The controversy is happening in the Orange County city of Costa Mesa, south of Long Beach.
That's where some of the city's long-running soup kitchens are targeted for closure.
But the proposal is getting fierce opposition from city council members and non-profit charity workers. They say elderly, fixed-income residents will suffer most.
Mayor Eric Bever says the idea is a first step in fighting Costa Mesa's homeless problem: "My belief is that if we manage to put the soup kitchen out of business that would go a long way toward addressing the attractive nuisance we have in our city that's creating a huge negative impact."
While the issue is headed for debate in the city council, the mayor will be termed out of office in November.