On Friday, after a few sleepless nights, I met with Hugh Hollowell of Love Wins and then posted my feelings in an earlier post. Hugh graciously invited me, my wife, and my daughter out to Moore Square on Saturday to hand out juice, biscuits, and cookies to about a hundred individuals experiencing homelessness.
I was surprised to see that one of the individuals we served was in my graduating class at Broughton. She was in the special education program, so we didn't really cross paths, however that’s no excuse... I never reached out to her, which I now regret. Maybe I would've acted differently had I known what future lay ahead for her after Broughton.
I can’t go back and change the past, but I can have an impact on our future. Below I have posted the interim decision by the Law & Public Safety Committee and approved by the City Council.
I look forward to working with all to find a solution for all, but I confess I will be focused on the needs of the woman I should have befriended 20 years ago.
For more information: Public Affairs Department, 919-996-3100
August 28, 2013
LAW & PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS ACTIONS ON MOORE SQUARE FOOD DISTRIBUTION
The City Council’s Law & Public Safety Committee decided at its August 28 meeting to recommend that while the City works on a long-term solution, the City will continue its current policy of not enforcing the ordinances related to or arrest any individual or groups involved in the food distribution to those less fortunate in Moore Square.
The City Council will hear the Law & Public Safety Committee’s recommendations at its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 3 at 1 p.m. City departments will follow the committee’s recommendations until the City Council is able to review and approve the full list at its Tuesday meeting.
The three-member Law & Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to re-engage the Community-Oriented Government group to:
- Widen the circle of participating agencies, including Wake County;
- Reach out and invite all community and faith-based groups to participate in the discussion to find solutions to problems associated with food distribution in Moore Square;
- Develop specific action steps and recommendations to be reported to the Law and Public Safety Committee at the committee’s November 26 meeting.
In the interim, the Law & Public Safety Committee recommended to the City Council that the City’s policy regarding Moore Square not be changed, meaning:
- There will be no enforcement or arrests for any food distribution activity;
- Continue educating food providers about restrictions in the park and sidewalks;
- Identity alternate sites that will allow groups to provide food to those in need by:
- Concentrating on sites in the vicinity of where those in need congregate;
- Exploring Wake County facilities that already are providing services to those in need;
- Exploring facilities owned by churches and other organizations that may accommodate outside groups safely; and,
- Working with the City’s existing partners to identify alternate sites.
- Once alternate sites have been secured, offer groups wanting to serve food to the needy alternatives to Moore Square; and,
- Ask food distribution operations to move out of Moore Square only when a permitted activity/event is scheduled to be held in the park.
The Law & Public Safety Committee waived permit fees in Moore Square during this interim only for food distribution to the needy.
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