I remarked yesterday on my Facebook page about the nicely dressed smoker man who panhandles at the intersection of Chapel View 4 corners (Socconosset and Route 2). As I sat at the light and watched several cars give this man that I see on most weekends and sometimes during the day, I was bothered.
It started 4 months ago when 2 little 9 year old boys were darting in-out at a traffic light at Reservoir and Park with Cans. They were with their dad who stood safely on the sidewalk. Coming from Boston, and having this to be a familiar sight in Dorchester, Roxbury etc., I knew it was a scam. Unlike the Fire Department that annually does this collection in a safe manner...I worried about the children and/or a driver being responsible for causing harm to this $$$ collection. I posted back then on the Mayor's site and called the Traffic Department at Cranston alerting them to the issue.
Several weeks later I took a phone picture of the Route 37/Pontiac Ave Panhandler that the Police had stopped. I was pleased to see this. Some of you will say, how cold hearted. Look, I do my part in donating food and my children are thrilled about baking some goodies and bringing them to the shelter. It is common sense if you give $$$, most likely it will fund a habit.
Now to the Panhandlers that I first mentioned, typically a man a woman team and it is really amazing how much they can make in a short time. What's alarming is they have been seen driving off in a nice car, smoking, drinking Duncan Donuts coffee etc. Then I think of the true homeless folks that they are taking away from. Some passengers have said they are aggressive, which goes against the current laws. Did you know they are able to panhandle, but must adhere to certain guidelines. I'm sure they are not given a sheet to alert them to "Rules of Panhandling", so how would one know really??
Do you see this as a Danger? Do you see this as something that might lower your homes value? Isn't it bad enough that we house the ACI in Cranston and now we have Panhandling. What do you think the solution is?