Fort Lauderdale: It is a crime to feed the homeless

Over a year ago, 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman, waged war on the Salvation Army.

The reason for his attack? They were providing lunch for homeless and hungry people. Cappleman the Cruel did not want homeless and hungry people fed in his ward.

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Woman with child doing homework in a Michigan Avenue doorway. (PV Bella)

Cappleman the Cruel gave all kinds of excuses why Salvation Army should not feed homeless and hungry people. None of them made sense. Had he told the truth, people might have believed him.

Cappleman thinks do not feed the homeless is the same as do not feed the pigeons.

As with pigeons, Cappleman wants to get the homeless out of his ward. He sees them as pests. He is a gentrified swell representing a gentrifying neighborhood.

Aldermen are like feudal lords. Cappleman the Cruel thought he was powerful.

He eventually backed down. There was outrage and people were protesting. They were bringing up other housing and poverty issues Cappleman the Cruel was not dealing with.

Cappleman the Cruel surrendered.

The Salvation Army won the war. They are still feeding the homeless and the hungry.

Cappleman the Cruel came off looking like a heartless soulless mamaluke.

He shook it off. Looking like a mamaluke is normal for most Chicago aldermen.

Cappleman the Cruel returned to doing what he does best, shooing pigeons off the street. He is one of the more skilled, if junior, members if the City Council.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida passed an ordinance making it a crime to feed the homeless in certain parts of the city. You could face 60 days in jail and be fined $500.00. Fort Lauderdale mayor, Jack Seiler gave the same inane silly excuses as Cappleman.

A 90 year old homeless advocate, Arnold Abbot, refuses to abide by the ordinance. He was cited twice. He will have to appear in court. Mr. Abbot insists he will keep feeding the homeless.

Mr. Abbot, in his ninth decade, appears to be embarking on a life of crime, feeding hungry people. How felonious. How heinous. Worse than a child molester. Even worse than a smoker.

One could wonder if there are judges in Fort Lauderdale dumb enough to find Mr. Abbot guilty and impose sentence. They would have to be dumber than the city council, mayor, and Cappleman the Cruel combined. Those people would put Mother Teresa in chains.

Homeless man on DuSable Bridge.

Homeless man on DuSable Bridge. (PV Bella)

If banning feeding the homeless and hungry is not a crime against humanity it should be.

If anyone should be cited and imprisoned it is politicians who would stop people from feeding some of the most vulnerable among us. They should be sent to the deepest darkest holes in our worst prisons, left there and forgotten.

OK, so the homeless are an eyesore. When they congregate in numbers they are a bigger eyesore. No one wants groups of them in their neighborhoods. Even so-called bleeding heart progressives do not want them roaming around or congregating in their neighborhoods.

The homeless are a stark reminder there are people worse off. People living below the bottom rungs of society. No one wants to see that.

They are still human. No one has the right to deny people food. Not a cruel feudal Chicago alderman. Not prima donna mayors and councilmen in tourist traps.

Homeless man begging for food on Michigan Avenue. (PV Bella)

Homeless man begging for food on Michigan Avenue. (PV Bella)

Walk down Michigan Avenue any day of the week. People from the Loop to Oak Street are begging every few yards for money or food. Some are in doorways. Some bring their children.

It is the city's trendy tourist, shopping, hospitality, and entertainment area. It is the wealthiest residential area in the city.

Not even mayor Emanuel or the two aldermen in those wards would stoop so low as to stop people from feeding or giving money to them. They are not forced off the streets either.

There are dozens of people living in the underground Wacker-Michigan Avenues. Last November, oral surgeon, Dr. Patrick Angelo, made the news. Twice a week he brings food, blankets, and creature comforts to people living in the Underground. Dr. Angelo has been doing this for over a dozen years.

"I have a nice house, five healthy kids. … God has given me so much. It seems unfair not to repay his children," he said. (Chicago Tribune)

Over the past three decades, Chicago tried to deal with the issue of homelessness, hunger, and its expansion. The problem just gets worse. The problem does not appear to be going away anytime soon.

Feeding the hungry should not be a crime. Feeding the hungry should not be banned by feudal aldermen, like Cappleman the Cruel or Fort Lauderdale officials.

What should be a crime is stopping people from feeding the hungry, whether by fiat, like Fort Lauderdale, or stupidity, like Cappleman the Cruel.

There is a cure for this inhumanity. It is called an election. It is hoped Cappleman the Cruel will not get reelected. It is also hoped those politicians in Fort Lauderdale get defeated too.

We do not need inhumane criminals in public office.

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