Local News

Fayetteville Leaders Want to Ban Panhandling

Posted March 13, 2007

— Some Fayetteville leaders tell WRAL News that they want a new ordinance that would ban panhandling in the All-American City.

Currently, panhandling is legal as long as a person asking for money does not step into the street or block traffic. In most other cities, the behavior is restricted.

Those wanting the ban say panhandling is a growing problem, especially near shopping areas. Some locals say they feel pressure to give.

"It's a scam," said Stacy Swinton, who serves as the Homeless Project Officer for the Fayetteville Police Department. "A lot of them that do that, pull into Wal-Mart, park their nice cars and go to the corner, put on some grubby clothes. They make a living off that."

Local police say that panhandlers can sometimes collect up to $400 in a day and that, in general, they pocket the money or use it for drugs instead of food.

Larry Buckner, known as "Radar" on the streets, however, says not all panhandlers are trying to scheme the public or make a living off of begging for money.

"I need to have some way to eat," said Buckner, who has been on the streets for more than a year. He said he does not drink and is trying to get a job.

"Fayetteville needs a different solution besides putting the homeless in jail or putting them on a bus out of here," Buckner added.

City leaders say they have only discussed an ordinance and that nothing has been proposed. They expect to work out the details within the next couple of months.

In the meantime, Swinton urges the public not to give money to panhandlers. Instead, they should donate fund or useful goods, such as blankets, clothing and hygiene items to the Homeless Project.

Donations can be made at the Fayetteville Police Department at 467 Hay St.. For more information, call 910-433-1846 or 910-433-1033.


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  • smoothtip99 Mar 22, 2007

    Slantedfacts...what are you talking about?

  • Deep thoughts Mar 21, 2007

    I have observed that the folks who are really down on their luck and probably need to panhandle, never ask anyone for anything. Those are the people I give to.

  • Heelzrule Mar 21, 2007

    Lawman428 - I'm with you. It has gotten out of hand. These folks have a "system" . I'm all for helping out anyone in need (and I do), but our allowing this to happen is not helping - it is enabling.
    a good day to all.....

  • Watcher Of Things Mar 16, 2007

    OKAY - I'm ready to start a non profit LLC to fund one way non stop one time ONLY free flights to San Fransisco - any donors out there to assist in the funding?

    To bad so many church's go against the Bible's leadership.

    AKA Praise the word screw the facts ....

    Look at 2 Thessalonians - Chapter 3 verse 10 and the whole chapter at http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/2Th/2Th003.html#10

    ANY church who supports a soup kitchen or a food bank is WRONGING the poor and leading them AWAY from the correct way to be.

  • paddie Mar 15, 2007

    It is getting really bad to the point where it's spreading to smaller towns. We need a state wide ban!

  • Tarheeljunior Mar 14, 2007

    In Chapel Hill, the begging is terrible on Franklin Street. Out here, they don't even hide the fact that they are drunk and high. Last week, a guy walked up to my fiance and I and told us he has drunk and needed money because he spent all of his on booze. Atleast he was honest. They are agressive sometimes and will grab females by the arm if it is late and they are alone. Panhandling needs to be illegal everywhere.

  • EagleGirl Mar 14, 2007

    I wish the ban was statewide. I have had people pull on my car doors at stop lights. Why they think I have money I don't know. My Chevy Cavalier is very far from fancy. I keep my doors lock and mace in the car.

  • another opinion Mar 14, 2007

    Deport them to Cuba. Castro sent us his.

  • Bob3425 Mar 14, 2007

    This should be ban, will work for food my a$$. Ask them to work and see what response you get. Put them in jail for the night..after dinner and release them before breakfast. Fine them what ever amount of cash they have on them. Day lost.

  • Lawman428 Mar 13, 2007

    I wish Wake County would do something. It seems that every week they just move further and further out into the county. They even have it down to where they work in shifts at certain street corners.