Couple cited for homeless feedings in Daytona Beach

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —

Daytona Beach police said homeless feeding in a local park has gotten out of control and it's prompted officers to write even write citations.

Chico Jiminez and Debbie Jiminez run a ministry that feeds the homeless on Manatee Island in Daytona Beach about once a week.

"We got hot dogs, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, onions," Chico Jiminez said in a video of the feeding.

The couple records videos of the feedings and posts them online to spread the word about their ministry.

"They have feelings just like everybody else does and we treat them like our friends because they are our friends," Debbie Jiminez said.

But recently, Daytona Beach police put a halt to the feedings by citing the couple with illegally feeding a crowd.

Debbie Jiminez said they have been feeding the homeless for at least a year and until now they're never received a ticket or warning. But Police Chief Mike Chitwood told Eyewitness News that's not the case.

"We've always enforced it. This got so big, it was posted on YouTube, it was really brought to our attention that, hey, things are really out of control on Manatee Island," Chitwood said.

The city recently hired a consultant to analyze the homelessness issue and leaders are preparing to set up a possible transitional housing center near the county jail. The consultant told officials that feeding the homeless only adds to the problems, but Chico Jiminez and Debbie Jiminez feel they're making things better.

"Most of them, they're out there because they lost their jobs, lost their families and they're out there homeless and they need help," Chico Jiminez said.