The Myrtle Beach City Council has placed serious restrictions on group that feed the homeless in city (public) parks.Â Church groups are currently feeding the homeless and hungry in obedience to their faith — weekly in one park and monthly in another.Â A new ordinance will require them to obtain a permit and restrict feedings to four times per year.Â The ordinance is a response toÂ neighbors’ complaints, such as perceived safety issues for childrenÂ in the park, and crimes alleged to have been committed by some of the homeless people in the parks.Â But those who serve the homeless point out that children are among those being fed (children and families are homeless, too), and that homeless people will be in the parks whether meals are served or not.
Feedings in the parks apparently began because the homeless were already there.Â The Swash Park Ministry of First Baptist Church serves meals to a group of homeless people that includes some who aren’t allowed at the community kitchen or shelter and don’t have anywhere else to eat.Â Another church’s youth group serves bag lunches monthly at Chapin Park.
Bruce Crawford, pastor of Myrtle Beach First Baptist Church, asks:
“If Jesus came back and tried to feed 5,000, would he able to do it in Myrtle Beach?Â Â We just need to think about our actions.”
UPDATE: Map links to parks where homeless are being fed — with images from Google street view:
Note:Â I created the image used with this post, using a sign generator.Â As far as I know, there is not a sign at Myrtle Beach that says “Don’t feed the homeless.”Â (Yet, anyway.)Â The image is intended to graphically depict the absurdity of the city’s position and to provoke a reaction in the viewer.