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Man known for feeding homeless to sit in protest in Oakland Park

City officials say Father Bob's soup kitchen has to go

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – A man known as Father Bob who has been feeding the homeless for years is taking a stand for the homeless by sitting down at a planned protest in Oakland Park.

Oakland Park officials said Father Bob's soup kitchen has to go, so he's fighting back.

About a handful of people gathered on the steps of City Hall ahead of a commission meeting where things could get interesting Wednesday night.

Father Bob Caudill said he'll do whatever it takes, even if it means being arrested, to send a message to commissioners.

He runs a soup kitchen for those in need as part of the All Saints Catholic Mission in Oakland Park. The organization has been in a legal back and forth with the city over whether it can serve food to the homeless, unemployed and sick.

Last year, All Saints moved out of its location on Powerline Road, where it served food for a decade, and went back to its original church.

The old location is in area that was rezoned to encourage new development. While the new rules don't ban churches or synagogues, it did ban parish houses, which the city argues the soup kitchen falls under.

"The city of Oakland Park has issued a cease and desist order. They want me to close down the feeding program inside the church and there's no room for compromise," Caudill said. "I'm going to plan do some civil disobedience and sit down in front of the commission and hold up a sign and make them remove me. Hopefully it'll bring them some shame."

Father Bob took to Facebook earlier Wednesday, writing, "Code enforcement from city just stopped by to see if our fence was permitted. Actually, we had a permit and inspection and given permission from Broward County. Another form of harassment from Oakland Park."

All Saints said it tried to compromise with the city, including moving to a third location so long as they were left alone. But, they were turned down. The meeting was scheduled for 6:30 p.m.