Houston's Panhandling Ban Now Just Weeks Away

Panhandling along streets and medians will soon end in Houston.

The City Council has passed an ordinance that bans people from asking for money along public streets.

It also bars homeless people from putting up tents and makeshift housing on public property.

The rules, which goes into effect in mid-May, also bar homeless people from blocking sidewalks and building doorways.

Mayor Sylvester Turner has long suggested that people not give money to panhandlers.

“What we know will solve the problem is if people don’t give – and I know sometimes that can be very gut-wrenching,” Turner said last December anti-panhandling efforts gained steam.

Begging for money has drawn growing complaints from people and businesses throughout the city, particularly southwest Houston.

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty objects to the ordinance. It says the city is enacting a punishment that essentially hits people when they’re down.

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