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Opinion/Letter: Giving to panhandlers exacerbates problems

Opinion/Letter: Giving to panhandlers exacerbates problems

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I want to voice a concern I have had for a long time.

Please, stop giving money to the panhandlers on all of the street corners. Many of these people likely are coming in from other states and are not local people.

Currently, there are many, many job openings, but no workers. And many businesses have to close early or shut down altogether due to the lack of workers.

I also feel that giving the panhandlers money is enabling them to not get help for any addictions or alcoholism they might have.

Police officers have told me that there are urine and feces in the doorways of the small businesses on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. In a nearby park, I almost stepped on a needle.

Charlottesville is a very giving city, with shelters, a free clinic, rehab centers and food banks, so it really isn’t necessary to give these folks money.

I also have witnessed scam artists: There was one man in the past who would just walk out from his apartment, dressed decently, and panhandle. Another drove up in a new car and put up a sign that he was homeless.

Giving these people money is actually holding them back from being honest or getting the help they need. I hope people can realize this, and that possibly some of these job openings can be filled with workers.

Cheryl Ann Morrison

Albemarle County

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