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Asking for handouts is the way some people make a living. Human Services in Hampton estimates that less than a quarter of panhandlers in the city are actually homeless. What can the city do about panhandling? For the record, very little. Courts have ruled that asking for money is free speech, a basic Constitutional right. The city is putting up signs in areas frequented by panhandlers to make sure they know how to get services if they are truly homeless.
What can you do about panhandling? Don’t reward the behavior by giving money. It’s natural to want to help the homeless, so give your money to organizations that will use it to help those truly in need.