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Action Inc. responds to complaint about feeding Butte homeless in local park

Posted at 11:47 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 13:47:55-05

BUTTE — Action Inc. provides lunch to those who aren't able to get food themselves in Butte's Emma Park.

A letter was sent to the council of commissioners asking that they prohibit Action Inc. from feeding the homeless lunches in Emma Park.

The program, We Deliver, is an effort between Action Inc., the public housing authority, numerous churches, and the community health centers to bring lunches to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to eat.

They offer this program three times a week at various locations. Emma Park is just one of them.

Action Inc

"This location is a public park and so to say that people who are poor by virtue of being poor are not allowed on the park is not an appropriate community response. . .it’s not a crime to be poor." said Margie Seccomb, CEO of Action Inc.

The writer of the letter targets the homeless as drunks and that they make the park look less appealing.

"Our community is one that likes to celebrate. . .you know we have many celebrations in our community, where that celebration moves out into the streets. St. Patrick’s Day, some of the festivals, and that we embrace those things. . . and so what I think that we need to be careful not to do is say that it’s okay for everybody else to do that and not poor people," Seccomb said.

In the letter, the writer addressed law enforcement as “animal control” when dealing with the homeless in Emma Park and that people are being run out of the park because of the homeless.

"I suspect that for some people there is a stereotype that people who are poor and sitting in the gazebo as being unsafe, that’s different than saying there’s actual unsafe activity happening and that there are crimes occurring in the park. . . we would like to be able to keep the conversation away from targeting people because they’re poor," Seccomb said.