Homeless Advocates Win Battle Over Public Meals

| 1/27/2009 3:43:16 PM

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Last month, the advocacy groups Food Not Bombs and Art and Compassion successfully challenged a West Palm Beach ordinance that made it illegal to serve free meals to homeless people on public property, according to the February issue of Z Magazine (article not available online). The lawsuit highlighted tensions between local homeless advocates and city commercial interests. The Palm Beach Post reports that the law responded to complaints from local businesses, who claimed the meal giveaways were scaring off customers.

It’s not an isolated incident: The Z article notes that other cities, including Orlando and Las Vegas, have tried similar bans in the past couple of years.

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