Malibu church feeding homeless: Disconcert after a local church is pressured to stop feeding the homeless in a bid to stop luring the needy to the well heeled city.
The United Methodist Church feeding of homeless soup kitchen, led to the church indicating it was going to stop its twice a week meals after Thanksgiving because of complaints of too many homeless people being lured into the well heeled neighborhood reported the Los Angeles Times.
The cut in offerings told the church came after meeting with civic leaders and local organizations. The reversal has in turn led to criticism of city leaders for forcing the church’s hand.
Responding to accusations of acceding to the demands of affluent constituents of Malibu who’ve expressing disconcert with the influx of the needy and the ‘issues such individuals bring,‘ Malibu’s Mayor Skylar Peak did an about face.
Appearing at a public hearing last week, the mayor denied ever ordering the meals to end, while apologizing for what he described as ‘miscommunication.’ In turn, the mayor said Malibu wanted to work with volunteers on a solution.
Offered Malibu’s mayor, ‘I will stand by the fact that everyone up here is compassionate about everyone in the community’.
To date it wasn’t immediately clear what solution had been put into place.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 24, 2017
Malibu church feeding homeless: A cross of transients and racial make up in polar opposites.
According to newsweek, religious groups have been feeding the homeless for the past 17 years, with the city and private donors earmarking funding to help disadvantaged individuals finding housing and services. As part of the effort to improve the quality of life for the destitute, the United Methodist Church and Standing on Stone, a Christian group, had been hosting homeless dinners twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the past three years.
The efforts come in the face of Malibu having a population of 13,000 with roughly 180 homeless residents, but no shelter or housing for them. The city is 90 percent white.
Of note, many of the homeless congregating for the food hand outs were observed to be disproportionately African Americans from Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles.
Sample complaints against the ‘transients’, included homeless people staying by the beach and hanging out near schools as well as a scattering of low level crimes (as opposed to the high level of white collar crimes taking place in ivory towers). Many tended the influx was the result of Metro’s Expo Line opening in Santa Monica last year.
‘A homeless person was taking a shower in the girl’s locker room in middle school — that wasn’t real good,’ Gary Peterson, a retired developer, and hotelier who quit the church’s board of trustees over the meal issue told the LA Times. ‘Providing dinner is a nice thing to do and a good thing, but it’s the location.’
It wasn’t clear what new services or programs had opened in Santa Monica or surrounding areas, if any, that may have preempted the influx of desperate people seeking salvation in nearby Malibu.
Explained local resident, Tyrone Valiant, 70, ‘People don’t want to see homeless people around’.
While recently evicted Margaritaville man, Chris Smith said, ‘But the taxpayers don’t want to take a chance on crime, and I kinda agree with them’.
That though didn’t stop the recently homeless man jumping on his bike and cycling for one more last free meal at the Methodist Church.
Malibu church feeding homeless: Should a church designed to benefit the disadvantaged be made to stop such services?
Responding to the imminent cut in food gatherings, Rev. Sandy Liddell, the Methodist church’s pastor, reflected, ‘This is very sad for us’.
Adding, ‘We’ve been enjoying these friends for more than three years.’
Currently, California has the highest rate of homelessness of any state in the U.S. There are 118,142 homeless people living in the state, with over 78,000 individuals without shelter, according to a 2016 annual homeless assessment report.
Welcome to a brave new America, where the idea of helping the homeless sometimes passes scant enthusiasm, but particularly if it’s done out of sight and out of mind from one’s well to do vista view and unbridled winner take all existence….