Fort Lauderdale Panhandling Ban to Kick In Wednesday

Categories: Broward News
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The new ordinance banning "aggressive panhandling" citywide and regular panhandling in specific places has been finalized and is set to take effect on Wednesday, at which time you will no longer be able to ask for money in bus stations, buses, city-owned garages, parking lots and parks, or within 15 feet of sidewalk cafes, businesses, ATMS, and parking meters.

Though it might help shove the homeless elsewhere, some South Florida homelessness advocates say it's the wrong move because it doesn't address the problem -- though the city encourages citizens to "contribute to the solution," those working closely with the homeless say the solution isn't around to contribute to.

"It's a Band-Aid, nothing more," said Laura Hansen, CEO of the Coalition to End Homelessness. "The problem is all of our shelters are full every single night... There's no place for us to put homeless people, and in addition to that most of our homeless clients don't qualify for the shelter available."

Hillary Glass, the coalition's operations manager, said their center is "one of the only places that only requires you to be homeless," as opposed to other assistance centers with more stringent guidelines.

"If you're out there and you're drinking on the street, we still think you should be able to take a shower," Glass said.

She added that their facility doesn't have overnight services, but provides a space for people to take showers and get access to computers and phones. She said 30 people a day can come through.

"People get annoyed when we have to tell them to come back," she said. "I don't think there are enough facilities to just help people."

Hansen said a major problem is rooted in the lack of services for the "chronic homeless," who have generally been homeless for a year or more and are "more likely to have substance abuse and mental health issues, and they're much more difficult to help." The chronic homeless, she said, are the ones who are doing the panhandling.

"That population is the population that the community finds aesthetically displeasing," Hansen said. "I don't think [the new ordinance] is going to do anything in particular. The police already arrest homeless people whenever they want to... The homeless population is not going to go away. There's no place for them to go."



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12 comments
FQS9000
FQS9000

I can't wait to see all the Democraps, who care so much about all de po people, cough up.  But wait, Democraps don't cough up, they merely steal from those people who work and save.

Rshutmen
Rshutmen

I live directly behind Laura Hansen's "center." The Coalition to End Homelessness, of which Laura is the CEO of, is the exact reason I fully support this new ban hadeling ban.

The "center" is a pan handlers Mecca.

Aggressively ask me for cigarettes, bus money or "something to eat" as I walk my dog, get into my car or try and take my children for a walk. Say no and they will piss and crap in the centers back yard or knock over my trash can. No wonder no shelter will take these people.

MayorOfFLL
MayorOfFLL

'F'-em!

if they want to drink and be homeless, then they get what they deserve.  jail, and worse.

if they want to clean up, and become a member of society, then we should help them.  but bums drinking on the streets and asking for money, so they can buy more booze and drugs... NFW ! 

now if they want to clean up, and we should help them get jobs and get education. 

enabling drug addicts and alcoholics, is stupid.

 

Davidbibaud
Davidbibaud

what is the choice the homeless have ask for money at public places bus station,downtown area,how about busing them to dolphin games and everyone attending must give 1.00 each added on to the ticket price of admission.It seems fashionable for not only broward county, but others as well hillsborough,sarasota, also have laws against homeless panhandlers,my prediction is home burglaries,auto theft, and just crime itself will rise because of laws such as this,give the homeless a break they must ask for money in a proper manner when told no leave it alone and go to the next person,for as many individuals say no lets try and double the individuals that say yes.next time a person ask me for help i will gladly give 1.00 dollar. 

Sumona Ahmed
Sumona Ahmed

WOW! it is really a matter of thinking. 

Tjm
Tjm

What did lifelong dem(liberal, agnostic and prochoice) do for mothers day? Did you thank mommy for choosing life? Jc would just shine brighter and His love louder if your really asking. He's all about people

Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

OK, Christians, what would Jesus do? I think he'd probably say something like, "Sell what you have and give to the poor." Can't wait to see all the Republicans who wear their Christianity like a hot pink thong lining up to give money to the homeless. They'll give the homeless a tax break, except the homeless don't have an income or pay taxes. So I guess we sinners will have to take care of this one, too. Hypocrites. 

nanook5
nanook5

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah my trash can

nanook5
nanook5

 i especially thanked my mother for not aborting me because i would never have learned the joys of blog comments like these....

nanook5
nanook5

mayor jack seiler, who has never backed away from supporting anti-homeless measures, is a democrat.

Rshutmen
Rshutmen

The trash can is not the concern - neither is your wildly immature response. What is the concern is the absolute chaos and lack of any type of enfocement that exists at Laura's "center" a few years a go that center used to be used to serve homeless families and it operated wonderfully - we were proud to have it as part of our community.

It's not entirely Laura's fault thought. The church that owns and leases space to her offers no enforcement, direction or supervision to what happens there or at any of their homeless outreaches. Nancook5: you dont have to live and raise a family behind the chaos that exists here - I regret buying property here and I regret living behind a "church" that hides behind his religious freedoms to serve the homeless as they ignore the needs of those around it, including the homeless - they are not doing anyone a REAL service by allowing their current programs to continue "as is" along with allowing Laura Hansen to do whatever the hell she wants.

Prof. G
Prof. G

Most Democrats don't wrap themselves in their religion and try to stuff it down other people's Constitution.

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