Homelessness

90-Year-Old Serial Feeder of the Homeless Arnold Abbott Re-Arrested in Florida

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I blogged the other day about 90-year-old Arnold Abbott and a couple of ministers being arrested in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for violating a city ordinance barring feeding the homeless in public.

Everything law and order types say is true: you let these criminals out on the street, they are just going go commit more crimes, as the Daily Mail reports that Abbott did it again, and was arrested again.

Mayor Jack Seiler, the Mail reports: 

told Local 10, 'Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn't think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree.'

Again, Reason's sadly large archives of stories about people arrested for feeding the homeless, and this Reason TV video about Philadelphia's war on this sort of charity:

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  1. Mayor Jack Seiler, the Mail reports:

    told Local 10, ‘Mr. Abbott has decided that he doesn’t think these individuals should have to have any interaction with government, that they should be fed in the parks. We disagree.’

    And later added “we have armed force on our side, so there!”

    1. “Looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree while you serve out the jail sentence we impose on you.”

  2. Jack Seiler is Tulpa’s real name?

  3. If panhandling is speech, then handing out food is speech as well.

  4. I have mixed feelings about this, because he seems to be doing it in a city park. I can understand not wanting to have a park turned into a soup kitchen. Would not a sensible compromise be to have an actual soup kitchen, perhaps run out of a vacant restaurant? Or to feed them out of the church?

    1. What better place to demonstrate charity? I think it’s great and the Mayor should be giving him an award. But you can’t make a piece of shit not be a piece of shit.

      1. Wouldn’t a restaurant or a church be a better place?

  5. This guy is a hero. The park he did this at the first time is right around the corner from where I work. It’s small, it borders a major road, and it’s generally a homeless hangout anyways. We’re not talking about a pristine park that families go to.

    It is, however, central in downtown, and is a perfect place to feed the homeless.

    I wish I could figure out where and when he would be doing these things. I’d love to help.

    1. “It is, however, central in downtown, and is a perfect place to feed the homeless.”

      It’s also a perfect place for an off-road race course. Stay behind the hay bales.

      1. Not nearly big enough. It’s about 1 square block.

  6. I can’t wait until I get to “don’t give a fuck, nothing to lose” age.

  7. Doesn’t this “good Samaritan” understand the kind of damage he is wreaking? If he’s allowed to continue people might get the idea that gubmint isn’t baker of the daily bread!

  8. Don’t feed the animals and the homeless. It only encourages bad behavior on the part of both is the apparent message from the city. The cold part of my libertarian heart is not so sure the city officals are wrong in this regard.

    1. You can be a libertarian and still not go full social-Darwinist, no? Wouldn’t it be better to demonstrate that private action, whether charitable or even for-profit, can achieve the positive results government says only it can be entrusted to deliver (at massive taxpayer expense)?

      1. I’d be happier if it took place in private area such as a soup kitchen, church etc. The park is mangaged on behalf of everyone who lives in the city by the city government. Ideally it would be a privately managed and owned park. If it were private then the owner may very well have the same rules regarding the homeless. As Andrew S pointed out the park doesn’t have a lot of family types there. One could point to the homeless as a reason for that.

        1. Even without them, the family types wouldn’t exactly be flocking there. It’s not near any housing. It borders a very well-traveled downtown road. There are a few restaurants nearby, but nothing you’re going to take your family to. The federal courthouse is across the street. Only other things in walking distance are office buildings.

          If you’re going to be downtown with family, you’re not going to Stranahan Park, you’re going anywhere along the Riverwalk, including the much nicer park across the street from the Science museum.

          1. (and the reason you’re going on the Riverwalk has nothing to do with the homeless at Stranahan, it has to do with the view of the water and the boats, versus the view of Broward Boulevard and a bunch of generic office buildings)

        2. And if a bunch of families go there, then the homeless won’t have a place to hang out. I don’t see why nice families have any more claim to the park than nice families if the park is managed for the benefit of all residents. Parks are scarce resources and no matter what happens, not everyone is going to be able to enjoy it at once.

  9. Sometimes you just run into stories where the only rational response is “Why? Just why?”

    This is one of them.

    What possible turn or reasoning gets someone to tell an old man, in effect, “If you you continue in these acts of charity, we’re willing to go so far as to put a bullet in your head to stop you.”?

  10. The mayor has a chance to be a hero – introduce a bill in the city council to designate that little park as a charity center (or something) and get volunteers to help keep it sanitary. Instant Hero. Instead he is an ass.

  11. Would it mitigate his offense if he gave them some other type of breakfast food?

    Maybe the mayor is an advocate of the paleo diet and he knows that cereal feeding is bad for the homeless with all those processed carbs…

  12. The Gov.us don’t like competition. The food stamp administrators just haven’t gotten down there yet. And if this keeps up, 1 out of 5 homeless people will be obese.

  13. If you would like to help Mr. Abbott in his legal fight against the City of Ft. Lauderdale, please donate to the following fundraiser:

    http://funds.gofundme.com/dash…..ottDefense

    Please also share via your social media and email as the more people who read and donate the more we can all help this man.

    Damon Wells

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