Associated Press Published

Parkersburg Signs Discourage Helping Panhandlers


A panhandler in Parkersburg says signs posted by the city discouraging the practice give panhandlers a bad name.                                        

The signs ask people to not contribute to the drug and alcohol problem by giving to panhandlers.

Charles Kelly is a panhandler. He tells WTAP-TV that he doesn’t do drugs or drink alcohol. He also says he doesn’t go up to vehicles and ask for money.

Mayor Bob Newell had the signs placed in three areas of the city last week. He tells The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that the city has received complaints that people are intimidated by panhandlers.

Newell says he doesn’t think all homeless people are alcoholics or drug abusers. But he says resources are available for people who are in need.

According to a July 2011 fact sheet from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, 34.7% of sheltered adults who were homeless had chronic substance abuse issues.