Mayor Nutter announces ban on feeding homeless outdoors

William Wascon sits on a bench at Love Park where he has slept recently.

Starting next month, it will be illegal to feed homeless people in city parks, under a controversial plan announced by Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday.

Nutter said the plan is intended to increase the health, safety and dignity of the city’s most vulnerable population. Once the new regulation takes affect, groups who feed the homeless outside will be permitted to do so outside City Hall, but they must register. Violators will be given two warnings, but a third infraction will come with a $150 fine.

“Providing to those who are hungry must not be about opening the car trunk, handing out a bunch of sandwiches, and then driving off into the dark and rainy night,” Nutter said.

While some homeless advocates voiced support for the plan, others say it will further harm the indigent and push them into the shadows.

“You have to put new systems in place,” said Christine Vaganos, a Drexel grad student who has volunteered at city shelters. “I don’t believe they have the capacity for every homeless person.”

William Wascon has been sleeping out near LOVE Park since losing his apartment recently. He decried the way the city currently treats homeless and said the new regulation does not take into some people’s lack of mobility and skepticism about government.

“I got bad legs, sometimes I can’t make it [to a shelter or church],” he said.

For some time, charitable groups have provided meals for homeless people on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway or at Love Park weekly. Nutter’s office denied speculation that the move was done to prepare for the opening of a Barnes Museum and Rodin Museum on the Parkway later this year.

“We have wrestled with this for some years and it just so happens it’s not linked to the opening of a particular place on the Parkway,” Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald said.


60 artists to fill shipping containers with work…

Starting Thursday, 63 industrial shipping containers will fill Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 5 for Photoville 2014. The free exhibition was founded three and a…


New York City agencies to provide healthcare, legal…

Child migrants who have recently arrived in New York City and are going through deportation hearings will now have access to services from multiple agencies,…


Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.


Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…


'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.


Newsflash: Corey Stoll still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…


Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.


Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.


3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.


Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…


Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.


Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.


London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.


Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."