Jury Trial Set for Cheever’s Homeless Feeding Case

Print Share on LinkedIn Comments More
Joan Cheever prepares soup for donation. Photo by Scott Ball.

Joan Cheever prepares soup as part of a free meal in Maverick Park. Photo by Scott Ball.

Joan Cheever didn’t back down when she received her first ticket in April for feeding the homeless and she isn’t backing down now.

When Cheever appeared before a municipal court judge on Tuesday morning she was offered a plea bargain, but she didn’t take it. She plead not guilty and her jury trial was set for Sept. 23.

“I would like for the people of San Antonio to decide whether or not this is a crime,” Cheever said Thursday.

Cheever, an attorney and chef, received a citation and cease and desist order on April 7 from the San Antonio Police Department. The citation, which could carry a fine of up to $2,000, was issued because the permit for her nonprofit food truck, the Chow Train, does not extend to the truck she uses to distribute the meals.

For the past eight years Cheever has prepared restaurant quality meals in the Chow Train, a process that takes a day and a half, packs the food in Health Department approved catering equipment, and drives to Maverick Park in a pickup truck on Tuesdays to disperse the food to the working poor and homeless.

One of Cheever’s friends started a Change.org petition which has received 65,127 signatures of support as of Thursday afternoon.

Cheever has distributed food to the homeless at Maverick Park 13 times since her first ticket on April 7 and she plans to continue her efforts.

“The citizens haven’t decided whether or not this is a crime. So I’m going to continue feeding the homeless and working poor of San Antonio until the jury tells me that what I’m doing – what the Chow Train is doing, what every good Samaritan is doing – is a crime,” she said.

Cheever said her case represents every “good Samaritan” in San Antonio who feeds the homeless.

“I’m just the one that got the ticket so I feel like I’m fighting for everybody in San Antonio who doesn’t want to turn their back on their neighbor or turn a blind eye to someone in need,” she said.

 

*Featured/top image: Joan Cheever prepares soup as part of a free meal in Maverick Park. Photo by Scott Ball. 

Related Stories:

Feeding the Homeless: Joan Cheever’s Simply Complicated Mission

Volunteers Count, Survey San Antonio’s Homeless Population

McManus Drops Panhandling Ordinance, Launches Awareness Campaign

Panhandling and Faithful Citizenship

8 thoughts on “Jury Trial Set for Cheever’s Homeless Feeding Case

  1. Thank you Rivard Report and Reporter Joan Vinson.

    From today’s Rivard Report: “….The citizens haven’t decided whether or not this is a crime. So I’m going to continue feeding the homeless and working poor of San Antonio until the jury tells me that what I’m doing – what the Chow Train is doing, what every good Samaritan is doing – is a crime,” she said.

    …….“I’m just the one that got the ticket so I feel like I’m fighting for everybody in San Antonio who doesn’t want to turn their back on their neighbor or turn a blind eye to someone in need,” she said.

    Got that right. I listen to the COMMUNITY of San Antonio. The PEOPLE of San Antonio not some politicians — not a City Council or Mayor who really don’t understand the issue or the fact that we need to help our neighbor not starve them into submission.

    I support Haven for Hope and we at The Chow Train consider them our partners. But there are people who fall through the cracks (through no agency or nonprofits; fault) and who can’t or won’t go there (no residency proof and no proof of homelessness; we serve our veterans on the street or who have housing but no food and we support residents who are the WORKING POOR of this city and who are not eligible for HFH.

    San Antonians take care of each other. We always have. And we always will.

    I turned down the plea “bargain” because I’m not guilty and I would have been forced to plead guilty. Compassion should NOT be a crime.

    Thank you all and good night. Joan

  2. The news articles have all presented this as an issue about social justice — feeding the hungry, but “The citation, which could carry a fine of up to $2,000, was issued because the permit for her nonprofit food truck, the Chow Train, does not extend to the truck she uses to distribute the meals.” Joan is not on trial for feeding the homeless. The issue is the permit for her truck. The articles do not address why, apparently, that cannot be resolved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *