Local News

Raleigh passes strict panhandling ordinance

Posted February 1, 2011

— City leaders are making panhandling in Raleigh a little bit tougher by restricting the time, place and manner in which someone can beg for money.

On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council unanimously approved an amended ordinance that goes beyond a previous law requiring panhandlers to apply for a city permit to beg.

The new ordinance takes effect March 18 and bans panhandling in school zones, within 100 feet of any ATM or within 20 feet of any business, residence or outdoor dining area.

Panhandlers will be in violation of the ordinance if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, make threatening statements or use abusive language, beg in groups of three or more or use false or misleading information.

They can beg only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Violating the new rules is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.


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  • musthavecoffee Feb 2, 2011

    You know, I'm pretty sure there are homeless shelters downtown that will give them a cot and a hot meal or two. They just cannot continue their habit in the shelter; I guess drugs is better than a warm bed and a hot meal.

  • howdiditgettothis Feb 1, 2011

    I have to agree with johnnyboy.

    Give if you choose to, and if you don't choose to - then don't.

    I would be less inclined to give if I felt harrassed or intimidated, or if I felt at all "unsafe."

    What makes me more mad are those who take welfare, medicaid, food stamps, etc. and are fully capable of working and being responsible for themselves.

  • lil157 Feb 1, 2011

    I hear so many comments about they need to get a job! Great you need a address and clothes and transportation, did I leave out there has to be a job to get!!!!!At one time there used to be jobs and a way to earn money! NOT ANYMORE!!!!If you live in a county where there is no transportation,jobs and help what do you do then? NOT everyone begging is a drunk,drug addict or lowlife! People have a heart I am NOT saying begging is the answer as its clearly not! How about some ideas that WILL help!

  • lil157 Feb 1, 2011

    Yea they have money to pay a fine! Thats why they are begging??? Is it me or is there a problem?

  • Patriot1 Feb 1, 2011

    I have also seen these guys on new bicycles and even mopeds. Saw one last summer driving a lawnmower in the streets with a trailer between Cornerstone and the store by there.

  • Patriot1 Feb 1, 2011

    I live downtown and can tell you the ones I see all the time hang out at Cornerstone which is a shelter that provides shelter and food. Everyday at 8am they come from there and go to the convience store across the street and buy booze and drink in Cornerstones parking lot which should not be allowed since our taxes are paying for these bums to hang out and drink at a facility that is suppose to be helping them. Once saw a bunch of them going thru a package that one of them stashed between a building and a house behind Cornerstone. Obviously stolen from somebodys place. Had a guy from over there knocking on doors at night asking for money. They are trouble and hope they get pushed out of the city limits. Most of the ones I see are in their 20's to 40's and perfectly capable of finding a job. One note to add is Cornerstone is on the edge of Boylen Heights. Guess the Mayor getting tired of these guys being so close to where he lives.

  • james27613 Feb 1, 2011

    Better idea,

    Setup a begging line in the city downtown.

    You get your permit, get in line, get some change and then you
    move to the back of the line.

    When people realize that giving money to these people is not a good idea, they begging line will be empty.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Feb 1, 2011

    spahl1227: "$500 fine? How would a panhandler pay a $500 fine??"

    Easily. They make more money panhandling than they could working a low wage job. They make good money being lazy.

  • james27613 Feb 1, 2011

    When I worked in NY City, there was this one man, large fellow, leg wrapped up with fabric, crutch, old clothes and he had a old metal Choc Full of Nuts coffee can for change. He would limp along Penn Station and get change.

    I noticed him later in the day walking the street in dress shirt and slacks, big smile on his face!

    No wonder he was smiling, think of all the money he was making in a few hours, TAX FREE.

  • james27613 Feb 1, 2011

    They are all over the place, from the overpass at Southpoint Mall just off I-40, even have the pet dog with them.

    Sorry but I worked three jobs, one FT and two PT, at one time in my life and they can do the same.