90-year-old among first charged under Fort Lauderdale's strict rules against feeding homeless

Fox News:

90-year-old among first charged under Fort Lauderdale’s strict rules against feeding homeless

Fort Lauderdale police say Arnold Abbott violated a new city law, but the 90-year-old homeless advocate says his only crime was to “love thy neighbor.”
Abbott was charged Sunday along with two local pastors with violating the city’s new ordinance that effectively bans giving out food in public. He faces 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, and he intends to get cited again Wednesday night, when he sets out to feed some of the Florida city’s estimated 10,000 homeless on a public beach.

“I know that I will be arrested again, and I am prepared for that,” Abbott said by phone from his office at Love Thy Neighbor, Inc., a nonprofit he established in honor of his wife, Maureen, after her death in a car accident 23 years ago. “I am my brother’s keeper, and what they are doing is just heartless.”

Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance late last month that included a slate of new regulations on where and how groups can provide food to homeless people. The vote made the city the 13th in the nation since 2012 to pass restrictions on where people can feed the homeless, according to a report by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

The regulations enacted in Fort Lauderdale state that no two indoor feeding sites can be within 500 feet of one another or on the same block; outdoor feeding programs require a permit or permission of the property owner and must provide portable toilets; and outdoor stations cannot be within 500 feet of residential properties.

God bless you Mr Abbott.

60 days in Jail for giving someone food…

What is this world coming to… :confused:

What do you mean? This is the secularist ideal! That homeless man obviously wasn’t fit enough to make it, so those who are fit should not be putting their own intentions ahead of natural selection.

In all seriousness though, I hope everyone basically ignores that law, because making it illegal to help a homeless person is about as despicable as you can get.

I cannot believe the state of Florida would put a 90 year old man in prison for this. :nope:

Uh…“secularists” aren’t the architects or proponents of the bootstrap philosophy.

I believe anything these days… Our society is drowning in goverment overregulation.

When a nation decides that it no longer needs God, no longer loves God, no longer respects God or His law; why would we think that that nation would respect God’s children?

So, a 90 year old WW2 combat vet who feeds the homeless as part of the work for the charity he founded in honor of his now deceased wife and her efforts to help the less fortunate versus a 60 day sentence and $500 fine. Yeah, I really see the city winning this fight. :rolleyes:

How backwards has everything become!

“They will exchange dark for light, good for evil” (I think Isaiah?)

This man is serving Christ in the poor at immense cost to himself, what a hero!

I think it was Dorothy Day that said “If you want to see Christ in your fellow man, sit him down and share a bowl of soup with him”. Feeding the hungry is one of the most basic of Christian ideals. Christ himself said “When I was hungry, you fed me”.


I wonder though, maybe he was feeding the homeless near a rich, gentrified neighborhood and thus incurred the ilk of the elite?

I doubt it; at most he’ll get a fine and probation. It costs more to incarcerate him then letting him go where instead he pays instead of the state paying.

Ayn Rand? Penn and Teller? Objectivism?


Maybe it’s just because I have no backround in law or that I’m just not seeing the big picture, but it doesn’t sound like Fort Lauterdale is actively trying to starve the homeless and that Abbotts’ real offense was either:

A: not providing restroom services for all involved
B: not filling out the proper form for this endeavor
C: not having someone licscenced in food service overseeing the event
D: not preparing it within 4 hours of serving
E: not having adequate waste disposal set up
F: not having proper hand-washing stations set up
G: not having proper food storage

Is this strictly a municpal law or was it passed on at the State level? Can the Governor pass a law to overturn the municipal law?

I see this as one of those things where we see the full effects of the power of the state, which most people seem to support. Indeed there probably all sorts of violations of licensing and code. There is no reason this activity should be exempt. It is like when police officers harass and put an end to children with lemonade stands. The police are just following the law. The outrage people have should be at the restriction on freedom and state power. They are right to find the situation ridiculous but they can’t quite see the logical inconsistency of their position.

Can anyone explain the history behind this law. I mean Florida must be a haven for the homeless and down n’ out. I don’t want to say this is a good and fair law because the practice of it seems heavy handed. The Theory of the Law however is what I’m wondering about.

No doubt the city has had there hands full witht the complaints that a large scale feeding of the poor would generate. The mess these homless would leave behind could be quite a problem in certain areas. Along with the feeding of food would of course be the logistics of ahem… waste:eek:

I think that when any govt. comes along and makes laws prohibiting this type of helping hand to your neighbor, then it puts on a major responsibility to theat same govt. to take up any slack where the people like Mr. abbott can no longer help.

municipal law

I worry about America.

That’s actually one of the things the ordinance requires needs to be taken care of: onsite restroom facilities and adequate waste disposal.

I think part of the problem here is that no one is seeing what the ordinance actually says and just jumping on the “FLORIDA H8Z TEH HOMELESS!!1!” train because its cool to hate authority.
I’m no really defending Ft. Lauderdale, I’m just the kind of person who looks into what laws in question actually say after one of these “stupid law is broken by an innocent person” stories pops up. It really puts everything into perspective and helps to not get sucked into the group consensus allowing for your own assessments.

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