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Archive for Sunday, April 4, 2010

Creative solutions: discouraging panhandling downtown

April 4, 2010

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Here’s a look at some of the ideas that Downtown Lawrence Inc. has for a marketing campaign that would encourage people to give their money to social service agencies instead of panhandlers:

• Signs and posters around downtown reminding people that a donation to a social service agency will do more good than a donation to a panhandler.

• The printing of business cards that list social service agencies that help the homeless. Downtown merchants would give stacks of the cards to customers who feel the need to give something to a panhandler.

• An idea from Atlanta that uses donation devices that look like parking meters. The meter-like devices are placed along the sidewalk for people to deposit their spare change. The change collected is then donated to social service agencies that help the homeless.

Comments

Kookamooka 4 years, 5 months ago

Ask them to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior.

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sad_lawrencian 4 years, 5 months ago

They could just nip this issue in the bud by making panhandling illegal. No ifs, ands or buts.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 5 months ago

" Mow the grass, wash the windows, paint the house"

Come on, Pil, you're completely disingenuous when you ask for the "exchange," and if someone accepted, you'd probably only want to pay them 20 cents an hour.

And maybe they aren't lazy, Pil-- maybe they just can't bear the thought of spending more than ten seconds around you.

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Chris Ogle 4 years, 5 months ago

" The printing of business cards that list social service agencies that help the homeless. Downtown merchants would give stacks of the cards to customers who feel the need to give something to a panhandler. "


Good idea....... may cause some litter..... but still a good idea


Boz:said: Come on, Pil, you're completely disingenuous when you ask for the "exchange,"

Hey Boz,: What is wrong with trading work for money....... that's how I end up with money in my pocket.

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kernal 4 years, 5 months ago

Most panhandlers want money for booze. Bad idea to give them money for booze, or buy booze for them (some are banned from Jensen Liquor), as it will interfer with any meds they may be on. If they tell you it's for a coffee or food, offer to go into a restaurant and get them take-out. Most of the time they will either walk away or tell you no, they want the money instead. If they really are hungry, then good for you!

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corduroypants 4 years, 5 months ago

Giving them a worthless card should go over well.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 5 months ago

1 Horrible idea. That's exactly what tourists want to read in downtown Larry.

2 Not such a bad idea, but still bad. "Here, the city won't do anything, so here's a 'card' to drop in their hats." The aggressive panhandlers will just become worse when people start handing them "cards". Oh, and where will the cards end up? All over the sidewalks.

3 Great idea. Tell the panhandlers "I gave already, in the meter-thingy. Go get your handout at the shelter."

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asbury 4 years, 5 months ago

I agree with kernal. I have been asked for money by persons obviously in need of a drink...I recently told a woman I would by her something to eat. She accepted my offer, and we bought her a meal at a fast food restaurant. She said she still needed money though...I think she said it was for the bus. She was wearing a hospital bracelet, and had a band aid over a blood draw. She denied havng been in the hospital, or having any problems. I wished her well, and left her in the restaurant.....

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asbury 4 years, 5 months ago

And said a silent prayer for her, and others like her, as we drove away.

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alm77 4 years, 5 months ago

As long as the signs and posters aren't an eyesore, the cards are informative, and the meter is secured, I think this is a GREAT idea!!

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BorderRuffian 4 years, 5 months ago

1) is it because it makes US uncomfortable that we are trying so hard to look the other way when someone asks us for help? Is it because Larryvillains consider them ugly?

Panhandlers are people - just as much as you and I. Perhaps some of them are choosing this as an easy way out. But is it really? What about those panhandlers who truly are down and out? Do we just turn our backs on them because they make us feel uncomfortable?

Larryville has such a high opinion of itself. It is supposed to be a place where only the beautiful people live, where everyone is affluent (at least enough to beg for bigger parking ticket fines and other similar civic minded things). The truth is, anyone, or anyWHERE that routinely turns their backs on those in need is a disgrace to humanity.

2) Kookamooka (anonymous) wrote… "Ask them to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior."

I AM a Christian and I find that comment to be highly offensive. Someone who is hungry or in need asks for a little help and all you can do is tell them to accept Jesus as their Savior?

My dear Kookamooka - listen to what James says in the Bible:

"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. (16) If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? (17) In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."(James 2:15-17 NIV)

Tell me about YOUR faith, Kookamooka, or, better yet, go feed that person.

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Liberty275 4 years, 5 months ago

Print a map out of town to hand out to the bums.

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GardenMomma 4 years, 5 months ago

I just dislike being called a liar when I am asked for spare change and I tell them I don't have any.

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tomatogrower 4 years, 5 months ago

I must look really poor. I've only been approached once for money. I do see people playing a guitar or drum with a hat out. If they are any good, I'll put some money in the hat. I've seen someone holding a sign once. I guess I'm not approachable.

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 5 months ago

I like those homelessness or poor-worker papers the houseless sell in places like San Francisco. This activity contributes to their dignity and self--sufficiency and also educates the general public, while helping them to see and treat those who lack a roof over their head with more respect. Also there are jobs to be had in producing the paper, such as writing and advertising, and the paper can foment social organizing.

I'm not sure some of the charities that purport to be helping are all that competent, caring or effective. Systems suck, especially the broken ones around Douglas County.

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 5 months ago

I like those homelessness or poor-worker papers the houseless sell in places like San Francisco. This activity contributes to their dignity and self--sufficiency and also educates the general public, while helping them to see and treat those who lack a roof over their head with more respect. Also there are jobs to be had in producing the paper, such as writing and advertising, and the paper can foment social organizing.

I'm not sure some of the charities that purport to be helping are all that competent, caring or effective. Systems suck, especially the broken ones around Douglas County.

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sourpuss 4 years, 5 months ago

Here's a new idea: give them nothing. Just like pigeons, if you don't feed them, they won't come.

Maybe instead of making panhandling illegal (which will be ignored by the homeless) making giving change to a beggar subject to a $3 ticket. Threaten people who tend to follow the law, not people who will probably break it anyway. A "parking ticket" would be more than enough to discourage people from giving and the beggars will go elsewhere.

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Rae Hudspeth 4 years, 5 months ago

Equalaccessprivacy:

There is one in town here, you'll see people selling them for a dollar or a donation. It's called "Change of Heart".

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gatekeeper 4 years, 5 months ago

Border Ruffian is correct. So many heartless people on here that I'm sure call them Christians and celebrated Easter yesterday. If you are truely a Christian, you will at least offer to purchase them food. Many times I am taken up on that offer. It never hurts to feed a fellow human in need. Many of you should think long and hard the next time you sit down to hear a sermon and worship. Most likely you're a Christian in name only and don't know the New Test.

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 5 months ago

You are right, Raerae. Once found, read and enjoyed a copy of that well-produced newspaper. Have never met anyone actually distributing it though--even downtown. A change of heart would good in more than one way.

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