What many consider “homeless hate laws” have become an alarming trend in local governments. Florida is second only to California in passing these unfortunate local laws. In response to this government intrusion into voluntary charity, the Solutions Institute has assisted the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County in taking action. They came together in support of the homeless in south Florida with a food and clothing donation drive, online fundraiser and protest.
The City of Fort Lauderdale has recently seen national news headlines with its controversial city ordinance that makes it a crime to feed the homeless. Fort Lauderdale’s Ordinance C-14-42 passed with a 4-1 vote on October 22, 2014. It was the 5th ordinance that criminalized homelessness in some way within the last 6 months. Despite the ordinance, Arnold Abbott of the advocacy group Love Thy Neighbor has continued to feed people who cannot afford to buy food. He has recently been arrested, cited and fined for his actions.
On Wednesday, December 17, about 50 members of the South Florida community and beyond converged upon Fort Lauderdale Beach. At least that many homeless individuals attended. People brought bags of toiletries, food and other essentials. Clothing and canned goods were stacked on park benches to be passed out to our homeless friends. Using Rally.org to collect donations, Steve Beson of the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County and Solutions Institute presented Mr. Abbott with a check for $1,100. All further proceeds of the Rally.org fundraiser will go to Love Thy Neighbor, to fund future meals for the homeless.