Send These, The Homeless….

There was a disheartening story on the news yesterday that saddened me. A Houston, Texas couple, Bobby and Amanda Herring have been operating their “Feed A Friend” program, which fed the homeless, between 60 and 120 nightly, for more than a year has been shut down by Houston Health and Human Services Department. The reason? No permit. The food was donated by local stores and prepared by volunteers of the mission in their own homes, not a licensed kitchen with a certified food manager which the city requires. And when the food was finished, all trash was picked up and there was reportedly no incidents of violence.

Kathy Barton of the health department says, ‘Poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care’.

The first thing that came into my mind was how much safer bits of food some really destitute people who live on the street might find in trash cans.

Besides the cost of bringing their program up to city code, the Herrings would have to have a permit that would cost $17 per each day of operation, similar to event vendors. The couple may be able to continue their charitable work out of a church or some other eligible location in the city without having to obtain their own costly permits.

Real quick update: over the course of the weekend, beginning on Friday after work, we washed down the walls and ceilings in the three upstairs areas we wanted to paint, Saturday beginning at an ungodly hour until an ungodly hour we painted the ceilings and got the faux finish done in two of the rooms. It was between midnight and one in the morning when we finally cleaned up and crashed and finished early Sunday afternoon before we had to go out to a wake. We have some touching up to do, no sense in not having it the way we’ll like it and we want to get it done before the carpet goes down on Saturday.

And tomorrow is the big day, the new season of American Idol starts with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler joining Randy Jackson at the judge’s table. I’m actually looking forward to a Simon-less show. I think he got too full of himself and carried his acid-tounged criticisms too far. As long as they don’t try to have someone mimic that style, which most viewers claim was the beauty of the show, it should be okay. And I also understand that the contestants won’t be allowed to rely on musical instruments. I never liked that addition anyway; it’s a singing competition, not a guitar strumming contest. So, we’ll see what happens.


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One Response to “Send These, The Homeless….”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I’m disgusted with the story of the “Feed a Friend” program being shut down. Is there no such thing as true generosity with no strings attached??? Just one more example of just how upside down this whole world is. I get a charge out of that lady’s comment: ‘Poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care’ And so what??? They would fair better with NO FOOD AT ALL?? Somehow, I find that hard to believe. I’m sure that “Feed a Friend” program provided more than just food … fellowship with others in the same predicament and with those who want to help. Just knowing that someone cares about you can make a big difference in your attitude and world-view, and therefore, your health! Permit shmermit. That Human Services Dept. ought to be ashamed. Here’s what I would have suggested instead – 1. turn a blind eye to it or 2. find a way to HELP!

    Also, I agree that none of the new judges should try to fill Simon’s shoes. Simon was himself, and that was the appeal (or lack thereof). All of the judges should present themselves as they are. The end.

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