A church group in Lake Worth, Florida simply wanted to bring Thanksgiving to the homeless at a local public park.
It didn’t take long until a park ranger interfered.
Members of the Acts 2 Worship Center had planned on passing out pre-packaged meals to the homeless at Palm Beach County’s John Prince Park as a way to teach children the true meaning of Thanksgiving. “We brought our kids out here so they could see what it’s really like for people that are struggling,” Acts 2 member Brian Oakes told a reporter.
The park reportedly has an inflating homeless population as a result of the weakened economy. Those who were there at the time really appreciated the hot meal. “We’re grateful you know. They hand out, we meet the guys and stuff. They give us a prayer and everything,” homeless resident Kevin Rudd said.
A park ranger demanded that the group leave the park immediately. It didn’t appear that he knew which specific ordinance he was citing, but a radio call to his supervisors confirmed the offense: Large groups are prohibited from the activity of feeding the homeless in public parks.
CBS 12 reporter, Israel Balderas tracked down the ranger and asked him to clarify the law and explain why large groups can have picnics in the park but not feed homeless people. The reporter asked to speak with the park ranger’s supervisor who said she would meet with him at the park (but didn’t show up) and posed an interesting question: What constitutes an ‘activity’ and what size group is considered ‘large.’
This sounds like another question that we’ll just have to leave to bureaucrats at all levels of government to answer for us.
Luckily, Acts 2 defied the orders and managed to finish feeding everyone before they left. The park ranger would not comment on the matter, saying he was under “strict orders” not to discuss the matter with anyone.
Does your city or community have a similarly burdensome ordinance that you’ve encountered before? Let us know what you think on the comments section below.
Written by Ben Walters