BIRMINGHAM, Al — (WIAT) After being told to vacate the area, local churches can again feed the homeless in downtown Birmingham. This comes after a change was made to a city food truck ordinance granting special groups an exemption.
“There is a God in heaven, for those that don’t believe that. And he has answered a lot of prayers,” says Bridge Builders Ministries director Don Williams.
And today he feels a little like David after taking on Goliath.
“I knew I was not going to lay down and roll over on this matter,” says Williams
For over a decade, he and his flock of parishioners at Bridge Builders have been feeding the homeless. But three weeks ago, things got a little ugly when Birmingham officers tried to enforce a new food truck ordinance.
“They came in from all directions with their lights going,” says Williams. “And they got out ordering that we shut down and taking food out of our groups hands and telling the church to vacate the premises as quickly as possible. It was intimidating to say the least.”
Yet Williams didn’t quit. The ministry set up shop at this church while Don lobbied the City. A today – victory.
“I’d say the Mayor came up with a great solution,” says Don Lupo, of the Mayors office of Citizens Assistance. “And we’re able to move forward. And these non-profit organizations and faith based groups will be able to go to the health department and get an exemption.”
An exemption that allows the faithful to keep doing good. Even though, for a few weeks, their faith was tested.
Representatives with the City say they depend greatly on organizations to help take care of our homeless population. This Saturday the City is sponsoring a full day of services for the homeless at the Boutwell Auditorium. Everything from Legal aid to dental and medical services will be offered from 7:30 am to 3 pm. Last year more than 800 people attended.
2014 WIAT CBS 42