FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Ft. Lauderdale’s city commission wants to give the bum’s rush to beggars by banning panhandling.

On Tuesday, city commissioners will begin discussion on a proposal which would bar panhandling at city parks, parking garages and near ATMs and cafes. The city will hold two public hearings on the new ordinance before they vote on it.

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 will be 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 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.

“Families don’t feel safe, people going to the library don’t feel safe, people wanting to use public resources don’t feel safe,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler told CBS4 News last month.

The city believes the sight of the homeless is affecting tourism, nearby businesses and tarnishing the city’s image. Seiler said the police are cracking down on crimes like public drunkenness, indecent exposure and urinating in public.

Comments (2)
  1. Elliott1 says:

    I will hand out money to a needy person on the street befrore I ever give it to one of these other institutions. Most of these institutions that claim to help the needy have operating costs and expenditures which in many cases exceed 55%. No one can tell you what % actually helps the needy. It is my right to choose how much and to whom I choose to give. Most panhandlers need money for food now!, not in the future. Mayora and city coumcnilmen no nothing about the severity of this problem, much less how to contribute to solving it. Have a heart for God’s sake…

  2. Charles says:

    That’s a pretty narrow minded opinion on this, E1.

    The other hand might suggest that families and/or people in general have the right to be free from this kind of solicitation/harrassment in public; be it at a park or a stoplight, etc.

    That was also a cheap-shot at the organizations that provide a service for people in need.