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El Cajon Ends Ban On Feeding Homeless

Demonstrators protest El Cajon's city ordinance banning people from feeding t...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Demonstrators protest El Cajon's city ordinance banning people from feeding the homeless in public spaces, Nov. 24, 2017.

The city of El Cajon lifted its ban Tuesday on serving meals to homeless people on city property, after drawing national attention for the ban and arresting about a dozen people for serving meals earlier this month.

The feeding ban was linked to San Diego County's public health emergency over the outbreak of Hepatitis A, according to an El Cajon city spokeswoman. The county ended that emergency Tuesday morning, so El Cajon's ban then also expired, she said.

RELATED:Churches Say Hepatitis A Outbreak Adds Fuel To Opposition Against Meals For Homeless

Earlier in January, a group of people were arrested for serving meals in El Cajon's Wells Park. Advocates who were arrested said they planned for the arrests so they could challenge El Cajon's ban in court.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells was not immediately available for comment, but told KPBS Midday Edition after the arrests, "a lot of cities have ignored these kinds of issues because they didn't want bad publicity, but I feel our responsibility to the public is more important that worrying about publicity or worrying about the political ramifications."


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