Tampa tells group to stop feeding hungry homeless downtown

Discussion in 'Economy' started by hvactec, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    TAMPA -- ( Hillsborough County has seen a substantial increase in the number of homeless – more than 17,000 )

    The hungry begin arriving before dawn, with bowed heads and downtrodden expressions, dirty bundles of clothes and other belongings tucked under their arms.

    They stake out a spot in a city-owned parking lot at the end of Royal Street in downtown, between the Interstate 275 off-ramp and the Army Navy Surplus store, and wait to be served.

    By 7 a.m., hot coffee, orange juice, cereal, bagels and fruit are being handed out.

    For the past six years, Dennis and Nancy Holt and a loosely organized group of church volunteers have been feeding homeless people on Saturday mornings from the city lot. In recent years, the numbers of mouths to feed has grown, to more than 150 men and women, but they've never had issues and the city has always looked the other way.

    Until now.

    Last weekend, Tampa police shut down the Holts' feeding operation, politely telling them that the activity was illegal and they needed a permit to serve food on public property.

    "We've never had any problems," said Nancy Holt. "I don't know why they did this."

    Members of the group say they suspect the move is part of a broader effort by the city to "clean up" downtown ahead of next year's Republican National Convention. At least one member said she heard the shutdown orders came from Mayor Bob Buckhorn's office.

    "They're trying to sweep these people under the rug," said Doris Lutkus, who has been volunteering with her husband, John, for the past four years. "It's unconscionable."

    Lutkus said she began calling city departments this week, trying to figure out what the regulations are and how they can get a permit. She said she got the "proverbial runaround."

    "They passed me around like an old shoe, from one office to the next," she said. "No one could tell me what law we were breaking, just that we were not allowed to be there."

    Santiago Corrada, Buckhorn's chief of staff, said there is a whole host of state and local regulations for activities where food is served to large groups on city-owned property.

    "If they've been doing this for years without permits, somewhere along the line we might have dropped the ball," he said. "There are all kinds or requirements on public feeding."

    He denied the move was part of a policy to rid the city's streets of homeless.

    "Absolutely not true," Corrada said Thursday, "at least that I'm aware of."

    But an email from the city's Parks and Recreation Supervisor Linda Carlo, who oversees special permits for parks and other city-owned land, to several city officials indicates that the police department has been trying to curtail homeless feeding on public property.

    "We've had an increase of feeding the homeless in downtown and TPD has been working to move them to private property if they do not meet the state mandated guidelines and are not permitted by the city," she wrote. "Unfortunately, there is no state agency that enforces the regulations so TPD does it within the downtown area.

    read more video Tampa tells group to stop feeding homeless downtown | TBO.com
     
  2. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    Compassionate conservatives will come to the rescue, both of them.
     
  3. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Republican S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, speaking for many Republicans, says, "If you feed the poor they'll BREED".

    So the obvious solution is "starvation can solve many problems".
     
  4. California Girl
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    California Girl BANNED

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    I take it you can actually provide evidence that he speaks 'for many Republicans' or is this another of your 6% threads that creates facts where there are none?
     
  5. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: Democrat.
    The previous Mayor: Democrat.

    "Compassionate Communism" at work?

    You assholes should go yell at them.
     
  6. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    Because they voted him into office???????????
     
  7. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    From the article:

    She said the enforcement of the city's permit laws on feeding the homeless don't have anything to do with next year's GOP convention.

    Yea right. Republicans want them "cleared out" so they don't have to look at them.
     
  8. Mad Scientist
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    Mad Scientist Deplorable Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Why would Democrats do anything to help Republicans? If you were Mayor of Tampa and you received a call from the RNC asking if you'd clear out the homeless from the surrounding areas you want us to believe you'd help in any way, shape or form?

    I didn't think so.
     

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