar, but it comes from the City of San Jose. St. James Park has long been one of the most visible signs of San Jose’s homeless problem, with dozens of homeless people occupying its nearly seven acres just a block from busy Santa Clara Street. City officials this week began notifying homeless advocacy and church groups that the free feedings need to stop, citing health and safety concerns. They said the homeless should be cared for by established programs that provide food and other services.
Those established programs have the training and ability to recognize mental health problems, drug and chemical addictions and they can direct the individual in ways to actually help them. Unlike the enablers, who just give free stuff away and think they are holier than thou for being so charitable. Professional agencies for the poor make those taking the charity come to grips with their situation and often times the homeless will avoid them…if they can get the free stuff with no strings. It’s what they do. But try to tell that to the enablers and they will explode into self righteous indignation, and come off like you are insulting their Messiah complex.
In Phoenix, its the same situation. The City is now asking church groups and community organizations to stop feeding people on the street.
Riann Balch heads up Phoenix’s Human Resources Department, which just launched a new program called the ”Street Feeding Collaborative.” Its mission is to educate faith and community-based groups about why street feeding can do more harm than good.