Sunday, November 01, 2009

Holidays soup up the debate
about feeding Gainesville's homeless

Public outcry against city laws limiting how many destitute people can be served at any one location is reverberating in Gainesville as the city's largest meal provider on Thanksgiving and Christmas grapples with a 130-meal limit.

Kent Vann, executive director of the St. Francis House homeless shelter and soup kitchen, said his agency historically has fed 400 to 500 people each holiday meal.

Holiday meals for the needy are a 25-year tradition at St. Francis House, with hundreds gathering at the downtown homeless shelter and soup kitchen for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This year, however, a new location will have to be found for that tradition, as city laws restricting the number of destitute individuals who can be served meals by churches and social service agencies are being enforced for the first time since the laws were written in the early '90s.

Read the Gainesville Sun article here.

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