Revoke of charity’s license would hurt city

Amelia Raether

Many BSM students have volunteered at Sharing and Caring Hands by serving meals to the homeless, elderly, and mentally ill. However, the city of Minneapolis has considered revoking the organization’s restaurant license due to the amount of drug dealing and delinquency they believe takes place.

Mary Jo Copeland has been running Sharing and Caring Hands for 23 years and serves more than 4,000 meals per week. Thousands of homeless Minnesotans rely on her services for warm meals and a sense of stability.

Copeland believes that the city is trying to drive out the homeless due to Sharing and Caring Hands close proximity to the new Twins Stadium.
Regardless of the city’s true reasoning behind it, by revoking the charity’s restaurant license, the city is eliminating thousands of homeless Minnesotans’ food supplies.

With the economy on a downward spiral and increases in housing and food prices, a program like Sharing and Caring Hands is needed now more than ever. Without Copeland’s organization many will find it difficult to get a warm meal on a day to day basis.

Since Copeland has publicly agreed to follow any reasonable security policies to be implemented by the city, there is no reason why her license should be taken away.Sharing and Caring Hands has had a positive effect on the Minneapolis community. Not only has it offered food and comfort for the homeless, but many people are given the opportunity to volunteer at its facilities.

Many BSM students have enjoyed the experience of working at Sharing and Caring Hands. The organization has always been a great outlet for service opportunities, and by revoking the restaurant license the city of Minneapolis will lose one of its most successful charity programs for fighting poverty and homelessness.

While the city is trying to work with Mary Jo Copeland to keep her open, the future of Sharing and Caring Hands is still in flux. The city and Copeland are continuing to work to find a solution that would keep Sharing and Caring Hands open, but, hopefully, with less crime.

Hopefully both parties will cooperate and come up with an agreement that will be beneficial for the people who really need the organization’s support. If not, the city of Minneappolis could have a larger problem with homelessness and poverty.