Monday, December 8, 2008

Donate to a meter than give money to a panhandler?

Atlanta has come up with a way to possibly attract more tourists. Tourists and Atlanta residents are encouraged to donate to a meter rather than a panhandler. Apparently tourists and city goers are stating that the panhandlers are extremely aggressive and they do not want to return. The meters have been installed in other cities, including San Francisco, Baltimore and Denver. The donation meters resemble parking meters.

So what charities receive the money? How much does the city take out before it goes to a charity? Apparently police officers are dressing up like tourists to attract panhandlers and arresting those that violate the law. So the city chooses to ignore they have a homeless problem?

Apparently the average salary for a panhandler is $50,000. That isn't bad for begging on the streets. However, my concern is the tough economy and those who are in real need, losing their jobs and homes. How do we handle that situation?