Homeless Veteran Ticketed for Dumpster Diving for Food

| by Michael Allen
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A homeless veteran identified as 'K.J.' was recently ticketed by Houston, Texas, police for dumpster diving for food.

On the morning of March 7, K.J. was cited for “disturbing the contents of a garbage can in downtown central business district," reports

K.J. has become a symbol of how Houston's 2012 feeding ordinance criminalizes the poor, says homeless advocate Joe Ablaza.

“What little dignity this man has continues to be assaulted by the uncompassionate leadership of this city,” Ablaza wrote in a Facebook post, which has been shared more than 400 times since Sunday.

The homeless feeding ordinance was passed last April in an 11-6 vote by Houston City Council and requires the registration of formal and informal food service organizations, food handling training by the city’s Department of Health and Human Services and coordination of locations and times of feeding.

People who feed the homeless are also required to obtain the consent of public or private property owners before distributing food.

Chris Carmona, a candidate for Council At-Large Position 3, said Mayor Annise Parker did not allow residents to vote on the issue and this law is “just another example of Big Brother policies.”

Republican activist Jason Baldwin, of Houston, went on Twitter on Sunday seeking information about K.J.’s identity to offer him a warm meal.