The council postponed until June 12 a vote on a new permit for organizations that go to parks and other venues to feed the homeless. The measure is designed to ensure that food delivered to the homeless is safe and to address neighborhood concerns about homeless camps. But some people have perceived it as an effort to limit help to the homeless, which advocates of the new rule staunchly denied.
I didn’t see any posts on this when I searched Tumblr for “Kansas City” and “Kansas City homeless,” so I’m making one because this really upset me.
What it is, is Kansas City, Missouri, is considering making it illegal to hand out food to homeless people without having a permit from the city.
You can read the actual ordinance here (via 41 Action News KSHB Kansas City)
I can see a well-meaning public-health rationale for this – the city wants to be able to make sure all food given to the homeless is made in clean kitchens and won’t transmit food-borne illnesses – but 1) I haven’t heard anything about there being much of a problem with food-borne illnesses transmitted that way and 2) it seems like the primary effect of this will be to decrease the number of people offering food to the homeless.
I also know that this isn’t happening in a vacuum, and that there are a ton of cities around the nation adopting ordinances that effectively criminalize homelessness, or that criminalize helping the homeless.
So basically as soon as I saw that, my Class Warfare Alarm started going off, if what I am saying.