FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Ft. Lauderdale’s city commission has taken the first step to give the bum’s rush to beggars in the city.
On Tuesday, they unanimously approved an ordinance which prohibits panhandling at city parks, city parking garages and near ATMs and cafés.
The city believes the sight of the homeless is affecting tourism, nearby businesses and tarnishing the city’s image. Mayor Jack Seiler said the police are cracking down on crimes like public drunkenness, indecent exposure and urinating in public.
A final vote on the measure will be taken on May 1st, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Last month, commissioners signed off on a campaign which encourages people to stop giving money to directly to panhandlers and instead make donations to organizations that help the homeless like the United Way of Broward or the Broward Partnership for the Homeless.
As part of the campaign, signs have been posted with the image of a hand holding a cup with a red circle around it and the international slash mark across it. The image will be captioned with “Panhandling: Don’t contribute to the problem. Contribute to the solution.”
Police have beefed up patrols around Stranahan Park as part of the city’s effort to clean up the park, which has become a haven for the homeless. The park is on the busy corner of Broward Boulevard and Andrews Avenue and is adjacent to the county’s main library.
The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.