I’ve known about this for a while and now it’s official, the City of Indianapolis is stepping up its efforts to crack down on panhandlers. It’s going to ask the Legislature to pass a law restricting where panhandlers can beg for change; including banning panhandling within 25 feet of any ATM or active parking meter. It’s high time the city did this.
I was downtown yesterday and approached by a panhandler and told him I couldn’t help him so he immediately approached a woman who was standing on Meridian street trying to stay out of the cold and he got in her personal space and started begging. I made it a point to stay close by in case things got silly, but luckily they walked away to go beg to someone else.
The downtown begging had died down for a while, but it is getting ridiculous again. Instead of sitting off to the side and holding a sign, the beggars are literally standing in the middle of the sidewalks, obstructing pedestrian traffic, begging for money and then having the audacity to get an attitude if you don’t part with your hard earned money.
The anti panhandling law is long overdue. And while we wait for something to happen, I also want to suggest that we need to stop giving these people money. Panhandlers would not beg if there was no money in it. Remember how your favorite pundit begged for change this past summer and made $30 in two hours? Just for the record, I donated it to charity. Which I suggest you do the same should you ever be approached.