What do you think about panhandling on the mall?

32 comments

Who actually likes panhandlers and wants them around? Why is this even a debate. City Council needs to get off their ass and do something about it.

There are panhandlers because they profit by it. Begging is a time-honored occupation.

Are the musicians panhandlers?

America allows anybody not to work. This is not Russia or China. America also allows anybody to ask anybody for money. That's why have more request for money from non-profits than I do for beggars. Aren't they really the same? Strangers asking strangers for money?

Here's an idea - and a revenue raiser - panhandlers must obtain a permit to panhandle. The cost of the permit - maybe start at $1000 per month and it must be renewed monthly. Since many panhandlers prefer not to work in the traditional sense and reportedly make over $30K annually - they can afford it.

We only like musical bums 'round these parts!

One guy that plays sometimes on the mall work nights at a local hospital.

There are many reasons to see issues with panhandling. Some are offended by the sight, some feel unsafe, some are annoyed, etc. The people/city will do what they will. Just remember, what you will be doing is "sanitizing" Life - this very Life that thrives on a certain degree of Chaos.

Why are we conflating buskers and panhandlers here? Admittedly some of the buskers are a bit scruffy but that's not panhandling. Some of the buskers are a nice addition. Most of the panhandlers are an eyesore at worst (in my experience). If they actively request money just inform them that it's illegal (some may not know) and offer to get a cop to help explain it to them.

People don't always come packaged nicely. If ever asked for money, which happens often when I visit the Pantops area, I buy a cup of coffee or sandwhich and drop it to them as I exit the area. I don't give my friends or family money unless they are willing to work for it; however, I would never deny them a place at my dinner table.

In NC, the panhandlers have to have a permit in order to "beg" for money. They have to comply with the panhandlers laws or be arrested. I'm not sure how much the permit costs but it seems to be working down here. Perhaps Cville should look into that option. I grew up in VA and I didn't know that the panhandling situation had gotten that bad.

Gangstas don't have many opportunities for learning how to stomp people legally. Perhaps Cville might allow and encourage gangstas to stomp beggars on the mall. Not in front of people of course. We wouldn't want people getting their sensibilities offended and throwing up their crepes or croissants. Also, Cville should sue the railroads - they're responsible for the explosion in the homeless population. In years past, these people road the rails and were called hobos. They never stayed one place long enough to cause problems. Now the railroads kick these people off the trains, and they are stuck in one place become unsightly and annoying underfoot.

@Wog...cute bit of comedy. Perhaps you were subconsciously thinking of the old Monty Python interview bit where the asked chartered accountants on the street (you know, typical grey-clad, hat-wearing Londoner businessmen): "Sir, exactly where do you stand on the homeless?" Answer: "Right here, at the nape of their necks."

Actually, I like the buskers but loathe the nonproductive, begging bums. Why don't the police just give them field sobriety tests and arrest them for loitering and/or public intoxication?

Just as homeless advocates don't want people "stereotyping" the homeless as lazy bums, those same advocates should not stereotype the anti-bum coalition as snooty, crepe-eating, money-spending, heartless Thurston Howells. Many of us are locals who bring out kids just to walk on the mall, stop in some of the stores and, perhaps, by an overpriced toy for my son.
The first problem on the mall is that idiotic chalkboard. It cost seven figures...how much could that have helped the homeless? We could have hired twenty police officers to shoo the vermin off the mall.
Is there a way to make The Crossroads a high rise? Maybe we could allocate two floors of the new hotel on the mall to the homeless. You know, redistribution of wealth.

R.I.P.: Frank Rizzo

performers are WAY different than bums...

Here is how Amsterdam is having to finally deal with the results of their liberal choices...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/9719247/Ams...

@Bill, that article has not a thing to do with homelessness or panhandling.

Typical Bill Marshall stuff. In a story about oranges he offers "Here, let me give you this stuff about apples [so I can use the term "liberal choices" in a denigrating way]."

One wonders if Bill knows anything about the actual meaning of the term "liberal" or "liberalism."

It is handy though, isn't it, to have the single causal explanation for anything one doesn't like. "See how bad that is? Its obviously because of the damn liberals."

asheville, nc - the panhandlers have to apply for a permit and it must be displayed prominently while they work.

Love the Buskers. There's someone down there playing Cello quite often, and I honestly think that adds some character to the mall. I wish there were more people playing music and bringing their tricks and talents. I am happy to throw a couple bucks at those people trying to make a little extra cash for their entertainment.

I could do without the people just sitting down on the ground with a cardboard sign though. Although, I'd rather there be a cardboard sign than them accosting everyone asking for money.

All in all, its not as bad here as it is in other towns.

I live to hit the C-ville walking Mall , I enjoy the Buskers the most of the many great things the mall offers.

C-ville cannot afford to stop the music.... Myself alone throw thousands into the local economy to get there to hear the music...

Leave the music alone

JS

Your inability to understand and comprehend does not make you right.

In Amsterdam, the most liberal of the liberals they have sqyuatters laws where people can just get a free home. Now that they have done that they are faced with the cretins who abused that expensive giveaway and are having to banish them to "scum cities" because of the problems they cause. Charlottesvilles tactic of seeing every bum as a "victim" and building them free housing to live in is simply their version of the same thing. These bums get free housing, soup kitchens, and panhandle for drug or booze money and many of them are aggresive in doing so. We WILL come to a point where they are dealt with, the question is how bad it has to get before the taxpayers and non liberal voters have had enough.

