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Is Helping The Hungry And Homeless A Crime?

This article raises many questions. The one for me is about the whether we want to hide the poverty, homelessness, and hunger behind closed doors in wealthy countries such as Canada and the US. These are real issues and more importantly real peopled. They have faces, names, and stories.

tahtonka - A Journey Through Global Culture


Arnold Abbott: the Police and the Politics of public feeding.
Picture source: Unknown

At first glance this story appears to be just another case of politics bullying charity, but not so fast.

This story should have been written a few days ago, but it was not to be, as I was once again up in Gainesville getting my  melanomas tended to.

Now it’s back to work this morning…

If you have not heard of this man yet, you will.

His name is Arnold Abbott and he is a 90-year-old advocate for the homeless and hungry in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arnold has for many years been feeding the homeless on the beach at Ft Lauderdale.

There are many who support him in his charitable endeavors, but as usual, there are also those who are very much opposed.

There are kind generous souls in many places around Florida and the Country,  who also do this…

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

8 responses »

  1. In the richest country on earth we shouldn’t even have to use words like hungry and homeless. It’s something we should all be ashamed of.

  2. As an Aussie who sees the hungry & homeless begging in Melbourne’s inner city streets every week, all I can say is………………if you don’t like seeing this aspect of inner city living, then ensure they are fed and housed INDOORS.

    Simple answer.


    Life can change for all of us in a split second. The only certain thing about human existence is that we are born, we live and we die…………. What happens in between is no longer a case of upbringing, education, hard work and success.

    • Thank you Vicki. Yes, if we ensure people are cared for, fed, and have places to live we will never have to deal with feeding the homeless outside. Life changes, as you say, so quickly, on a dime, that it is impossible to know what tomorrow holds for each of us.

  3. no matter what some moronic officials decide and do
    helping the hungry and homeless is NEVER a crime

  4. Humbly, I help a semi- homeless family with five kids at times. This experience has brought a sense of extreme gratitude to my space. Any time I feel a little sad, a little sorry for myself, this family appears in my mind.
    ,my experience is that giving like this old man is the center of real happiness, the real connection between all of us.

    Many men have died for ideas, values and going to jail for giving is something that would not stop my journey.

    Mindfully not to help is not a path to ones own happiness. Remember the parable on the difficulty of a rich man finding heaven, that eye of the needle is very small. My opinion.

    As a culture, how we handle the helpless,,kids and the elderly defines us, does it not?


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