Fort Lauderdale to Blow Nearly $30K on Ads Urging Passersby to Stop Giving to Homeless

Categories: News
panhandlingsignsmall.jpg
Helping others is for suckers.
Officials in Fort Lauderdale apparently think the city needs signs and ads urging passersby to stop feeding loose change to begging beasts homeless people.

On Tuesday, the city approved a $26,350 campaign to plaster the slogan "Panhandling: Don't Contribute to the Problem. Contribute to the solution" around the city. Accompanying the slogan is the iconic red circle and slash combination placed over a hand that's holding a cup with some change. 


The red circle and slash often warn against things like feeding the ducks or petting a seeing-eye dog. And while Mayor Jack Seiler "personally love[s]" using a design tactic so closely associated with animals against the homeless, not everyone is in favor of the idea. 

"Visually, it's very offensive and gross," says Nathan Pim, a Florida organizer with Food Not Bombs. "It's like having a 'Don't Feed the Animals' sign for people. As usual, they're spending money on the exact opposite of what they should be focusing on."

A document from the city's Public Affairs Department argues that:

Residents and visitors are creating potential harm by giving directly to panhandlers and, instead, are encouraged to give to non-profit organizations.

• Frequently, panhandlers use contributions to fuel chemical addictions and other self-destructive behaviors.
• Panhandlers are a detriment to commerce by harassing residents, tourists and
businesses.
• The presence of panhandlers affects the ways in which others use public places.
• People's generosity encourages panhandling.
• Money made through panhandling enables panhandlers to sustain living on the
 streets.
• As an alternative to contributing directly to panhandlers, residents and visitors are
 encouraged to donate to a non-profit or charitable organization of their choice.

Under the plan, the logo will be displayed on the back of water bills and taxis and in various other forms throughout the city. The hope is that after seeing it enough times, you keep those few cents in your pocket and jump on the web after you get home and make a donation to one of the local charities highlighted on the campaign's website. 

But Pim contends that panhandling allows the homeless in downtown to buy a "couple of thousand cigarettes a day and all the beer they go through," thus supporting small businesses. He's also concerned that the signs do absolutely nothing to address the social stigma attached to homelessness. If anything, they seem to bolster the stigma. 

"The city has always been very encouraging of discrimination against the homeless," Pim says. 

Even if there are legitimate concerns on the city's part, couldn't the graphic designer have at least exerted an ounce of creativity and effort?

panhandlingsign.jpg


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18 comments
Appy
Appy

Should we boycott Fort Lauderdale, or organize a mass panhandling event, or what? Frankly speaking, I would only stop in that city so that I, or the dog, could go to the bathroom. 

Freedumb
Freedumb

You mean there are more compassionate solutions than encouraging people to give and support local homeless charities? Hopefully at least it will make the public aware of these agencies that help and give them financial assistance in a more consistent manner.

Aladywriter
Aladywriter

Sounds like Broward's going to the yuppies!   

Gomer Pyle
Gomer Pyle

How about the cops spending some time clearing the bums from the medians at busy intersections as they are a public safety hazard?

Law Stephens
Law Stephens

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, YOU who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for YOU from the founding of the world. 35For I became hungry and YOU gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and YOU gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and YOU received me hospitably; 36naked, and YOU clothed me. I fell sick and YOU looked after me. I was in prison and YOU came to me.’ 37Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ 40And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.’41“Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, ‘Be on YOUR way from me, YOU who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42For I became hungry, but YOU gave me nothing to eat, and I got thirsty, but YOU gave me nothing to drink. 43I was a stranger, but YOU did not receive me hospitably; naked, but YOU did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but YOU did not look after me.’ 44Then they also will answer with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?’ 45Then he will answer them with the words, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did not do it to one of these least ones, YOU did not do it to me.’ 46And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.”

Law Stephens
Law Stephens

Should we boycott Fort Lauderdale, or organize a mass panhandling event, or what? Frankly speaking, I would only stop in that city so that I, or the dog, could go to the bathroom.

R. D. M.
R. D. M.

I just don't understand why so many people want to be homeless.....

Felicia
Felicia

 This article makes me sick. Most of the people in this country are in debt for asking for money to contribute to themselves and their families, yet they want to put people who are in a homeless situation on blast as if they are less than human because of it. That sign is degrading and dehumanizing. Please note that their idea to "contribute to the solution" through the "www.fortlauderdale.gov/give" is the smallest font on the sign. Also note that giving money indirectly does not have the same affect as directly caring for someone, especially if they are in your neighborhood.

Brad Clark
Brad Clark

The sign makes makes the huge leap that people will not give pocket change to panhandlers and will rather run right home and hop online to donate to a charity.  Out of sight, out of mind. This problem will not go away, it will just move to a different location.

Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston

Dont contribute to the problem, contribute to the solution: soylent green, people feeding people

Christopher Neal
Christopher Neal

This sign is also representative of the problem with democrats and their "gimmee" entitlement attitude...

Doll
Doll

‎"• Money made through panhandling enables panhandlers to sustain living on the streets." that quote is so freaking funny. What about welfare? Doesn't taking care of these people bills and food needs enable them to sstay in the system. LMAO at this BS No funds to give teachers raises or to hire more but PLENTY of cash to blow. You got to love this country.

Waldoemers123
Waldoemers123

Absolutely pathetic.  Shame on Fort Lauderdale.  There are better more compasionate solutions and there are certainly better ways to spend $30,000!

nanook5
nanook5

 mass panhandling event!

independent
independent

why do you have to attack democrats? seriously follow the money...where & who the $30,000 is going to then make an informed post. It's easy to attack a political group, but not take the time to see what's going on behind the scenes. 

Kathymitro
Kathymitro

 If you would ask any of these lawmakers or officials do you want peace in the world? Do you want to end war? Each and every one of them would respond of course I do, without even stopping to think that peace starts with each individual. Until each and everyone of us gives out peace love compassion and empathy towards all, not just select few, we will never see an end to war.So I say give all the money you can to the poor..Give all the food you can to the hungry. Love Love Love and it will come back to you manifold and with each good thought and action, you are with the good energy you are sending making the world slowly but surely into a much better place, and negating all the bad energy that these actions in Fort Lauderdale are sending out.  Good always trumps evil and Light always  overcomes darkness.

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