KSAL Staff - May 20, 2014 11:25 am
The City of Salina and the Salina Police Department have recently received numerous complaints regarding panhandlers in the community.
“Panhandling is more of a societal problem than it is a law enforcement issue,” according to the departments. “An easy solution to the panhandling problem is to not give money to panhandlers.” “Giving them money discourages from seeking services they may truly need and encourages them to continue doing what they are.”
Salina does have ordinances forbidding aggressive panhandling which entails threatening approaches, following, physical contact or verbal threats in which you can contact authorities.
“Panhandling will cease to be an issue in our community if the community collectively decides to cease giving individuals money for dubious reasons at best.” It can actually be harmful to the city to give panhandlers money as it diverts it from going towards assistance programs in place designed to help those in need.
The Police Department and City of Salina ask that you instead donate to programs such as Catholic Charities, Emergency Aid Food Bank, Salina Area United Way or the Salvation Army.