Begging For Money At Street Corners, What's Allowed In The City?

By Stephanie Parkinson

July 23, 2013 Updated Jul 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Panhandling is becoming a common occurrence in Fort Wayne, but is anyone wanting to change that?

Tom Didier, President of Fort Wayne City Council, admits he doesn't like seeing panhandling in his community but says they have a constitutional right to do it. In the city you often see these people begging for money outside shopping centers.

A few years ago City Council actually reversed a law that banned panhandling in the city... because the council believed banning panhandling violated the constitution.

Today five of the nine council members. who voted on that, are still on council. So Didier finds it unlikely a change in the law would be supported, but he has other advice for his constituents.

"I think it would be a difficult one, to change because of it being possibly unconstitutional, to not let them do it. Again it comes down to common sense within people. To make sure that you're giving the people food, possibly clothing of some nature or things like that but don't ever give them money," said Tom Didier, (R) Fort Wayne City Council President.

The areas where panhandlers, or any organization asking for money are legally allowed to stand is on the right of ways. They are not legally allowed to use the medians, but in many cases people do and the law is not often enforced.

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