Local News

Efforts to help the homeless continue as planned

Posted August 31, 2013 6:56 p.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2013 6:42 a.m. EDT

— A breakfast in downtown Raleigh to feed the homeless and others in need went on as planned Saturday despite prior concerns about law enforcement. 

Last week officers threatened to arrest volunteers for feeding the homeless in the city's historic Moore Square.

"Every sausage and biscuit we hand out represents the failure of the city of Raleigh to take care of its most vulnerable people," said Reverend Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins Ministries. 

According to Hollowell, the city generally outsources part of the responsibility to churches, charities, and ministries like his.

Last weekend came as a surprise when Raleigh Police threatened to enforce a little known ordinance that does not allow food to be distributed in a public park without a permit. 

"And if you're going to outsource that to us, I don't really think it's fair to pass laws that restrict our ability to do that," said Hollowell. 

There was no police presence at Saturday's gathering, but there were some sanitation workers on standby with additional garbage cans. 

"We're eager to work with the city council and the mayor to find a long term solution," Hollowell said. "The people we minister to are downtown. Any solution that says we can't be downtown is not gonna be a solution we're happy with."

The Raleigh City Council is expected to discuss the issue at a meeting Tuesday.