I was very glad to see the City Council beginning to tackle the “serious issue” of panhandling.
Since we ended homelessness two years ago, there is obviously no reason why anyone should be out begging for money on the side of the road.
Councilor Lukes calls our attention to the “increasing number of able-bodied people in their 20s” out panhandling. I, too, have noticed them out there, often with large, menacing black boots and shirts emblazoned with a mysterious “WFD” logo. Shameful!
I often ask myself why those folks can’t just get a job. But the younger ones I see will never get a job as long as they dress in baseball uniforms with their hats out. Get those kids to a career counselor forthwith! Dress for success, youngsters!
I would like to recommend that the following be incorporated into any plan the City Council puts together:
- For the convenience of panhandlers, the city should install coat racks at certain intersections to prevent them from leaving their belongings on war memorials. Everyone knows veterans never panhandle.
- Panhandlers should never ask for money more than once a year. Obviously, panhandling should not be undertaken out of desperation but out of a one-time need.
- Contrary to what Mike Germain wants, we should only have a resolution to forget our previous resolutions and create even more resolutions.
As part of the educational materials the city puts together, we should include a preprinted card with the numbers of payday loan outfits to give to panhandlers, along with a complimentary book of Wegmans coupons. Maybe the van that drops them all off at intersections throughout the city can carpool them to Northboro for evening grocery shopping.
I think we can all agree with Councilor Eddy that the “groups we all care about” should be unaffected by any restrictions the Council sees fit to impose on panhandling. Indeed, we should ”make sure we draw our distinction while crafting this policy.”
It is imperative that we make sure that the undeserving are not allowed to ask for money on the side of the road.