Worcester’s Anti-Panhandling Campaign

posted by Mike on June 9th, 2005

Panhandling is not the problem Our city, Worcester, Massachusetts, has recently adopted an “action plan” for dealing with the “panhandling problem.”

The problem is not specifically with guys hitting you up for “fifty cents for the bus” as you walk down the streets, but guys holding cardboard signs at busy intersections, making the city look bad.

The “action plan” has no legal teeth. It’s just an advertising campaign to discourage people from giving to the guys with the signs.

There were some articles opposing the “action plan” in the recent issue of Worcester’s semi-monthly alternative paper, The InCity Times. (These have been reprinted at Worcester Indymedia.) Then some folks vandalized one of the billboards. Our daily paper, the Telegram & Gazette, even reported on the vandalism.

Now, the billboards in my neighborhood have switched to a “Don’t Spread AIDS” public service ad.

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4 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On June 9, 2005 at 13:11 Mark said:

    Vandalized?
    How about Corrected? Revised? Jammed? Improved? Clarified?
    How about Took back the media? Gave voice to the voiceless?

    W.W.J.D. ? ?

  2. On June 11, 2005 at 09:37 Mike (Worcester) said:

    Perhaps I should point out that I do not like the anti-panhandling action plan, and that I much prefer the vandalized billboard to the original.

  3. On March 15, 2007 at 14:12 DJ McDonough said:

    I believe that the ati-panhandling campaign is well worth it. Yes many people may know that a lot of panhandlers use the money to buy alcohol and drugs. But the problem with panhandling is that the individuals who do it are being dishonest. I realize that they most likely have a problem, but giving to social services is a much better option than trusting that the individual will actually use the money to benefit themselves (as in getting off the street). It has become aparent that many cronic homeless persons are panhandlers and they are cronic due to the complacency they have in being without responsibility. They need to join society. Not all homeless persons panhandle. In fact it is the minority of homeless that panhandle but unfortunatly they are the steriotypical representatives of the homeless. By giving to social services a generous person can be assured that the money will get to someone who actually needs it and not some con, or someone who prefers the life with a lack of respopnsibility. That is being a burden on the community and brings down our standards of life. Lets give panhandlers a hand up not a hand out.

  4. On March 15, 2007 at 17:39 Mike said:

    Having a campaign to help those who panhandle is a good idea, but can you explain how Worcester’s campaign could have accomplished *anything*? As I said above, this was not a campaign with teeth, this was a public relations game, and a poorly-played one.

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