RE: DON’T FEED THE HOMELESS

Last week, I posted a letter written by Tina Williams, head of Hunger Busters. Williams isn’t pleased with the new city ordinance that goes into effect September 1. If you’re like me, you read Williams’ letter and thought, “Man, City Hall continues to suck. Hunger Busters is a wonderful program. Leave those guys alone and let them do God’s work.”

Hang on. Before you take Hunger Busters’ side, read the following letter from Gwen Gaylen, an activist who lives in the Cedars and who has to deal with the trash that Hunger Busters leaves behind. Then, if you’re like me, you’ll think, “Good grief. This homeless issue gives me tired head. Because there is no side to take.”

Last week you posted Tina Williams letter declaring Hunger Busters’ fury about being told they can no longer feed the homeless when and where they please. Having sat in on that meeting where the service providers were told how this new system would work, I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Williams, once again, in one of her tight-lipped tirades, declare Hunger Busters’ good works to be above the law.

In her letter she openly states where they feed: I-45 and Coombs, The Bunkhaus (she spelled it wrong) on Ervay in the Cedars, Hickory Street, and at City Hall. She also says they pick up their trash. Dear God, watch her nose grow on that one.

All their feeding locations, save City Hall, are on other people’s property. Hunger Busters willingly feeds on private property, even with No Tresspassing signs posted everywhere, (I have photographs) and leave mounds of trash behind (I have photographs). Property owners have called her and she hangs up. Police have told her to move and she tells them no way, she has City Council approval. Neighborhood associations have written and called begging her to at least bring trash bags with them when they feed. When confronted on dozens of occasions, they had not one trash bag, nor did they think they should have to clean up. We were told we should be grateful to them instead. Grateful for invading and trashing our neighborhood?

Other service providers and church groups are disgruntled with Tina and her group, saying Hunger Busters tactics are hurting the good the rest of them are trying to do. Trespassing, leaving behind non-biodegradable trash, and decaying garbage in the wake of doing God’s work. Hunger Busters isn’t the only violator, but hands down, they are the largest.

Last week, when neighbors and service providers stood up to speak to Tina about the trash they leave behind, she fervently declared there was no way the public could pin this on them. How could we possibly blame them? Tina, wake up. HUNGER BUSTERS IS PRINTED ON EVERY CONTAINER YOU HAND OUT.

When neighbors speak against this at City Hall, Tina and her groupies talk so loud, boo, hiss, get up and walk in front of the podium–anything to disrupt the message. At Tom Dunning’s meetings about the Homeless Assistance Center, Tina wanted to know why Dallas didn’t do what McKinney has done: put the homeless in a lovely residential setting with lace curtains on the windows. Mr. Dunning nicely pointed out to Ms. Williams that McKinney’s house held about 25 people and we were talking about 3,000.

Hunger Busters is not only above the law, but on their own planet.

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