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Put panhandlers to work

Even though an ordinance was recently enacted by the city of Spokane to eliminate panhandling, there will continue to be downtrodden people at certain street corners in the city with signs asking for some degree of help. Regardless of any law, there will continue to be a mixture of the truly destitute and the downright scary panhandling at street corners.

These images hurt the city’s image, and there’s the risk that locals would rather speed through a changing traffic light than be stuck at a corner next to a panhandler. By necessity, those who seek help this way will always be found at the busiest and most dangerous intersections.

Economic times are hard and people are hurting. Rather than passing an ordinance and considering the problem solved, Spokane needs to take a more proactive approach. What this city needs is a program that will use these people for necessary but not always desirable work projects, and pay them for their work. Why use inmates to do work when poor people can be doing it for food and money?

They will rediscover their self-esteem and be less likely to turn to crime or occupy street corners.

Corbin Whitaker



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