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Thread: Persistent panhandling with a child

  1. #11
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    We have had several situations here. One neighborhood found a family with two preteen girls living under a bridge (very obviously homeless). Long story, gave them all the info to get help and got a counselor involved and the police. Found them shelter and such. Many people worked on this and one many got to know the family. However, there was some issue that prevented the family from showing up and taking advantage. They disappeared. We speculated on what was the reason and felt so bad for the kids but will never know.

    We also have a family that panhandles around town at various corners with one or more kids in tow. Talked to the police and they will check and call CPS if necessary but the police told us it is often not productive. In most instances, it is purely a money making effort (like a dog in tow) since those with kids get first priority on help.

    Keep written info in your car on services available in your area to hand out. I think you will find that most only want money.

  2. #12
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    I pass a dozen homeless persons a day on a regular basis, all singles. I have seen a change over the 8 years I have lived in this are, the people are looking less rough around the edges or permanently homeless. I know that the youth homeless drop-in center lost some funding for the first time in 30 years and has had to shorten hours. I was doing some work there but they were not open enough hours to make it possible.

    I have seen one family with teenagers who come to the corner which is also a small convenience store. Most people are not standing on a property like that or affecting a business. I did see a lady get out of her car to talk to them, she looked upset. I don't know everything like in your situation but I almost called someone, by the looks they are either really beat down by life or have some mental challenges as a whole family. I would like to think we have resources in Denver, but with the insane population boom I think people at risk follow the expected prosperity and often get stuck. Still I may have called to make sure they got resources. In our child abuse training we are careful to point out the poverty is not abuse. So a child without a coat in the winter is abuse if parents refuse to get one but not abuse if they need help to get a coat.

  3. #13
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    Excellent distinction .... poverty is not abuse.

  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mamalatte View Post
    ...What did the cops say/do?
    the cops didnt get here in time to see the mom/daughter duo, they had moved on to a different street.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    the cops didnt get here in time to see the mom/daughter duo, they had moved on to a different street.
    I think it is really good you called. Children are defenseless. I think that sometimes, their needs overrule the parent's needs (to panhandle, to have freedom to wander and panhandle, to be homeless--whatever their situation.) Sometimes a situation needs to be looked into, for the good of the child.

  6. #16
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I think it is really good you called. Children are defenseless. I think that sometimes, their needs overrule the parent's needs (to panhandle, to have freedom to wander and panhandle, to be homeless--whatever their situation.) Sometimes a situation needs to be looked into, for the good of the child.
    Yes, that for sure.

    Now for me, the real question is: do I call cops again, when i see them panhandling? Now that I kinda/sorta know a bit about their background, and I kinda/sorta have ascertained that they are not sleeping on the street--do I call to report just the pandhandlong?

    I probably will. I am insensitive that way. Bottom line: I do not want panhandlers in my neighborhood. The reason wHY this mom/daughter duo hang out in our park is because it is "safe" (according to the person who knows them.)

    Our park is "safe" because concerned and involved citizens like me work to keep the riff raff out.

  7. #17
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    As far as I know, panhandling--with or without children--is often a legal activity. Here it is, anyway, as long as you're not aggressive or blocking foot traffic. If mom is making extra money legally, it's likely to help the child.

  8. #18
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    As far as I know, panhandling--with or without children--is often a legal activity.
    Yup. Panhandling and vagrancy laws are notoriously difficult to craft without causing Constitutional troubles.


    "Those generally implicated by the imprecise terms of the ordinance -- poor people, nonconformists, dissenters, idlers -- may be required to comport themselves according to the lifestyle deemed appropriate by the Jacksonville police and the courts. Where, as here, there are no standards governing the exercise of the discretion granted by the ordinance, the scheme permits and encourages an arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of the law. It furnishes a convenient tool for "harsh and discriminatory enforcement by local prosecuting officials, against particular groups deemed to merit their displeasure."... It results in a regime in which the poor and the unpopular are permitted to "stand on a public sidewalk... only at the whim of any police officer."

  9. #19
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    As far as I know, panhandling--with or without children--is often a legal activity. Here it is, anyway, as long as you're not aggressive or blocking foot traffic. If mom is making extra money legally, it's likely to help the child.
    Yes, agressive panhandling is a problem, but determining what "agressive " is is tricky. But in this case this is not aggressive even if it is predictable, persistent behavior. It isnt as though cops will arrest her even if she was determined to be "aggressively" pamhandling. Arrests do not happen.

    Someone moving through our neighborhood panhandling, on the move, not parked in one place, is a very low level public disturbance. But panhandling grows as a problem as more and more people join in. That hasnt happened with her, she doesnt bring friends.

    it did happen in a nearby neighborhood with a commercial center, to the point where that neighborhood ( not the city) spent lots of miney putting up collection boxes for people to slip money into. This was supposed to keep them from rewarding panhandlers individually. The money went to institutions that served street people. My neighborhood cant afford that solution, such as it is as a solution.

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