City Councilwoman To Present Proposal To Cut Down Panhandling

Saturday, September 12th 2015, 9:24 pm
By: News 9

City leaders are set to discuss a new approach to cutting down on the panhandling problem in Oklahoma City. 

One city councilwoman wants to make it against the law.

Leaders in the community say councilwoman Meg Salyer will present this proposal at Tuesday's meeting.

It would make panhandling illegal on medians in city limits citing safety issues.

The Homeless Alliance executive director Dan Straughan is on a committee created by Salyer to address the panhandling problem.

He said there is a perception among a lot of people that the problem has gotten much worse recently.

Straughan said not all panhandlers are homeless, but there are concerns that taking away their form of income could push them into homelessness.

That's why he said it's so important to offer alternatives like vendor jobs with the Homeless Alliance's publication called the Curbside Chronicle to teach them basic job skills.

"The first one is in order to make money you gotta show up and startling for some folks who have been troubled for some time that super basic job skill is a little beyond them," Straughan said.

This would mean panhandling could still take place on sidewalks in the city.

And there would be no exceptions for first responders conducting fill-the-boot fundraisers

Two weeks after the proposal there will be a public hearing and two weeks after that, the council votes on the amendment.