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Flint Township plans action on intersection panhandlers

Brian D. Hawkins
Creative Commons

Asking for money from someone in a car could soon be banned in Flint Township.    Panhandlers - and their potential benefactors in vehicles - could be fined up to $500.

Jerry Preston is chairman of the township's Begging and Solicitation Committee.

He says panhandling in the public right-of-way is unsafe, both for the occupants of the vehicles, and the panhandler.

Preston says the problem is growing exponentially. 

Panhandlers are showing up regularly at intersections and roadsides throughout the township. 

Local police have had to respond to people fighting over a spot to panhandle, and some of the people begging for money may not need it as much as they say.

Preston says area churches tried to give jobs to some of the panhandlers --

"They maybe would work half a day or a day and say, no, I can make more money being on the street begging."

Township police will urge panhandlers to get help from the United Way, before handing out tickets.


Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.