Friday, January 18, 2008

Challenging a misconception

Panhandlers haven't disappeared from Gainesville, but street-side panhandling has dropped off significantly since it was banned in July, police said.

Read the Independent Florida Alligator article here.

Since challenging misconceptions about the homeless is one of my missions, I have to point out Commissioner Ed Braddy's comment. I'll give him credit for understanding that panhandlers aren't necessarily the same as homeless people.

But then he goes on to say: "Many panhandlers panhandle because they have a substance-abuse problem. Why would I want to enable someone who is destroying themselves?"

I know a lot of people whose only means of support is panhandling. There are hundreds of people on Florida's streets today without any ID. I know this because in the past year, I've helped more than 300 people get IDs. And without an ID, you can't you can't work, not even at the labor pool.


At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's truly a compounding problem. Without an address, one can't get an ID, and without the ID, once can't get a job to afford an address. I've known people who lost their ID and were from another part of the country originally. Getting a birth certificate required them finding hundreds of dollars to pay for transportation back to the county of their birth. It's really a mess. I'm glad to see that you're able to help people.


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