MALIBU (CBSLA.com) —    A Malibu church that has helped the homeless for years has been told to stop feeding people down on their luck.

CBS2’s Craig Herrera spoke to the people at the United Methodist Church about the request.

At various times, the church can serve as many as 70-100 people. They have been serving the meals on Wednesdays since 2014.

They were reportedly told to stop food service right after Thanksgiving.

“It’s a safe place,” says Michah Johnson who is homeless, “and everyone is welcome. And the food is really good. It’s home-cooked.  And there’s TLC involved.”

Johnson said he still doesn’t have a place to live, but he just found a job.

“The church is very helpful,” he says. “They keep my spirits up. They keep me accountable. When you’re homeless, it’s very easy to slip off and become jaded.”

The church said the city sent it an email asking members to attend a meeting Monday.  To their surprise, they said they were asked to stop feeding people.

“Very succinctly,” says Dawn Randall with United Methodist Church.

She added, “They claimed we are increasing homelessness.”

“I think many of them eat out of dumpsters and trash cans when they aren’t eating with us,” said Kay Gabbard of the United Methodist Church.

“We can’t pretend like (homelessness) doesn’t exist in our backyard. We can’t pretend that it only exists outside Malibu,” she added.

Herrera reached out to Malibu’s mayor and mayor pro tem for a comment and has not heard back.

Comments (39)
  1. i have volunteered with this group for 3 years in Malibu. They are dedicated, hard working and taking the homeless off the streets by building relationships. I am horrified that the Malibu City Council took this action without warning or discussion.

  2. This is astounding and unacceptable. Be part of humanity. Be part of the solution. To quote one of the volunteers in the TV segment: “We can’t pretend like it [homelessness[] doesn’t exist in our backyard. We can’t pretend that it only exists outside Malibu,” she added. Malibu has more resources than most areas. Let this organization continue to show humanity and compassion. Thank you to the woman who posted above for volunteering.

  3. “She added, “They claimed we are increasing homelessness.””

    Sure…because people are seriously going to leave their homes, get rid of everything they have, and sleep on the streets, just so they can go to the local churches for a free meal once a week. How ignorant does a person have to be to believe that?

  4. Scott Tallal says:

    This story is totally untrue. The Malibu City Council took no such action; in fact: over the years, the council has dedicated a sizable portion of its general fund grants to help support homeless organizations.

    As a result of Craig Herrera’s erroneous reporting, our Mayor, City Council members and City staff have received massive amounts of hate mail, phone calls and death threats.

  5. Ed Clapp says:

    It appears the current resident of the Govenor’s mansion is not the only dumba** who lives in California.

  6. Malibu city attorney needs to school his council on the first amendment.

  7. This is a problem as old as mankind. The church is doing good work. They are a church after all lol. I think the city can deal with the homeless while the church helps them along. Why cant both work together?

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