Alderman James Cappleman has banned provision of food to the homeless by the Salvation Army. Since 2009, the Salvation Army has been serving about 100 homeless people at Wilson and Marine for two hours every weekday. Cappleman has given the Salvation Army one month to relocate outside of his ward. Salvation Army officials report that they will not be moved:
“Since the article came out, we have just been blown away by phone calls and emails saying, ‘No. The need in Uptown is just too great, please don’t leave,’” Powers said, adding that high-ranking city officials, social service agencies and clients have called with support.
Our mission is to serve the folks who need us, to serve the needy. And if the need is that great in Uptown, then we’re going to serve the needy where they are. We’re not going to discriminate by location or alderman. We’re going to serve where the … the most need is.“
I hope that Cappleman revises his position. If not, it will be interesting to see what happens on or after April 1.
Some cities have gone as far as to make it illegal to serve homeless people outdoors or in public places. I think those policies are wrong. I’m glad that it seems Powers and others may stand up to Cappleman, if it comes to that. They deserve all they support they can get.