Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year trying to help the homeless in Houston, but have been ordered to stop because they don’t have a permit.
The city says it’s not trying to be the bad guy, and they understand the good the couple is trying to do, but it says it’s just trying to protect the homeless — the same people the couple has been trying to help.
Houston has close to 10,000 homeless people. One in five lives on the streets.
Many of them are hungry, and that is why Amanda and Bobby Herring and their friends spent every night for 15 months offering free meals.
“We come out here and provide a hot meal every single night and a lot of love to go with it,” Bobby Herring said.
The Herrings say they fed 50-100 people every night.
The city told them they needed permits and that the food had to be cooked in a certified kitchen.
“We just have one set of rules for public feeding and whether you have money or you don’t have money, you need to comply with the same set of rules,” said Kathy Barton with the City of Houston Health Department.
The idea being that food not cooked in a certified kitchen could make people sick, which is all the worse for someone who is homeless.
“Low-income people and people who are homeless are the most susceptible to food-borne illness and least capable of dealing with that kind of illness,” Barton said.
The couple is in talks with the city to find a way to continue their good work.