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Feeding The Homeless: Act Of Charity Or A Crime?

CBS Miami

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami/AP) — For a 90-year old South Florida man, feeding the homeless in a public park is an act of charity but in Fort Lauderdale it’s a crime.

Arnold Abbot and two South Florida ministers were arrested last weekend as they handed out food. They were charged with breaking a new ordinance restricting public feeding of the homeless, and each faces up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

“One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” Abbott said.

The conflict pits organizations with charitable intentions against residents and businesses who don’t want their neighborhoods to become magnets for the homeless.

Fort Lauderdale is the latest U.S. city to pass restrictions on feeding homeless people in public places. Advocates for the homeless said the cities are fighting to control increasing homeless…

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