Maybe when the taxes skyrocket for these stupid non solutions and busnesses have all fled the mall the Council will get the message.

Give panhandlers a free license with an id badge and make them follow protcols like anyone else with a business and when they violate those rules take thier license away for a week month year or forever depending on thier behavior. This is a legal, constitutional and moralway of handling the situation. With every "right" comes a responsibility.

Many of us are only one really bad day away from having to beg on the streets.

I'd rather give out a dollar (to someone downtown) than to hear Honey Boo Boo hollar. I'd rather give away dollars than put another one to Justin Beiber's collar. (or any celebrity fragrance sprayed on the collar). I keep a couple of dollars its just part of the tip you pay downtown.

@bill marshall: "In Amsterdam, the most liberal of the liberals they have sqyuatters laws where people can just get a free home. Now that they have done that they are faced with the cretins who abused that expensive giveaway and are having to banish them to "scum cities" because of the problems they cause."

I know that nearly every single item in your rant is factually incorrect, because I lived, voted, and paid taxes there.

You? Where on earth do you get your information?

"Many of us are only one really bad day away from having to beg on the streets."

True but the difference being (I hope) is that you would look for work and not choose to live off the gullibility of others.

not herman brood

here is some more.. I guess these people are lying also?

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03european-t.html?pagewanted=all

@Bill Marshall, who is lying about what? You posted two links to stories about the Dutch. One from the Telegraph (posted 2x) and the other from the NYT.

Neither one has a single thing to do with panhandling or homelessness.

I don't think I am the one having comprehension problems.

@JS

Precisely.

A (not-elected but instead appointed) mayor (from a party that took a drubbing at the last elections, and who needs to move towards the middle) made a proposal (not an actual action) to remove repeat offenders (not panhandlers, but instead more like the ASBOs of Britain) from government-owned or -backed rental housing (no ownership is given to squatters, and there are laws and police to evict them). The proposal struck some as something akin to that previously mouthed by a peroxide-fueled political parody (Geert Wilders), who coined a phrase so clever and unintentionally comedic ("tuigdorpen") that it demanded attention (think "voluntary deportation" or "legitimate rape") by the overwhelming majority of people -- who, like 'Mericans, whether watching Faux News or MSNBC -- consider their national representative bodies to be increasingly dysfunctional.

Perhaps you want to believe that there is some place or some people who are your antithesis, and that they have failed, and that they now realize it, and that they are actually building concentration camps for the people you think might be proxies for people in your own community whom you despise.

Or maybe you just don't how to think critically.

and when I say "perhaps you want," I mean the poster-provocateur "Bill Marshall."

Need a "county work farm" where vagrants can be sent to work off their sentences, after which they can be given Greyhound tickets for the out-of-state destinations of their choice. That there are people like this in the world and in the country is a given. For the sake of our community, a public policy incentivizing their speedy departure and non-return is essential. Every community should follow a policy that encourages such people to feel very unwelcome here. Would you have such people as guests in your home or have me host them in mine? I don't think so, and why have any policy that does anything other than encourage their moving on?
Sorry about this, but folks like this are a distinct negative and we don't need them here. I never go to the mall and the major reason is not wanting to run the gauntlet of these offensive and scary people...

There are obviously people here that think the problem will get better by giving the vagrants more rights than the people who pay property taxes , income taxes, collect sales taxes, pay unemployment taxes and provide jobs to locals.

You will pay dearly for your ridiculous and irresponsible beliefs when the downtown economy collapses and Charlottesville is forced to instill austerity measures to the schools, police and ambulance services for lack of income.

There is a saying that if you give a man a fish he eats for a day and if you teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime.... but there is another addendum to that... there are lots of people who are damn good fisherman who simply choose to hang out at the mall and harrass people for money because they are irresponsible cretins who deserve nothing but contempt for squandering the many chances they were given by first family and then society.

A stray cat rarely starves when left to fend for itself...

The panhandlers don't bother me. Most of them don't even speak to strangers. If you can't walk past someone without the sight of them infuriating you then stay home.

Angel Eyes: "I never go to the mall and the major reason is not wanting to run the gauntlet of these offensive and scary people..."

- I go to the mall regularly and am no more likely to run into "offensive and scary" people there than anywhere else. The last very unpleasant public experience I actually had was not on the mall. The offensive and scary person was a small business person. This person was doing a terrible job with an order and when I got aggravated I was met with a profanity-laced temper tantrum.

On the tail end of that @Ponce - if it makes you feel better to simplify the issue in your own mind as one of people that "choose to hang out at the mall and harrass [sic] people for money because they are irresponsible cretins" then you may. But all it really says is that you don't know a thing about the homeless population. You are obviously "entitled" to hold your opinions about panhandling, and are "entitled" to justify your opinions with gross over-generalizations based on selective observations - but don't pretend its based on anything but your own ignorance about these populations of people.

As a mother of 4, and a business woman on the down town, I am appalled by the vagrants. They have attacked two of my kids, tried to sell them drugs, and called them names, even spat on one. Yes we have pressed charges. Not the safe downtown we love, and certainly impacts our coming downtown to enjoy the restaurants and shops. Secondly, the fact that they drag animals into their misery is atrocious. If the Haven wants to offer them refuge, they should offer them classes too, and help improve the lives of these folks who have hit on hard times: not perpetuate their condition by making panhandling economically beneficial. We all have to work hard to make ends meet: I don't see why they are any different.