fbpx
Dallas, TX
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
68°
English Español

Fine Print

English Español

Dallas Plans to Put an End to Panhandling

City

Man panhandling. | Image from Rapid Eye

Donate to Dallas Express to Keep it Free

The Dallas City Council has developed a new plan for individuals panhandling around the Dallas area.

The city aims to keep people from asking for money on the streets by linking them to social services that provide assistance. According to the Panhandling Deflection Program, people can access the services after being placed through the Dallas community courts system.

The city wants citizens in need to find better ways to get help. Director of the Dallas Office of Homeless Solutions, Christine Crossley, said, “What community courts does instead is figure out, ‘Well, how can we help you to pay those bills in a way that isn’t standing on the corner breathing in fumes for six hours?'”

According to the Dallas Observer, Dallas will also place panhandling-related interactions in a database online. The database will ensure that the homeless are getting the correct service, from mental health crisis teams to city marshals, said Crossley.

It is also worth noting that those with outstanding warrants or unpaid fines may end up in community courts or custody if they decline services.

Some advocates are concerned with the new method. Professor of public affairs and planning at the University of Texas at Arlington, Dr. Hannah Lebovits, says, “It’s not illegal to simply not have housing and to exist publicly. You have a constitutional right to ask people for money.”

In 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that banning panhandling violates free speech as protected by the First Amendment.

Crossley explained that the database is used more to help the authorities identify those who meet illegal solicitation criteria and those who do not.

Dallas’ new program was created in response to the increase of homeless people in the county. The program’s motto is “compassion plus enforcement.”

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments