There’s a homeless guy named Dave to whom I give a buck or two each week upon entering the Farmers Market. He’s usually sitting on a rock at the lower corner entrance. This week he was standing in his accustomed spot, and I asked him why. He said the city had passed an ordinance that he and other homeless panhandlers couldn’t sit on city-owned rocks and such.
I think this is a highly enlightened approach to panhandling and want to say how proud I am to be a citizen of a town that can devise such creative problem solving! I would like to submit an idea for a next step in this policy that I believe could end panhandling altogether.
Standing still is fundamentally loitering, I would argue. And I’m pretty sure loitering is not permitted by municipal statute. Why not make the panhandlers hop up and down while asking for money? Surely most could not last even five minutes! End of problem, as I see it. Surely this will enhance Santa Barbara’s reputation as a tourist destination at the same time that it allows all those citizens with homes to feel more secure!