Stop giving to panhandlers; give to shelters instead

Nov 7 2013 - 5:51pm

Editor,

I feel that as I am driving anywhere in town, I get a guilt trip with each glance I receive from the panhandlers that have seemed to crowd on every corner in many of the busy intersections. Not only is the gloom and remorse seeping though my car door and filling me with dejection, but also I am seeing this reoccurring over and over again, and it's getting worse.  

Although I am aware that a handful of these pleading people are in serious need of aid and food, I feel almost bitter and irritated seeing many sitting on a curb asking for change when they are certainly in no dire need of it.

I think many of us have come to realize that many of those who prey on street corners are not who they portray themselves to be. We have a large number of drug addicts who may actually be currently homeless, but the money we provide doesn't go into any sort of helpful resource. 

There are also some citizens who are too indolent and are not motivated to work that are feeding off our daily tips, which are being presented to them by a long line of traffic. Speaking of traffic, another issue with this is that it does interfere with the flow of traffic back and could become a potential driving hazard, especially when some of the panhandlers come into the roadway to present their hand written signs, and also to ask for or collect offered change.

I'm not saying we should stop providing money to those in need, but I think we should be a little smarter with it. If we took all the change and funds we provide, and put it towards our shelters, they may be able to provide a lot more for those in need. 

If we stop handing out change like candy, and donate to those who know how to use it, we could see less crowded street corners, and maybe feel a little less guilt as we drive around town.

Jessica Taylor

Ogden

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