Nutter Announces New ‘Indoor Feeding’ Policy
Mayor Michael Nutter held a press conference earlier today regarding the city’s new controversial “Don’t feed the homeless” policy. Masked in a series of well-meaning statements, it basically comes down to, as some critics have cried, move the city’s homeless population off the Parkway.
The Administration has also decided to establish a pseudo-Occupy “food distribution location” near City Hall that’d serve as a temporary indoor/outdoor space with tons of luxury amenities for the homeless.
Here’s part of the mayor’s office press release:
The Mayor instructed the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation to issue a regulation that will ban outdoor feeding in all City parks. This regulation will be enacted on Thursday, March 15, and will go into effect in 30 days. This regulation will not affect family picnics or permitted events in parks.
The Mayor also instructed the Commissioner of Public Property to establish a temporary food distribution location on the City Hall apron. All outdoor feeders who want to use the City Hall apron will be required to sign up with the Department of Public Property and reserve the days and times for their activity. The City of Philadelphia will provide water and porto-potties on the apron. This location will be available for up to one year.
In addition, according to the release, the mayor has created a “working group” of those in and outside the administration to come up with a plan to help the homeless move indoors to eat, permanently.
The groundwork for the idea was laid by Health Commissioner Don Schwarz, who claimed Occupy, during their time at City Hall, had “no authority” to make sure the food they handed out was up to safety standards (and no one was putting razor blades in applies, a la that urban myth you hear about every Halloween.) The new outdoor feeding rules are not unique to Philadelphia. As we mentioned here, church groups and other operations have been shut down across America, including one in Tampa, Florida last summer.