Honorable Michael Nutter
Office of the Mayor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Sir, Enacting a law preventing religious, social and civic groups from serving food to the homeless outside makes no sense. Mr. Mayor, you said, “It’s because it’s a matter of public health and safety.” Huh? So, if the homeless are served inside, the public safety and health issue is now addressed? Really, Mr. Mayor?
You’ve also stated you want to bring the homeless inside for a safe and healthy meal. Again, I’m perplexed. Could the same unidentified vans roll up in the back of the building, take the food inside and serve meals that are not nutritious and safe? Are you saying as long as the meals are in the building being served they are somehow more nutritious and safe? Mr. Mayor, how many of the homeless that have been served by these “unidentified vans” have taken ill or have died from eating the foods that are handed out?
You’ve also missed the fact that the food that is provided to the homeless outside are from churches, social and civic groups that publicly acknowledge who they are. You also underestimate the intelligence of a homeless vet, a homeless family or homeless teens because truth be told; they are not going to just accept food without first identifying who the charitable giver is. Shame on you, Mr. Mayor.
Finally, what if those who serve the homeless do not possess a building to serve? Are you going to start providing buildings for those individuals with a charitable and giving spirit that serve the homeless? Mr. Mayor, what is the true reason you want you to stop caring and compassionate people from serving food to the homeless outside? Are you embarrassed by the record number of Philadelphians that are homeless? Does it bother you that many of those receiving food outside are not all homeless and in fact, for some, that is the only meal that they and their families will receive?
This is wrong Mr. Mayor. Completely and utterly wrong, sir.
Anthony P. Johnson, Candidate for State Representative, 180th District, 2012