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Pastor told free meals attracting addicts

Feeding the homeless is usually seen as a generous act but instead, anAbbotsford pastor has been told it’s proliferating the homeless problem.

Feeding the homeless is usually seen as a generous act but instead, an Abbotsford pastor has been told it’s proliferating the homeless problem.

For the past six weeks on Thursday mornings, Christoph Reiners of the Peace Lutheran Church and volunteers handed out breakfast at the city’s Jubilee Park.

But last week, at a meeting with three city councillors and local residents, Reiners was told to stop handing out meals because the breakfast program supposedly attracted drug addicts and panhandlers to the area.

“We understand and we respect that concern, however, the homeless have been there before we’ve been, so we don’t think we brought them in,” Reiners said.

“There’s no simple fix, we would love for an easy fix but not going to the park and not giving a meal is not it,” he added. “These meals may change their outlook on life.”

Abbotsford Coun. John Smith did not return calls by press time.

 
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