The Victor Frost Ordinance

The film is currently in post-production and is slated to be completed by June 2016.

 
 

Background

For several years Victor Frost has been panhandling in the affluent city of Palo Alto, usually in the same spot in front of the Whole Foods market. In June of 2007, the Palo Alto city council passed a controversial ordinance, nicknamed the "Victor Frost Ordinance", designed to remove him from his spot. But in a surprise move, Victor Frost may have found a way to get around this ordinance

The Victor Frost Ordinance tells the story of a panhandler from the affluent city of Palo Alto who has been fighting for his constitutional rights.

The film is currently in post-production and is slated to be completed by June 2016. To be notified of it's release,

I first got to know Victor when I produced a series of programs about homeless people in Palo Alto for a local TV station in the Bay Area. I often saw him in front of Whole Foods Market and talked to him on many occasions, but I really got to know him during the production.

We tried to interview many people who were on the streets for the program, but very few were comfortable talking on camera. Victor Frost, however, was happy to share his story: his passion for gardening and cooking, his relationships, his difficult childhood growing up as a foster child having to move from one home to another. His story was so fascinating that we decided to dedicate the series to him and later decided to make a documentary about him.

For several years, Victor Frost panhandled in Palo Alto, usually in the same spot in front of the Whole Foods Market, but in June of 2007, the Palo Alto city council passed an ordinance, nicknamed the "Victor Frost Ordinance", designed to remove him from his spot. He fought hard to stay. Many people that claim they wanted to help Victor Frost never really did much to help him. He was a loner.

Victor Frost was banned from entering the Whole Foods Market, but once when we were filming his story, he was offered a job application to work there. He had a great sense of humor. He would joke about the offer to “apply” for a position in a place that did not even allow him inside. When the people that offer him an application decided to tell the newspapers about it, he felt that it was just a ploy to generate “good news” for the market.

The original ordinance prohibits people from sitting or lying in the sidewalk of downtown Palo Alto, and was created to ensure the "safety" of pedestrians. But many argue that the sole purpose of the ordinance was to rid the downtown area of homeless people. The ordinance was only meant to apply to University Street in downtown Palo Alto, but it was expanded by three blocks up to Whole Foods Market. Many people were against the change, including City Council member Jack Morton who nicknamed the ordinance the “Victor Frost Ordinance” because of the wide belief that the expansion was targeted at Victor Frost, who sat across the street from the Whole Foods Market in a very wide sidewalk (not blocking anyone), but clearly making people uncomfortable.

Victor Frost was a kind man, and all he wanted was to fight for his right to beg on the streets in the city that he loved. He will be missed! RIP, Victor!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook