The mayor of Malibu has denied allegations that the city had asked a local church to stop feeding the homeless after Thanksgiving and said the issue was merely about the location of the activity.
Speaking to Craig Herrera via Skype, Malibu Mayor Skylar Peak said the Malibu United Methodist Church was never told to stop their feeding service for homeless people. Instead, he suggested that the activity be transferred to a different location far away from the church and residences, CBS Los Angeles relayed.
"No they were never formerly asked to stop feeding the homeless. Not at all," Mayor Peak told Herrera. "We gotta bring the people together because this is something that the city is compassionate about. Maybe we need to do it in a different location."
Malibu realtor Candance Scott, who is putting together a documentary about homeless people, said locals usually mix them up with drug addicts because "they're both in the same bag." She acknowledged that though there was a problem, it was okay to feed these people.
She added: "I do think that they have to have supervision so when they leave the church they're not just dumped on a bus and said here you go here's Malibu. So what do they do? They want to get high. They break into homes they break into cars."
The United Methodist Church has been holding feeding programs for homeless people in Malibu for years, and 60 to 100 people have been fed every week. The church also has a special Thanksgiving meal for them, the LA Canyon News detailed.
According to a survey by the Malibu Times, the number of homeless people has seen an increase of 8.3 percent from 8,371 in 2013 to 8,688 in 2015. Mayor Peak acknowledged the issue as a humanitarian crisis and vowed to collaborate with non-profits and the Sheriff's Department to provide services that will help the homeless people without compromising the health and safety of the public.