The City of Philadelphia is trying to shut down open air feeding programs for the homeless before the new Barnes Museum opens up in an effort to “clean up” the area. You know rich, white, suburban people’s sweat is so much sweeter than poor, black, urban people’s sweat. Here is my response:
No one was afraid of the homeless until Mayor Rendell started to scapegoat the homeless for the failure of the Convention Center. He got the Phila. Inquirer to start this meme that people were afraid to come to Center City because of the homeless. Then the attacks on those who helped the homeless started. As if these people were dogs: if we only stop feeding them, they will go to some other city, or be forced into the shelters. Every year, about the time the shelters run out of money to provide meals, the papers run articles at the behest of city hall attacking charitable groups that feed people on the street. I told Mayor Rendell and I am telling you, “No one is one the street because the food is so good.”
We go to where the people are. We do it out of obedience to Christ. This is part and parcel of the Gospel. We are trying to help the city. We always leave the park cleaner than what we found it, even picking up the litter that the businessmen and tourists who ate their lunch there that day left behind. What you are proposing is open class warfare. It is oppression of the “least of these”. It will bring judgment down upon this city.