Guest / Limited Access /
Food Fights: Homeless Ministries Respond to Restrictions
Image: AP2012
Food Fights: Homeless Ministries Respond to Restrictions

A wave of anti-feeding laws enforced this summer in cities nationwide has met with mixed sentiments from homeless ministries.

In Dallas, those interested in feeding the homeless must first become certified via a city-run food handlers' class. Denver has banned eating and sleeping on public property without permission. And Philadelphia ministries are up in arms over a recent ban on feeding the homeless in city parks.

Brian Jenkins, head of Chosen 300 Ministries, and two other pastors filed suit in July, alleging the city's action violates their First Amendment rights. A federal district judge has blocked the ban until after a trial early next year.

"These folks are a community," said Jenkins, "and it's our responsibility to help them where they're at."

Other homeless advocates believe the wave of restrictions is a good thing that will lead to the homeless being helped more holistically.

Jim Lewis, president and CEO of Long Beach Rescue Mission in California, says the recent government-enforced elimination of a parking turnout used to feed the homeless in Long Beach's Lincoln Park will help steer the homeless toward indoor facilities equipped with chapels and restorative resources.

"We're called to disciple, and hospitality is one of the most immanent ways of expressing the love of Christ," Lewis said. "The community needs to incentivize individuals to take a step in a different direction."

...

...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedTime To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Time To Rend Marriage? 1 in 4 Pastors Agree with First Things Petition
Magazine argues for splitting civil and Christian marriage. LifeWay examines which Americans agree.
TrendingPope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
Pope Francis Learns What Rick Warren, Russell Moore, N. T. Wright Think about Marriage
(UPDATED) Warren turns Vatican conference into 'revivalist meeting,' while Moore explains why marriage crosses theological boundaries.
Editor's PickGod’s Defense Attorney
God’s Defense Attorney
Millionaire lawyer Mark Lanier moonlights as a Sunday school teacher.
Comments
Christianity Today
Food Fights: Homeless Ministries Respond to Restrictions
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.