Make Panhandling Illegal in Roanoke City

Make Panhandling Illegal in Roanoke City

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David H started this petition to Roanoke City Council

Panhandlers spread out across the city and harass people for money. This is far from an issue only involving roadside panhandling. Panhandlers are also aggressively harassing people for money in front of restaurants and at gas stations. These individuals don’t like to accept “no” for an answer and will follow people and continue to ask for money. Often they will use psychological tactics involving guilt to continue to harass pedestrians into giving them money. There are even reports of a woman who will get in front of cars and lay down on car hoods to beg for free rides, money, and free food. 

This is not an issue of poverty. Many agencies and shelters exist in Roanoke that prevent any true case of hunger or exposure to the elements. This is a safety concern and concern for the success of Roanoke City businesses. Many panhandlers display hostile and offensive behavior at a “no” response. The harassment from panhandlers downtown and at eating establishments and convenience stores causes people from neighboring areas to stay away from said areas in favor of similar establishments elsewhere. 

This behavior needs to stop. Laws need to exist to address this issue and law enforcement needs to heavily enforce said laws. Downtown should be an enjoyable place, not a place where some stranger tries to pressure you into believing that they are more important than the funds you use to provide for your family. 

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