A North Carolina church group says they were prevented by local police from handing out biscuits and coffee to homeless people as part of a ministry, according to ABC News on Tuesday.
Over a period of several years, volunteers from the Love Wins Ministries has been frequenting Moore Square in Raliegh, N.C. on the weekend to give out hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to those in need. However, last weekend they were greeted by police officers who told them that if they attempted to distribute the 100 sausage biscuits, they would be arrested. Rev. Hugh Hollowell, wrote on the group's website:
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.
The Raleigh police were there to enforce a city ordinance that bans the distribution of food in any of the city's parks, ABC Raleigh, N.C., station WTVD-TV reported.
While the group said it was aware they could not use the park itself, they had set up on the sidewalk for the past six years without issue, their website said.
"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," Hollowell wrote.
In addition, the group learned it would need to apply for a permit to use the park, which costs $800 a day, their website said.
No arrests were made in connection with the food distribution, Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue told WTVD-TV.
All across the country, more cities are ordering homeless out of their camps that give them access to shower, food and shelter when they need it, busing them out of the cities into run-down areas outside the metropolitan areas.
Do you feel this is a proper way to treat homeless people?