New PSA discourages giving money to panhandlers - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

New PSA discourages giving money to panhandlers

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A new public service announcement discourages giving money to panhandlers. (Source: downtown Development Authority) A new public service announcement discourages giving money to panhandlers. (Source: downtown Development Authority)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

A new public service announcement created by the Downtown Development Authority/Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation discourages citizens from giving money to panhandlers.

Men and women holding signs asking for money can be seen on street corners across the city, but Section 50-166 of the City of Shreveport Code of Ordinances states that holding a sign requesting money is illegal. The law forbidding panhandling states that a person cannot use the spoken, written or printed word on public or private property to beg for money. They also cannot follow you if you say "no" or verbally threaten or insult you when you refuse to give them any money.

According to the DDA, many panhandlers may not know that their actions are illegal, and many well-meaning people continue to donate money to them, which encourages further panhandling. Social service agencies discourage giving money to panhandlers because it can sustain a person's ability to remain on the streets, which may include a drug or alcohol addiction or ongoing mental illness.

The DDA/DSDC has joined with HOPE for the Homeless and local law enforcement officials to develop a public service announcement reminding citizens that giving money to panhandlers is often counterproductive.

Local agencies recommend instead giving to programs that provide long-term assistance to the poor and the homeless. A list of such programs along with the DDA/DSDC public service announcement can be found here.

Police say you can report panhandlers by calling 673-2583 and then pressing 3. Describe the location and the clothing the panhandler is wearing. Callers can remain anonymous.

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