One of the most important and kindest gestures of the year is being able to share food and good cheer with the homeless and needy…unless you are in St. Louis. According to Think Progressive a very generous ongoing effort to feed the needy by Churches on the Streets was recognized by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently. The organization is known in the city for serving the homeless as it always does on Monday nights.
Well, you might well imagine that any church organization that was providing a hot meals for dozens of the city’s homeless would cause celebration to ring out in city hall. Not so much in St. Louis. In fact the St. Louis church was ordered by city officials to cease their charitable efforts to feed the homeless, suggested Think Progressive.
What grand crime did this church commit that would prevent them from helping to bridge the gap between a hot meal and desperation? The city said they did not have a permit to feed the homeless. According to the city’s Department of Health the church’s hot meals were without a permit, which the group thought they did not need, because the food was served on private property.
Not so fast says the city, which could seem to overlook tailgating parties where it is legal to tailgate or hold barbecues in St. Louis without a permit, according to Riverfront Time. That feed is prepared without a permit But the city health director could conveniently overlook that.
In fact, according to the city health department director, Pam Walker the two are not analogous. “If I want to cook and poison my own family and friends that’s OK,” said Think Progressive.
The phenomena of preventing the homeless from receiving hot meals from church organizations are increasing in other areas of the nation, including cities like, Orlando, Philadelphia and Raleigh.
So where does that leave the homeless who are now left with one less church which wanted to share the spirit of the Christmas season year round to feed the least of St. Louis’ community? Don’t know, but miracles can happen even in the city of St. Louis.
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