Feeding the homeless discouraged at Columbus park


COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A downtown park owned by Columbus Water Works, known as an area to feed the homeless by many organizations across the Valley, is asking residents to stop feeding the homeless there by the end of the month.

The area is located on 18th Street between 2nd Avenue and Veterans Parkway.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said they did not pass a law and it's not illegal to feed or minister to the homeless.

Tomlinson added the city is partnering with other homeless service providers to consolidate at one safe location to help better distribute resources like medical and mental health, voucher services, veteran benefit services and shelters.

"All of this is being done to bring more services to homelessness, and it's being done with the assistance of homeless service providers as we adopt best practices within out city to actually caring for and helping the homeless to become safe and secure again and not just facilitating homelessness," Tomlinson said.

Richard Harris with Heroes and Heroines for Hope, a Facebook group using social media for good and paying it forward, has started a seven-day challenge to anyone who wants or raise awareness for those who need help in the community.

"Let's see what it like to be homeless, I believe in seven days the same people who sit around to discuss this ordinance if they were to actually see what it's like to scrounge for food they would change their thoughts and their views," Harris said.

Public feeding in this park will stop on July 31 but the park will remain open.

If you would like to take part in the seven day challenge click this link.

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