Malibu church 'pressured to end meals for the homeless' because it 'lures the needy'

By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent

Malibu, CA

A church in upmarket Malibu has decided to stop providing free meals for those in need after claiming they were told by officials they were attracting too many homeless people.

The United Methodist Church, one of many churches that provides food and help, has been offering free meals twice a week. But it said it was going to stop after being told the meal service was luring too many homeless people.

Dawn Randall, a member of the church, said it recently received an email from city officials. “Very succinctly, they claimed we are increasing homelessness,” she told CBS.

Reports suggest that the California city of Malibu, famed for its gorgeous beaches and multi-million dollar homes, has a growing problem with homelessness, an issue that was met with both charity and taxpayer money.

The Los Angeles Times said the city, which has a population of 13,000, has roughly 180 homeless residents, but no shelter or housing for poor people.

The United Methodist Church and Standing on Stone, a Christian group, had been hosting twice-weekly homeless dinners on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

But the newspaper said once the metro line to Santa Monica opened last year, a number of residents complained that mentally-ill and other homeless people were camping at the beach and entering schools.

“A homeless person was taking a shower in the girls locker room in middle school - that wasn’t real good,” Gary Peterson, a retired developer, told the newspaper. “Providing dinner is a nice thing to do and a good thing, but it’s the location.”

At a public hearing this week, Malibu Mayor Skylar Peak denied making the order and apologised for any miscommunication.

“No they were never formally asked to stop feeding the homeless,” said Mr Peak. “Not at all.”

Neither the church or Mr Peak immediately responded to inquiries.

EDITORS NOTE: Malibu never really had a homeless problem simply because rich people don't give change to beggars. Biggest problem in the USA right now is sky-high housing and rental costs...this is a problem our federal, state and local governments should be dealing with as a crisis....similar to a national disaster. Those Hollywood aristocrats would do well to read up on the French Revolution. There is plenty for everyone-the homeless problem is caused by low wages and expensive housing-try and find work when you are homeless-try and find work if you get laid off when you are over 50.

If you can make a 20%-30% down payment on a cheap $50,000-$100,000 dollar house....your payments would only be about $300-600 month. The problem is that most poor people can't come up with the 20%-30% down payment. Seems like the government should offer down payment assistance as an alternative to welfare....so people can have low house payments and afford to work at lower wages.

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