Being Free To Help Others In Need

in charity •  last year

In many areas throughout the United States, there are restrictions in place when it comes to feeding the homeless.


But despite the efforts established to try and crackdown on the behavior though, many people still take to giving to others in their community voluntarily.

And some of those activists who have been trying to feed the needy have come against harassment and pressure from the state to stop, yet many continue maintaining that the state has no right to try and restrict them from exercising their natural rights and helping someone in need.

You can find people all across the US who are passionately dedicated to helping those in need throughout their communities.


Even after the city steps in and often cleans-out a homeless encampment or 'sweeps' it clean of those living there, the people remain seemingly adamant about disobeying the authorities on this one.

Harassing The Help...

One group that continues to come into conflict with local authorities is the group known as Food Not Bombs and they've got chapters all around the U.S. This group, and many others, continue to feed the homeless in their communities even when they do not possess the proper permission slip in order to do so.

Just this week in Arkansas,

there were reports that police there had been harassing the homeless and warning charity groups that they weren't supposed to be feeding the homeless unless they had the right permit to do so.

Community members there allege that the police labeled the homeless as an “eyesore” and suggested that they should pick up and move elsewhere in order to get the help they need.


One church there claims that the police have even installed a camera across the street from their establishment, where they frequently feed the homeless, in an ongoing effort to harass them to stop. Several people there have expressed their discontent about how tired they are of the harassment and the intimidation; all they are trying to do is feed people who are hungry.

Is this really the best use of resources? To be funding officers to harass and intimidate charity groups to prevent them from feeding the homeless? I'd rather see them dedicate more energy to investigating things like human trafficking--just to start with.

In Tennessee...

One police officer there is alleged to have recently harassed a woman who was in her car handing out pizza to the homeless.

That officer allegedly told her that she didn't need to be handing out any food to the homeless because they were all just animals and all drug addicts who didn't need her help.


Since that altercation, that officer has allegedly been identified as Jason Cunningham of the Knoxville Police Department and corrective actions have allegedly been taken as a response to his questionable behavior. The police department associated with him has also made it a point to declare that his opinion of the homeless isn't a view which is shared by the department overall.

And one must wonder whether or not he should even be in a position of authority to begin with, if he holds such a negative view. If he thinks the people who he is supposed to protect are “animals” then maybe he is in the wrong line of work, a position like his requires empathy. The officer in question has since expressed regret for his choice of words.

Though authorities continue to crackdown around the US, many people seem dedicated to the notion that they should have the freedom to feed someone in need, without first having to ask permission.


banner thanks to @son-of-satire

Pics:
Karen Warren via Houston Chron via chron.com/life/houston-belief/article/Homeless-ordinance-hard-to-swallow-3757907.php
Cross Cut via crosscut.com/2017/08/homeless-feast-south-seattle-neighbors-angry-rainier-valley/
Ariel Skelley via Getty Images via Huff Post
Pinterest

Sources:
http://crosscut.com/2017/08/homeless-feast-south-seattle-neighbors-angry-rainier-valley/
http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/08/06/feeding-homeless-continues-at-st-james-park-despite-citys-concerns/
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2017/aug/15/camera-police-patrols-draw-flak-2017081/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tiziana-dearing/please-dont-feed-the-home_b_6159162.html
https://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2017/08/12/little-rock-police-reportedly-crack-down-on-homeless-feeding-program
http://www.local8now.com/content/news/Women-KPD-officer-says-stop-feeding-homeless-calls-them-animals-439293893.html

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Thank you for fighting the good fight, glad that officer got reprimanded for trying to voice his personal opinion on feeding the homeless.

It is truly disgusting. The government at all levels should be elated that the HOMELESS IN AMERICA are being helped, if even at the local level. There are countless homeless adults and children that are going to bed hungry. It is a travesty and a heartless injustice in this "Super Power" of a Nation.

