The RI Dream Center had a wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with Matthew Barnett, of the Dream Center in Los Angeles, last year – and he helped us tremendously with support as well as advice for our up-and-coming organization.  Now, it’s time to give back to the Dream Center out in LA.

The city of LA is working towards a law that would prohibit public feeding of the poor in certain sections of the city.  While I do not know the landscape of that city, or the reasons that the public officials are working on this, I do know that their plans will impact and impede the work of the Dream Center out in LA.  Therefore, I ask that you take a look at the request below from Matthew Barnett asking for the city to reconsider; and if it seems right to you, I would ask that you sign the petition.  I hope they can all come to a satisfactory compromise.

I can only imagine how the RI Dream Center would be impacted if we were restricted from feeding and clothing those less fortunate.  Thankfully, we have been very fortunate.  In fact, our city has welcomed us with open arms and I believe it will continue to do so.

So, please take a moment to take a look at the open letter from Matthew Barnett below and sign the petition if you feel led to.

Thanks for your time!!

Los Angeles City Council, Mayor Eric Garcetti: We ask that the Los Angeles City Council retract Motion 13-1238 to restrict non-commercial feeding programs in public rights of way.

The Los Angeles City Council is considering a ban on the public feeding those in need. That means that charities, churches and other organizations that feed those in need could face large fines and even arrest if they are caught feeding the homeless.

If the City of Los Angeles is successful banning public feeding single mothers, young families, veterans, the elderly, homeless, and food insecure individuals that depend on The Dream Center and other agencies to help provide much needed meals and food will go hungry.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Feeding America have previously reported that 1,636,100 people were food insecure in Los Angeles. Included in this number are 643,640 children, 31% of whom are likely ineligible for federal nutrition programs. Although the federal government funds seventeen food assistance programs, 52% of food insecure individuals in Los Angeles County do not qualify under federal guidelines for these nutrition programs.

If the government isn’t feeding the hungry, and won’t allow nonprofit organizations, churches, and compassionate individuals to fill in the gap, what hope do these people have to survive in our city?

As the pastor at The Dream Center, I’ve seen firsthand the difference that we make in feeding those in need. Every month we provide over 36,000 hot meals, groceries to 40,000 people and 1,000,000 pounds of food to relieve hunger. I look into the faces of young mothers every month and I see the relief they have when they know that their child will have something to eat. We are one of many organizations that do this work, because the need is so great.

The last thing our city needs, in the midst of rising homelessness, is to restrict the goodwill of the people. We house hundreds of families and individuals who would otherwise be homeless and have invested millions of dollars to help our community — and not depend upon the government to provide the solution. Please help support this important cause by signing the petition.