Whether or not you play the state lottery games, you’ve seen their ads and heard their sales pitches…
“Playing the lottery is so much fun!”
“Billions of dollars in lotto profits are going to education!”
“Imagine what could happen!”
John Oliver takes a few minutes to show why that sales pitch is a load of crap. Despite this being nearly 15 minutes, it already has 1.2 million views, implying that this take on the issue resonates with a lot of people. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out…
90 year old Arnold Abbott has been feeding the homeless with his organization, Love Thy Neighbor, every Wednesday night at 5:30 PM for 23 years, and he’s certainly not going to let anything stand in his way.
So when the City of Fort Lauderdale Commission passed an ordinance banning public food sharing, Abbott made no plans to change his weekly tradition…even if it meant getting arrested. Abbott was at his weekly post the Wednesday night after the ban took effect when he was approached by police:
One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon.
He was given a notice to appear in court, but that didn’t stop him from going back to the beach again, where his food operation was shut down; nor will it stop him in the future, he says—
I don’t plan to give up the beach.
The ordinance, which recently went into effect, says that anyone serving food outdoors would need to provide public toilets for those working and those being fed. The Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Jack Seiler explains…
We hope he feeds. He has a very valuable role in the community. All we’re saying is he can feed the next block over. He can feed at the church. We want them to be in safe secure settings. We wanted them to be in a sanitary matter. We them to have facilities available before and after.
Abbott may face up to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail, but he’s no stranger to fighting in court to feed the hungry; in 1999, he sued the City of Fort Lauderdale after they tried to stop him from feeding the homeless on a public beach. He won the case three times in circuit court and twice in the court of appeals.
What do you think of the ban? Should Arnold Abbott fight the City to feed the hungry, or obey the ban?
For people living on the streets, although not always easy to find, there are resources for food, medical attention, and shelter. But what about laundry? Everyone deserves clean laundry, and for the homeless, it’s nearly impossible to afford to wash their clothes and a free washing service is unheard of.
For her series Museum of Selfies, Danish designer Olivia Muus imagines what it would look like if the subjects of classic portraits were really posing for selfies. Suddenly their expressions make so much more sense…