It's a difficult situation, I think. There are definitely people out there that need the helping hand until they get their footing again to recover. But you can't really deny that there aren't homeless people out there that take advantage of the generosity of people. There are people that could care less if their lives improve. They're fine with remaining homeless and living off of the generosity of a passerby. But I still say that it's better to be generous and help those that need it. I think teaching them "how to fish" is better than "giving them the fish." But everyone is different.

Motivation.png

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If the guy next to me fished 100 fish in ten minutes with his fancy fishing equipment and then threw 90 in the garbage, I wouldn't feel motivated to fish either. I'd go fish in his garbage. If he tried to have me arrested for "stealing" his waste I'd call him an asshole and I'd be right.

The best thing we can do for homeless people is to make them feel more like humans. We can do this however we choose. When you live under a bridge and people look at you like you are trash, it's hard to believe that your situation could or even should get better. I actually rarely give money to people in the streets but I smile and nod at them and if they don't seem nuts or like they want to follow me home, I'll have a conversation with them. I've sat and hade beer and cheap donated meals with the homeless. This isn't always a safe thing to do, it's better to keep some distance sometimes but I was lucky enough to be introduced to a group of homeless people who weren't threatening at all and with a group of friend in a safe place. But even just a smile is kind of "teaching them how to fish" because they have to remember that they are humans and that they are capable of influencing their own situations.... Kind of the opposite of "don't feed the dogs" laws.

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Nice 👌

Isn't this what humans are about, treat each other with respect and care?

We are called to help the less fortunate. It is our moral and spiritual duty to treat others how we would wish to be treated in those situations. It is a shame that the world has become so intoxicated on rules and procedures that they overshadow the need. I think of Jesus who expressed the need to help on the Sabbath regardless of the rules. Human need and doing for others as God has instructed us to do trumps any man-made rule. Thanks to taking us to school on the sad state of affairs regarding how we view the homeless. Gratitude and worthy acknowledgement to those brave souls willing to take the risk to help those in need. Again thanks for sharing - Troy

I don't know why the most richest country in the world, with billions of billions budget for destroying middle east should suffer from hungry! Ask your government to Spend some of those missiles budget for your poor people!

Wonderfull efforts. One must help the poor in need.
Thanks for awareness

Happiness is in giving whether it's a food or money. I support charities what they are doing is really great. I used to send some money to charities that support educational institutes in USA.

Thank you for sharing with us! I hope you enjoy the upvote! i follow you,,,

It's sad to read such things. I completely agree with you. Funding should go for good deeds. I wish those people who help the homeless and the poor, that they have everything well in life.

USA :)))))

I am interested in when the people wakes up there and understands that the country is Bankrupt.

Interesting article. I never knew some of the people helping the homeless were given a hard time. It is such a tough topic. I feel sorry for the less fortunate but will admit to not being comfortable when they come up asking for money.

We have an amazing library in downtown Columbia. It is one of the best libraries I have ever been too and now they even re-did it to make it cutting edge. However, I felt like every person walking by me was homeless. I really thought I could be pick pocketed at the library.

Maybe I was being rude but my point is it is a delicate subject where I think you did a good job explaining from the other side.

helping the ones in need is the best thing you can do in life. It also makes you feel the best about yourself

You would think people would be better educated today, particularly the police!!. It's a Dickensian view that people have brought homelessness and hunger upon themselves. Instead of condemning the generosity of others why aren't they channeling it into official centres such as soup kitchen and the likes. It isn't a crime to be hungry !!!

Public servants, harassing the public to not help a part of the public, being paid by the public. Makes perfect sense.

Great post really inspiring

Thanks for your relentless efforts to help others in need. So many people do need a hand up so that they begin to see possibilities. So many just take comforts for granted. 🐓🐓

This kind of policy is totally insane, but I guess it's not surprising.

There is this widespread idea that homeless people are somehow lazier, crazier or more addicted to drugs than people in society....but.... You have lazy, crazy and drug addicted people who live in nice apartments. Take away their beds and see how they do.