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Miami's Proposed Solution to Homelessness: Treat People Like Pigeons and Make It Illegal to Feed Them

Just as it's illegal to feed pigeons in certain parts of London, Miami now wants to make it illegal to feed homeless people in certain parts of the city.

A proposed ordinance will come before the Miami Commission next month that would make it illegal for unauthorized people and groups to feed the homeless in Park West. Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff and other city officials spoke with Miami Today like the homeless in Miami are as disposable and worthless as excess pigeons.

"We've begun the process to fix the sidewalks, but so long as there are people defecating and peeing on the streets, it's not going to do any good," Sarnoff told Today.

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Who cares about human decency and hunger if it gets in the way of pretty sidewalks, right?

Well-intentioned groups regularly travel to Park West to feed the homeless, but Downtown Development Authority director Alyce Robertson claims the resulting "trash, rats, and feces have gotten to the level that it needs the attention of the city commission and the authority."

So under the proposed law, groups would have to obtain approval to feed the homeless in the area. Never mind that none of this actually addresses the core reasons for homelessness and that the homeless are either going to find other ways to eat (bugging passersby, theft, etc.) or, you know, starve.

The ACLU is challenging a similar ordinance passed last year in Houston, but Sarnoff says he's game for a lawsuit: "I'm a lawyer; I love lawsuits."

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