Patrick Lalley, the Sioux Falls reporter for Forum news took a stab at it;
And maybe that’s true for some. But what people working in social services will tell you is that the panhandlers aren’t the people showing up at the Bishop Dudley Hospitality House, the primary shelter for the homeless in downtown Sioux Falls.
There have been some misconceptions out there as to WHO is panhandling and why.
Most assume that panhandling, at some level, must be illegal. But it’s not, as long as the person is on the sidewalk, not standing in the street obstructing traffic and not harassing the public.
But you can shut off the tap;
But, he (Mayor TenHaken) has said many times, the only way to stop panhandling is to cut off the cash. Give your money to the many agencies whose mission is to help people. The city has signs around downtown that say just that.
South Dakota blogger Scott Ehrisman takes it a step further and suggests that when drivers hand money out of the car window, they should be ticketed for obstructing traffic, not the panhandler.
It’s an intriguing idea because it spreads the social burden.
Maybe the threat of paying even a $10 ticket — same as a parking violation — changes the mental equation.
It’s one thing to give money to a person in a bad way. It’s quite another to have to give it to the government.
I have also suggested this to a Homeless Task Force member as something to consider. It would probably get pushback from the public, but maybe that is a good reason to try it.