90-year-old feeds homeless, is arrested

Arnold Abbott might go to jail.

Later today, Abbott is going to be at the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, making sure the hungry and homeless have something to eat.

The city passed a law last month, making it illegal to feed the homeless and Abbott writes on his Facebook page that he was nabbed by the authorities earlier this week.

As contemplated on Sunday, I was arrested for feeding the homeless and received a citation to appear in court. However, only 4 people were fed before an officer told me to, “Drop that plate immediately!” As though it were a weapon I was holding, and to go with him to the police car. After a time I was allowed to get the food back on the van and we were able to find a small churches driveway, where we set up, and fed the people who followed us over.

On Wednesday at 5:30 we will feed on the beach. When confronted by the police, which I expect will happen, I will present them with a copy of the court order of 1999 which allowed us to feed on the beach, without interference from the city.

It is my hope that they will honor that agreement but it is possible that they won’t, alluding to the new agreement which scrapped the old one, and I could be arrested again.

Arnold is 90 years old.

“I do know that the people that live in this community, and the people who visit this community, do have the right to experience the benefits of Fort Lauderdale, the amenities that we offer. [They] should not be denied access to those benefits because some people choose to be homeless,” Ft. Lauderdale City Commissioner Dean Trantalis said.

“I fully believe that I am my brother’s keeper. Love they neighbor as thy self,” counters Abbott. “I’m going to have to go to court court again to sue the city of Fort Lauderdale, the beautiful city. These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. Don’t have a roof over their head, and who could turn them away?”

  • Paul Weimer

    This reminds me of a program in Hawaii where they are offering homeless people a one way plane ticket out of the state. So, yeah.

    The dehumanization of the disadvantaged is disheartening.

  • davehoug

    Charity is crime……says more about the lawmakers than the homeless. 🙁

  • Jack

    Something is very wrong with this society. How can we as a country allow our fellow residents be hungry and without health care?

  • Gary F

    and we become more of a police state.

  • KTN

    At least they didn’t taz him (yet, although their is still time if he persists on being a decent human being).

  • jon

    The only way I can think to even assume that this is ok, is to guess that the law makers had some autocorrect problems and when they ment to put in “Bears” they got “Homeless”

  • Dylan Kvasnicka

    I think the disconnect is summed up with this one horrible misunderstanding by the city commissioner: “because some people choose to be homeless.”

    • David P.

      I agree, though I think you are being generous. Homelessness is usually the result of circumstances and events, often trauma, relentless poverty, childhood abuse or mental illness. Trantalis’ ignorant statement is akin to saying someone with TB chooses to cough.

  • Thomas R. Olson

    What has happened, that a 90 year old man can’t give food to the homeless. I am ashamed of the Florida police fore.

  • Vladislov Kyzinski

    That is s0000000000 disgusting. There ought to be a law!