Homeless aid group fights city to raise funds

Monday, August 15, 2016
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

homeless manAn organization serving the homeless in Tampa, Florida, had to pay a heavy price to fight city officials so it would be able to raise money for the needy.

The nonprofit group, Homeless Helping Homeless, operates strictly on donations in the Sunshine State and receives no government funds, yet the city of Tampa didn't approve of its fundraising efforts.

The homeless are actually in charge of running the organization, as they hold a number of major positions – right down to soliciting donations in the downtown area.

Adolphus Parker, who heads the operation, maintains that his organization was faced with various city restrictions that other organizations in the city didn't have to contend with. While other groups could solicit every day, he says they could only do so one day per week.

“And then they went and signed a new law to put on the books because the big boys – the banks and so forth – don't really want us downtown,” Parker explains. “They tried to use other means because we're legal and we have all the necessary licenses.

Parker claims the city of Tampa went out of its way to stop his organization from going about its usual way of raising funds.

“They went and made a new ordinance that says, Okay, you can be downtown, but you can't hold a sign - [and] You cannot ask, ‘Would you like to make a donation?’”

Homeless Helping Homeless filed a lawsuit because they were being barred from doing what others were permitted to do.

“And to tell you the truth … – really, really honestly to tell you the truth – we have tried other options to go in and do it,” Parker shares. “[As a result], we lost all our contracts, and then in retaliation to the lawsuit that we filed against the city, you know what they did? They closed four of our facilities down – four out of six.”

The court ruled in favor of the homeless operation so that it can now solicit desperately needed donations to provide services for people who have nowhere else to go.

Parker is a practicing Christian, but he stresses that even though religious services are offered in his organization, no one receiving its assistance is required to participate.

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