All Saints Kitchen to Move Due to New Oakland Park Ordinance - NBC 6 South Florida

All Saints Kitchen to Move Due to New Oakland Park Ordinance



    All Saints Kitchen in Oakland Park, which feeds more than 100 homeless people every day, will close its doors after 24 years after the city implemented a new ordinance. NBC 6's Christina Hernandez reports. (Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014)

    All Saints Soup Kitchen will close its doors after 24 years as the city of Oakland Park implements a new ordinance.

    The ordinance, which fits into the city's plan to revamp Powerline Road, gives the soup kitchen four years to shut down to make room for new development.

    "They voted to zone us out, or change the zoning, and they named us in the ordinance to vacate, to terminate," said Father Bob Caudill, who runs the soup kitchen.

    Caudill, who said he will appeal the city's decision, said he and his volunteers feed more than 100 homeless people every day.

    Those who go to All Saints say the kitchen makes a big difference in their lives.

    "Everybody here depends on this here at some level," said Charlie Bergman, who has been homeless for five years. "Some people need the meal. Some people need the guidance, how to get back into society the right way."

    Michael Gottsacker, who has been homeless for seven months, said the kitchen serves as a fallback when all else fails.

    "Sometimes I have work, sometimes I don't," he said. "So it helps out to have somewhere to go to get a plate or a meal."

    But four blocks down the road, Mark Gelfand, who has been running All Pro Bowling and Darts Supply for almost 30 years, says the area has become a place that no one wants to visit.

    "The businesses that have remained, like mine, are suffering," he said. "Sales are down, and nobody wants to come in in the morning and have to clean up feces and urine and broken beer bottles and beer cans and have vagrants lying in front of your store."

    Caudill, on the other hand, said shutting down the kitchen will only make matters worse.

    "If we close, they'll have a lot more homeless people standing out in front of stores panhandling and asking for food and money," he said.

    And those who go to the kitchen every day for food say it would be life-changing.

    "I don't know where else to go," Gottsacker said.

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