Steve Smith: Ordinance a hindrance to homeless

August 23, 2013 

Ordinance a hindrance

A year ago my family began volunteering with Human Beans Together to help feed the disadvantaged in downtown Raleigh. Every week we try to help with a hot bowl of soup in the winter, a cold glass of tea in the summer, spare clothes or a kind word.

Recently, all that changed. One morning before we were able to serve our first sandwich or cold bottle of water, we were informed by police officers that our activities were forbidden without city permit. We contacted the city to get a permit; however, the officials refused to issue one.

How can someone in good conscious refuse a permit that will feed the homeless yet approve a permit for a beer festival to be held in the same location? Evidently using city resources to block off streets and let people come downtown to get drunk is more acceptable than feeding our fellow man.

My family should not face arrest if we choose to go to a public park, share water or soup.

Steve Smith


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