As children, we were taught to abide by the ‘Golden Rule’: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As adults, we are now being instructed to not help people down who are down on their luck. What changed?
The question is relevant, as recently, the United Methodist Church in Malibu, was asked to stop feeding the homeless. Thanks to CBS Los Angeles, more details about the ordeal have been obtained.
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Since 2014, workers at the church would serve free meals to the homeless every Wednesday. They estimate that they’ve been able to assist approximately 100 people per day. “It’s a safe place,” said Michael Johnson, who is homeless. “And everyone is welcome. And the food is really good. It’s home-cooked. And there’s TLC involved.”
“The church is very helpful,” he added. “They keep my spirits up. They keep me accountable. When you’re homeless, it’s very easy to slip off and become jaded.”
But now, Johnson and others like him will be without the life-saving aid. This is because the city asked the food service to close down after Thanksgiving. According to CBS Los Angeles, the church was sent an email asking members to attend a meeting on Monday. During the hearing, they were asked to stop feeding the homeless.
Recalled Dawn Randall, who works with the United Methodist Church: “Very succinctly. “They claimed we are increasing homelessness.”
Kay Gabbard, who also works with the church, was as surprised as the others by the city’s decision.”I think many of them eat out of dumpsters and trash cans when they aren’t eating with us,” Gabbard said. “We can’t pretend like (homelessness) doesn’t exist in our backyard. We can’t pretend that it only exists outside Malibu.”
Mailbu’s mayor has yet to comment.
Homelessness is a very pressing issue, one that cannot be ignored. According to a 2016 report, over half a million people in the United States are homeless. And of them, approximately 8 percent are veterans.
As a people, we are doing a great disservice to others by not demanding that if someone is living on the street, more resources go toward rehabilitation, psychological counseling and social services interference. Until every being on this planet has access to food, water and shelter, world peace will continue to be out of reach.