90-Year-Old in Trouble for Feeding Homeless—Again
'Nice guy' Arnold Abbott says he'll keep dishing out meals
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2014 7:32 AM CST
Arnold Abbott, 90, director of the nonprofit group Love Thy Neighbor, prepares a salad in the kitchen of the Sanctuary Church on Nov. 5, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A simple citation couldn't keep Arnold Abbott off the streets of Fort Lauderdale, where he's been feeding the homeless for more than two decades. The 90-year-old man, charged Sunday with violating a new ordinance that clamps down on public feeding of the homeless, dished out meals at a public beach Wednesday, just as he has every Wednesday for 23 years in honor of his late wife, ABC News reports. Shouts of "God bless you, Arnold!" were heard as almost 100 homeless people and volunteers gathered around, the AP reports. Though officers at first only recorded "Chef Arnold," they later stepped in to issue him another citation.

But Abbott remains undeterred. "You cannot sweep the homeless under a rug," he tells Local 10. "There is no rug large enough for that." Fort Lauderdale's mayor admits Abbott is "a super nice guy" but wants to see him move his program to a nearby church in order to provide a "sanitary" and "safe, secure [setting]"; per the new ordinance, which went into effect a week ago, those handing out food outdoors must make public toilets available. As for what's next, the World War II veteran says he'll feed some 200 people at a local church on Sunday, but "I don't plan to give up the beach," he says. "I'll fight for the beach as long as there's birth in my body." The AP notes Abbott also runs a culinary school that trains the homeless and finds them jobs in kitchens. (Click for more on his first arrest this week.)
 

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
2%
1%
3%
83%
1%
10%