Feeding the Homeless / Feeding the Bears

Orlando has decided to restrict feeding the homeless near the downtown area. Businesses in the area claim it brings crime. Duh! What a surprise. It’s kinda like feeding the bears, isn’t it? When you feed a bear, it’ll get trained to come back, and it’ll bring its friends. It will no longer have to wander around, working for its food. It knows where to go for food. Same thing with the homeless. I’m not against feeding them and helping them out. I think it’s society’s job to do that. But society should also be trying to help the homeless be not-homeless. Simply feeding them draws them back and, without the opportunity (or desire) to work for food (like the rest of us working people do), some of the homeless simply become hangers-on. They become like the bears, coming back for food because it’s easy and because they do not have to work hard for it. Free food to help someone get back one their feet–that’s our duty as people. Free food to encourage people to not work–shame on us when we do that!

I’m not sure I agree with the city of Orlando’s law, but I do think that as a society we need to be careful about the results of our actions. Feed the homeless, but act responsibly and encourage them to get back on their feet and become non-homeless again. That should be our goal.

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