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Orlando Ban Affects Cities Homeless Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

In the summer of 2006 the City of Orlando approved an amendment to chapter 18 of its city ordinance imposing a ban on large group feedings in the Orlando downtown parks district. reported by the Orlando sentinel “Eola homeless meals banned”(McKay). The Bans immediate impact was felt by several out reach groups. That had been conducting feedings in the area. The most prominent is an organization known as Food not Bombs. A national homeless advocacy group which provides feedings on Monday's and Wednesday in Lake Eola Park , one of the largest downtown park areas . The Mayor drafted the ban in response to area residents who had complaints to the increased litter and crime to surrounding areas because of the rise in the local homeless population gathering in the area for the feedings “City wrong to curb homeless feedings”(Schlueb). In response to the ordinance the American civil liberties union filed a lawsuit against the city stating the ordinance violates first amendment rights to free speech freedom of assembly and religious practice ( Schlueb).
Looking at this from the position of the city we can see that Orlando is not much different from Las Vegas another major city which has passed ordinances similar to this which impact the presence of the homeless population in the major downtown business district "Orlando heads back to list of meanest cities."(unknown). The main reason for this would be to reduce the amount of panhandling that takes place disturbing the people seeking to utilize the downtown area to peruse the shopping and nightlife. I take the position of many viewing this as harassment when coming to an area I am seeking to do business as merely annoying but also wondering about what services exist to help these individuals, but as a recently retired veteran of the navy and learning that 1 in 5 homeless in Orlando is a veteran of the armed forces I am moved to want as many public and charity groups to help as possible , based on statistics obtained in relation to the original ordinance the homeless population was almost 10,000 in 2006 ballooning to over 14000 in 2009 and currently based on the 2013 point in time survey it rests at 12000 in 2006 the amount of homeless with shelter was at 40% vice 60 percent in 2013 . this brings me to the question did they stop feeding the people or did the feeding the people bring enough light to the situation to force a need to help these members of our society whom otherwise would sit on the fringes without our assistance and or awareness. Often our awareness of the homeless is limited to the individuals who are pan handling at the end of city roads and in corners I have observed near church street I take the position of many viewing the harassment in an area I am seeking to do business as merely annoying but also wondering about what services exist to help these individuals, but as a recently retired veteran of the navy and learning that 1 in 5 homeless in Orlando is a veteran of the armed forces I...

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