City Wants Methodist Church to End Soup Kitchen

November 9, 2017, 10:12 am EST | Share:

MALIBU, CA (CRAIG HERRERA, KCBS-TV) — A church in Malibu, California that helps feed people in need has been asked to close its kitchen.

It’s been a weekly routine – pulling out a food cart and getting the plates ready.

“Yeah, it’s a safe place here and everybody is welcome,” said Micah Johnson, who said the program has really helped him out. “The food is really good. It is home cooked and a lot of TLC involved.”

The Malibu United Methodist Church has been making home cooked meals for the homeless since 2014.

“I’m still currently, don’t have a place to live,” he said. “But I have a job now so first things first.”

The city sent an email to the church asking them to attend a meeting, and to their surprise, were asked to stop feeding the homeless after Thanksgiving.

“We were asked, very succinctly,” said Dawn Randall who volunteers with the church. “They claim we are responsible for increasing the homelessness.”

The church feeds 70 to 90 people every Wednesday.

“I think many of them eat out of dumpsters and trash cans when they are not eating with us,’ said Kay Gabbard, who works at the church.

Volunteers say this is about more than cutting up some green beans for Wednesday’s beef stew.

“We can’t pretend like it doesn’t exist in our backyard. We can’t pretend like it only exists outside of Malibu,” said Gabbard.

“As many individuals as we see and get to know, there’s that many stories,” said Randall.

People like Johnson.

“They keep me accountable. Because when you are homeless it is really easy to slip off and become jaded, if you will, and the church has really been helpful and keeping my spirits up,” he said.

So where will those people go? For Gabbard, she says she just doesn’t know.