Cities, volunteers clash over feeding homeless in public

Photo: Bart Everson @ Flickr / CC BY 2.0

ATLANTA (AP) -- Volunteers who feed the homeless in public places say they're providing a needed service. But city governments and some advocates say their well-meaning efforts can hinder long-term solutions and raise sanitation concerns.

Adele MacLean was ticketed Nov. 19 after she and others refused to stop feeding the homeless in an Atlanta park. The case was dropped earlier this month.

The Southern Center for Human Rights is representing MacLean. Lawyers for the center say the regulation that requires a permit for serving food in public doesn't apply to people sharing food at no charge.

The city and some advocates for the homeless say public feedings are well-intentioned but can hinder efforts to connect people with much-needed help and raise concerns about food safety and garbage left behind.

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