This afternoon, the folks from Food Not Bombs, a local group that serves vegan food to the homeless four nights a week in front of the Houston Public Library, met with some people from the library to decide how they could avoid another confrontation.
"It was a lot more chill than I expected," Nick Cooper, a member of Food Not Bombs, tells Hair Balls. "What we really realized in this meeting was that you can't really call the downtown library anti-homeless, because they're providing all kinds of services to the homeless. The same people we serve are sitting here using the computers."
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The library had four representatives at the meeting, and Food Not Bombs brought along Randall Kallinen, a lawyer and president of Houston's ACLU chapter, and a representative for councilwoman Jolanda Jones, who suggested that Food Not Bombs could explore different areas to serve.
The library didn't ask the group to change anything, which surprised Cooper. He says it was more of an introductory meeting.
"The elephant in the room is that across the street is City Hall that doesn't have any kind of comprehensive plan for homelessness," Cooper says. "Meanwhile, here we are trying to deal with helping homeless people in the ways we can, and here's the library trying to deal with helping homeless people in the way that they can."
-- Paul Knight