Half a dozen police descended on a homeless outreach in Florida where members of the Christian organization Love Thy Neighbor feed the needy warm meals in a Fort Lauderdale park every Sunday.
The humanitarian group’s 90-year-old founder Arnold Abbott was arrested, along with Rev. Canon Mark Sims, Rev. Dwayne Black and Irene Smith, who were cited as well and face fines of up to $500 and/or 60 days in jail for violating a new ordinance which restricts public food sharing, along with camping, panhandling, and other activities that are considered “life sustaining,” local news Broward-Palm Beach News Times reported.
Abbott, who has been feeding the homeless for decades, has no intentions of stopping his service despite the recent arrest and charges.
“I went through World War II,” Abbott told the New Times. “I fought in the Civil Rights movement. This won’t stop us. All this did was move us to court earlier than we had planned.”
Among the cited clergy was Rev. Canon Mark Sims, who spoke to the group’s compassionate efforts in an interview with the news outlet, saying, “It’s sad that we criminalize sharing food with people who are hungry, not necessarily even homeless.”
Another charged Reverend, Rev. Black, added, “I don’t think the city has a right to tell us we can’t feed the homeless, this is breaking my Christian vows.”
The new ordinance was approved in a Fort Lauderdale City Town Hall meeting on Oct. 22 and is designed to limit outdoor homeless feeding sites. It requires groups that feed the homeless to provide portable toilets — something the city itself has continuously failed to do.
“We are simply trying to feed people who are hungry,” Rev. Sims told the Sun-Sentinel. “To criminalize that is contrary to everything that I stand for as a priest and as a person of faith.”
Proof that no good deed goes unpunished and preserving the aesthetic of a town by pushing the needy out, takes precedence over doing something to help these individuals out of their situation.
Watch the unbelievable arrest take place here:
Courtesy of Mad World News