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LETTER: Las Vegans should stop giving money to panhandlers

Homeless people are appearing on corners all over town, ready to take your hard-earned money and spend it on “food.” Equipped with their shopping cart mobile homes and cardboard signs, they are poised and ready to demand your money. They walk out in between cars, which becomes a problem when the light turns green. And I have had a couple of them slap my car and spit on my car when I refused to give them money, which arguably is a form of intimidation.

There is a wheelchair set up on a corner around from my work — four homeless people share this location. They change out and sit in the wheelchair asking for money. They frighten tourists and overall are not good for the reputation of our city.

According to the city of Las Vegas website, we have more than 7,500 homeless at any given time. More than 34,000 people will experience homelessness in our city at some time during the year. To chip away at this problem, the city has started a proactive outreach program to seek out and help the homeless. A flier was produced that lists all of the services a homeless person would need to start getting his life back on track.

I say we resort to a capitalistic approach: If everyone would stop giving the homeless money, they would stop asking for money. Then the ones who really want help will go seek out actual help. The ones who don’t want the help are the ones we don’t want living in our city.

Instead of money, I’ve started handing them the city fliers with a list of social services available to them. If everyone else would do the same, we can all be ambassadors for our city and help clean up our streets — and possibly encourage someone to get the help he needs.

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