Wilmington, NC code of ordinances: “Except as otherwise set forth in this Code, no person shall establish a location on any street or sidewalk for any period of time to distribute, dispense, hand out or give out food” (Chapter 11, Article III, Sec. 11-47).
There is no stated fine.
On Sept. 11, I wrote a post about the battle waged between city governments and ministries trying to feed the homeless. Many local governments in our country are enforcing ordinances that prohibit nonprofits and ministries to distribute food to the homeless on city property. These ordinances are very similar to the one stated above in our own City of Wilmington’s code of ordinances.
Wilmington Homeless Ministries is another group who once served the homeless in Greenfield Park but was forced to move its ministry to a non-city facility according to Assistant Pastor Phillip Johnson. The group now holds its worship service and distribution of food and necessities at the Manley Reece VFW post 2573 located at 2722 Carolina Beach Road every Sunday morning.
The pastors of this ministry start their Sundays helping serve at the Church of St. Peter the Fisherman off Carolina Beach Road where a large breakfast is cooked every week for the homeless. After the breakfast, Wilmington Homeless Ministries busses those who want a ride to the VFW for their worship service and lunch. Bibles, food, and snacks are provided weekly as well as different items according to availability such as clothes, water bottles, bus tickets, phone cards, toiletry articles, diapers and more.
But one of their greatest needs is cases of water bottles.
Johnson often rides Wilmington city busses to meet the people who ride them and share his faith or simply pray. I was introduced to Johnson by a woman who had met the pastor on a city bus. The day she met him he gave her a free bus ticket that a Wilmington Homeless Ministry member had donated. It might not seem like much, but that ticket made her day.
As far as I know, there is no ordinance against such generosity. At least, not yet.
For more information about Wilmington Homeless Ministries contact: Steve (910) 443-5087 or Chris (910) 264-7337 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The ministry’s office is located at 6726 Netherlands Dr. Suite 100, Wilmington, NC 28405.