Philadelphia Mayor moves to ban outdoor homeless feeding
PHILADELPHIA -- If they feed the hungry outside in public places, homeless advocates will have to change the way they distribute meals in the city of Philadelphia.
Every evening, hundreds of homeless people line up on the parkway to receive food from a variety of organizations. On Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced a new regulation banning these outdoor feedings.
The ban takes effect in 30 days. Violators will receive up to two warnings, then a $150-dollar fine.
The mayor says he wants to encourage the homeless to go to existing indoor locations to get a healthy meal.
"I believe that people, regardless of their station in life, should be able to sit down at a table to a meal - inside away from the heat and cold, the rain and the snow," Mayor Nutter said.
Those who feed the homeless, and the homeless themselves, say this ban is misguided. Adam Bruckner and his group Philly Restart feed about 300 people on the parkway on Monday evenings in the summer.
He said he does provide support services and existing homeless shelters cannot handle the number of hungry people in the city.
"I would love for someone to put us out of business by providing that in a different place but since there is not, we have be there to do this," Bruckner said.
philadelphia, mayor michael nutter, pennsylvania, national/world
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