A city loses patience and considers
A blue-ribbon committee on the homeless in Modesto, California, is talking about stricter rules for people living on the streets and the charities that help them.
stricter rules for the homeless
The ideas include restrictions on feeding programs, using safety officers to patrol city parks and advising the public not to give money to panhandlers. The panel members also favor outreach programs focusing more resources on temporary and permanent housing for homeless people who want to change their lives.
These days, Modesto seems divided between people whose focus is helping the homeless and those who've lost patience with problems of loitering or public drunkenness. The panel seems to be talking about proposals more appealing to people in the second camp.
The committee could recommend that the city limit outdoor food programs to a single park, although it hasn't reached a consensus. City officials believe that food donations in parks contribute to loitering, litter and sanitation problems.
Community activist Robert Stanford said it seemed to be a ploy to move the homeless from downtown and he doubted the legality of such a restriction. "I don't understand how you could pass a law making it illegal to feed a hungry person," he said.*
Read the Modesto Bee report here.
* Maybe he should talk to somebody in Orlando.