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Posted on: August 13, 2019

5 Things You Should Know About Panhandling

A graphic showing no to panhandling

  • Panhandling is not against the law. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that panhandling (asking others for money) is a form of free speech protected by the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Just say no. The best way to end panhandling is to stop giving money to panhandlers. Our local charities such as Halifax Urban Ministries and the First Step Shelter have the resources to help individuals who are struggling with homelessness, addiction and/or mental health issues.

  • Not everyone who panhandles is homeless. In certain circumstances, panhandling can be a very lucrative, tax-free endeavor. Panhandlers who make substantial amounts of money begging lose their incentive to seek employment.

  • It’s not safe to give money to panhandlers while stopped at a red light. This may cause panhandlers to enter the roadway and disrupt the free flow of traffic in violation of state law and puts the safety of the panhandler and other motorists at risk.

  • Panhandlers are not allowed to touch you or scare you into giving them money. If you are a victim to this type of conduct, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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