CITIES AROUND THE STATE OF WASHINGTON ARE TAKING ANOTHER LOOK AT PANHANDLING ORDINANCES…. AFTER THE STATE SUPREME COURT SAID OUTLAWING BEGGING IS A VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT YOU CAN ASK PEOPLE FOR MONEY BUT YOU CAN NOT CREATE A SAFETY ISSUE….. SPOKANE’S PANHANDLING ORDINANCE PASSED FIVE YEARS AGO ….. THIS LAW IS ENFORCED MORE RIGOROUSLY DOWNTOWN … BUT NOT IN OTHER PARTS OF THE CITY. KXLY 4’S CAROLINE FLYNN. WORKING FOR YOU….. CAROLINE, WHY DOES THE CITY SAY IT’S NOT ENFORCED ON THE NORTHSIDE WHERE IT APPEARS TO BE A GROWING PROBLEM? THAT IS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO PROTECT FUNDRAISING GROUPS THAT MAKE BIG MONEY DOING THE SAME THING PANHANDLERS DO EVERY DAY…. THINK ABOUT THE FILL THE BOOT CAMPAIGN FIREFIGHTERS PUT ON EVERY YEAR FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY…. THEY MAKE CLOSE TO 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN ONE DAY. IT WOULDN’T BE LEGAL TO LET APPROACH DRIVERS IN THE STREET, BUT BAN OTHER PEOPLE FROM DOING THE SAME. BUT SOME NORTH SIDE BUSINESSES SAY SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. FOR YEARS PANHANDLING HAS BEEN A PROBLEM IN SPOKANE…. WHILE THERE’S AN ORDINANCE ON THE BOOKS THAT MAKES PANHANDLING A CRIME IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA BUT IT’S NOT A HIGH PRIORITY. Councilman Breean Beggs City of Spokane I think the truth is, is that the panhandling ordinances aren’t being enforced anywhere in the city cause its a lower priority. 6 Councilman Breean Beggs City of Spokane The discussion was, is that really worth our time of our precious police resources 3 ASK ANY BUSINESS IN THE NORTHTOWN SQUARE REGION OFF DIVISION AND WELLSLEY AND THE ANSWER IS ABSOLUTELY. FOR THEM, PANDHANDLING PROBLEMS APPEAR TO BE MIGRATING NORTH TO THEIR AREA AFTER SOME CORNERS DOWNTOWN BECAME LESS ACCESSIBLE FOR PANHANDLERS . NEARLY A DOZEN BUSINESSES I SPOKE WITH TODAY SHARED STORIES OF HARASSMENTAND THEFT BY PEOPLE THEY BELIEVE TO BE HOMELESS– FOR PUEBLO AMIGO RESTAURANT. DISTURBANCES HAVE BEEN SO SCARY, POLICE HAVE BEEN CALLED. Korena Packnett Pueblo Amigo She started throwing things and causing a ruckus and at that point me and the owner were kind of afraid 8 Korena Packnett Pueblo Amigo Its kind of like a little sad that we have to do it but its something we put in to place to make sure every single one of our employees gets home safely. 8 AS SCARY AS IT GETS. THEY ALWAYS TRY TO HELP THOSE LOOKING FOR MONEY. Korena Packnett Pueblo Amigo if someone comes in and says hey we will clean your parking lot, for a meal, we definitely let them do that. 7 KORENA THINKS THAT IS THE ANSWER – MORE HELP FOR THE NEEDY. IT SEEMS THE CITY IS ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH. Councilman Breean Beggs City of Spokane We just funded a project called Project Hope, there’s going to be a van that goes to corners where there are panhandlers and offer them real jobs, right then that they can get cash money that day. 9 Korena Packnett Pueblo Amigo You can be a beacon of light for them and their life 2 THE CITY ALSO DISCUSSED CRACKING DOWN ON PANHANDLING ALL OVER SPOKANE. AND MAKING NON-PROFITS THAT WOULD LIKE TO RAISE MONEY BY DONATION GET A PERMIT TO DO SO. LIVE ON THE NORTHSIDE OF SPOKANE. CAROLINE FLYNN KXLY 4 NEWS.