Proposed homeless feeding ban to go public today

The Philadelphia Board of Health’s public hearing on a proposed regulation that would make it illegal to feed groups of homeless in city parks is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today in the Municipal Services Building, 16th floor, according to Health Department spokesman Jeff Moran.

Mayor Michael Nutter announced the proposed regulation yesterday at a press conference, which immediately drew criticism from homeless advocates and the homeless. Nutter said the regulation is intended to encourage groups who feed the homeless to find indoor space, but some claim the move will do more harm than good.

For the next year, groups who provide meals outdoors will be able to do so on the City Hall apron, but must be approved for certain dates and times, Nutter said. The site will have water for hand-washing and portable bathrooms.

The Health Department hearing will be to review testimony it has received on the issue today in the 30-day public comment period. On March 22, the board is expected to meet to discuss whether any changes are necessary and vote on the regulation. If approved, it will be implemented in mid-April.

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