A group of benevolent volunteers including a 14-year-old girl were charged with misdemeanors in a
Commyfornia California suburb this week for feeding the homeless. Because apparently, it’s the government’s job to take your money and hand it out to the needy, and doing so yourself is a crime.
Twelve people are now facing misdemeanor charges in El Cajon, California, after handing out food to the homeless at a public park Sunday.
Volunteers and groups showed up to Wells Park to hand out food, clothes, shoes and toiletries. As of Monday, the 12 people said they plan to take legal action against the city of El Cajon.
“If I’m going to be arrested for something, let it be for feeding the homeless,” said Matthew Schneck, who was cited Sunday. “I’m not going to apologize for doing the right thing.”
El Cajon police wrote up citations to each person handing out food, including 14-year-old Ever Parmley.
The generous Good Samaritans were each given court dates to show up and explain to the bureaucratic gods why they dared violate the San Diego suburb's municipal restriction against “sharing food in public spaces,” NBC7 reports.
One arrestee cited Martin Luther King, Jr., whose holiday was celebrated the day after the arrest, as an inspiration:
Today I got arrested for feeding the homeless in Wells Park in El Cajon. The City of El Cajon has made it illegal to share food with homeless people. https://t.co/6BZzjSxKnL— Matthew Schneck (@matthew_schneck) January 15, 2018
“...One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” —Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/YTqCxOIRWb
Ben Kalasho, an El Cajon Councilmember, told NBC 7 blamed the ridiculous restriction on feeding the homeless on San Diego’s current Hepatitis outbreak -- before letting it slip that feeding the hungry is “messy” and really, well, the city just doesn’t want to deal with that.
“What we're saying is feeding them at city parks is a bad idea given the situation that we're in with the hepatitis A outbreak and the fact that it makes the place completely messy afterward,” he said.
“You can go out there, pick them up, take them back to your house and feed them and board them and room them and have them take a shower if you're really wanting to help," he added.
Because it’s not really about the city’s Hepatitis problem – if it were, Mr. Kalasho wouldn’t support a prohibition on feeding the homeless in public, then turn around and advise residents to take the needy into their private homes and turn down the bedsheets for them.
It’s really about restrictions, and California’s overwhelming need to pass as many silly, nonsensical regulations as possible in an effort to control things that don’t even make any sense.
Want to keep your money and spend it on yourself? You can't do that, we need it for the poor.
Want to take your money and voluntarily help the poor? Yeah, you can't do that, either.
On the other hand, here's a thought: go feed the homeless. Maybe wear gloves. And when the city tries to stop you from doing a selfless good deed because it's "messy"?
Go do it again.