Violators Will Be Fined $500
A new controversial ordinance on feeding Houston's homeless is now in effect.
Starting July 1, it’s illegal to feed five or more homeless people. If caught there’s a $500 fine.
“The homeless have rights. And they deserve to be treated with dignity," said Civil Rights Attorney Randall Kallinen, who stood with other Houstonians protesting the guidelines.
City Council members passed the ordinance requiring anyone who wants to feed five or more homeless people get written permission from the property owner on a 11-6 vote. Public land, including city parks is included.
Seven people, who feed the homeless with a church group, have served the city with legal notice about the ordinance, saying it violates their freedom of religion.
The city has 60 days to respond to the notice. According to the City of Houston, the ordinance is in place to allow for better coordination of food service operations and to have a record of the responsible party in the event a mess is left behind.