A Colorado sheriff is urging residents not to give money to panhandlers claiming it’s just encouraging them to not work.
In a Facebook post, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said: “Have you noticed recently- every time you walk out of a business plastered with HIRING and HELP WANTED signs- you are confronted with these folks?”
According to Sheriff Smith by handing money to panhandlers “you are incentivizing them not to work- just like the state is doing when they pay people more to sit home, rather than go back to work.”
Instead of giving money to panhandlers, Sheriff Smith suggested handing money to “someone who is actually working and struggling to get by.”
He added: “That gesture will be appreciated and will help someone who is already working to help themselves,” he wrote.
“If you are fed up with the shortages in production, the broken supply chains and the punitive inflation we are seeing- incentivize people to get back into the workforce. That is the solution to our problem.”
His post went viral attracting 8,700 reactions and 10,000 comments in just four days.
Many expressed their anger at his comments with commentator Kirsten McLendon writing that she agreed they shouldn’t be given money but added: “There is nothing wrong with handing someone a blanket, a coat, or a Big Mac. If someone is panhandling abusively, they will usually refuse- but someone truly in need will be very grateful.
“Not everyone is employable. Some people have mental illness to such a degree that they cannot be in the workforce. While we shouldn’t encourage panhandling, we can be kind to those that truly need help.”
Her comment was met with almost 1,000 likes with many agreeing that not everyone that needs a job can get one.
Another commentator who agreed with Kirstin’s comment wrote: “Additionally, you are required documentation like an ID and social security card and an address in order to apply for a job and including access to transportation. It is not possible for all and we do need to understand that as well.”
A survey carried out on behalf of The Union Square Business Improvement District, a collection of 500 property owners in downtown San Francisco, found: “the typical panhandler is a disabled middle-aged single male who is a racial minority and makes less than $25 per day despite panhandling seven days a week for more than five years.”
The survey also found that “94 percent used the meager funds they raised for food.”
It also found that only 3 percent of them didn’t want housing.
It’s thought just over 82 percent of the over half a million homeless people in the U.S. are a panhandler or those who ask for help.
What do you think about this sheriff’s comments? Do you think he is right to ask people not to give money to those who ask for it?
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