HOUSTON, TX - A "Good Samaritan" is leading the charge under the Texas Constitution and the Texas Religious Freedom law to end the "cruel ban" on feeding the homeless in the city of Houston. Philip Bryant is the good samaritan. He and several others plan to make a simple request to the Mayor and city council of Houston to abolish the anti-feeding ordinance.
According to reports, those leading the effort have garnered 75,000 signatures and a petition that will be presented at today's meeting. It bans feeding of five or more homeless people in the city of Houston without approval. However, he and others are contesting the charitable feeding ban because it violates his exercise of religious rights.
Bryant states that the city of Houston requires a permit, limited to time and location to give food and water. He says he cannot get a permit because there's no specific location where he will share his food. Mayor Turner speaks to that issue--saying, simply feeding them and not providing them with the other things they need is not enough. "If you're feeding them to make ourselves feel good, but at the end, we step away from them and they are there and they still need social services, they still need a job, they still need mental and behavioral health issues, then we have to be very careful."
Feeding the homeless without a permit is punishable by up to $2,000 and possibly a trip to jail. A press conference is slated for 1pm Friday.