Thursday, August 6

Panhandling A Business Model?

So says the Downtown Alliance's Jason Mathis in today's Deseret News. "The fact is that most panhandlers are not actually homeless," Mathis said. "Essentially, panhandling is a business model where people make a significant income and divert resources away from the legitimate needs of the homeless."

The article says a new ordinance being considered by Salt Lake City would prohibit panhandling just about everywhere there are groups of people not panhandling. But "Nothing is cast in stone," said City Attorney Ed Rutan.


Making false claims about being a veteran, or homeless, or stranded, or disabled, etc., would also be dealt with. I imagine that poor soul in a parking lot asking for money for gas would also be included.

Once, in a parking lot, I was asked not once, but twice, by two different people for gas money.

I say to the first person: "Sorry, I don't have any cash." Which in all reality is usually true, as I really don't carry cash.

Second person, and now I'm a bit perturbed: "Yeah, your friend just asked for the same thing." "I'm not with him."

Yeah, suuuure.

Admittedly, those who pander to panhandlers are misdirecting their hard-earned dollars away from groups who would use those funds more efficiently rather than on a person to person basis.

And that's a much better business model.

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