Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

For a Local Church May 20th is the Last Day of Feeding the Homeless in Reed Park

We're from the Vineyard and we're going to stop feeding in the park on May 20th, because of some incident that we are told happened


A homeless woman sleeps in Christine Reed park in Santa Monica

For the last 17 years, I have fed the homeless in Reed Park as part of The Vineyard Church's programs. I've been doing it for over 17 years, and I am told that May 20th will be our last day. This is due, we are told, to some incident involving crime or violence and the homeless. I don't know what incident they're referring to.

We've been doing this for 17 years, and now we have to leave. There's no law that says you can't give food away to the poor in a public park. So it's sad. We keep it nice and orderly and then they have residents that come and curse you out and disturb everyone.

The other day, there was this mom cursing us out, telling us to go back where we came from. She had this little boy who swore at us-he sounded like some sailor that just got off the dock. Jesus said the poor will always be with you. What kind of Christians are these?

These are people, some of the people that go there, we know them in society put it that way. And their fed, they're families it makes it very difficult.

We have people at St. Monica's that don't want us there, even though St. Monica's feeds the homeless on Sunday morning, right in the park

St. Monica's couldn't take control. The Baptist church down the street is now non denominational and neither one of them can control their own people

We know this has to do with local politics. But when your'e going doing something from the goodness of your heart because people have a need, it's out of love. We help people get their lives back together.

When people leave they leave with dignity after they've been on the street a while. They smile, some of them come back to say they have their art on display at the SM library, or they're off their medication, or they're progressing in other ways

We want these people to know that we wish them well in all of their endeavours, it's not just politics it takes communications and respect. So whatever this incident was that happened, the City found some loophole to close us down.

It's not just giving them a lunch that we make ourselves, we make those people feel they're loved and cared about. You can go to bed knowing you did your best, that's what it's about.

Katt volunteers in the Vineyard Church's programs, which feeds homeless people at noon on Sundays in Reed Park. The Vineyard Church is located on Mar Vista Venice and Centinela


Reader Comments(2)

obusquets writes:

A public park is not a home, or a feeding place. Parks in Santa Monica have been destroyed by those who get fed (and do other nasty non-park activities) and those who feed them. Take them home and feed them there. Or better yet, financially support a local charity that does the job in a more thoughtful way. I'm sure those who feed them do not live around. A concerned resident.

Moo2 writes:

Paragraph 2. You're mistaken. An ordinance was passed in the city back in 1993 banning the feeding of the homeless in any public space. Additionally, Vineyard was spoken to multiple times by both St Monica's Church and the Santa Monica Police asking and telling them to cease and desist their operations, yet Vineyard staff ignored the ordinance and the direct command from SMPD and continued to show up at Reed every week. What kind of good Christian defies both the written law and verbal demands to cease and desist from the city's law enforcement agency as well as one of the largest Catholic dioceses in Southern California?


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