Every Wednesday for the past three years, the United Methodist Church in Malibu, California has been serving meals to the homeless. It is difficult to imagine what could possibly be wrong with that but Malibu has found something and it is bizarre.
City officials have asked (told) the church that they should no longer feed the 70-100 people each week. Their explanation for this? The church is making the city’s homeless problem worse. What?
Dawn Randall works at the church and stated they received an email asking them to attend a city meeting this week.
They were stunned when city officials conveyed the request. Randall states they were asked “Very succinctly,” and “They claimed we are increasing homelessness.”
Another member of the church Kay Gabbard stated;
“I think many of them eat out of dumpsters and trash cans when they aren’t eating with us. We can’t pretend like (homelessness) doesn’t exist in our backyard. We can’t pretend that it only exists outside Malibu.”
One man who utilizes this valuable service says the church has helped him a lot. Michah Johnson told reporters;
“It’s a safe place and everyone is welcome. And the food is really good. It’s home-cooked. The church is very helpful. They keep my spirits up. They keep me accountable. When you’re homeless, it’s very easy to slip off and become jaded.”
California’s homeless problem is out of control. Several counties are inflicted with Hepatitis A outbreaks directly related to the overwhelming homeless populations. Health officials are struggling to get the problem under control. With issues like that, a church feeding this high-risk population should be applauded not blamed.
Why would officials, especially supposedly tolerant liberal ones like those in California, want to curtail a program that is actually helping? Whatever the answer from Malibu (so far they have not commented) it will not be good enough.