A preacher at the Salvation Army once told me to stop giving money to panhandlers.

beggars become ever more aggressive and people stop coming to town

He said to send them his way and he would look after them.  It’s how you determine the really needy versus people who may be operating a scam.

One of the things that surprised me when I first moved to Twin Falls was the large number of beggars on the streets.  Before political correctness, they were called bums, vagrants and hobos.  Some are homeless, some have addictions and some have mental illness or combinations thereof, but I also believe a few are just fleecing a good-hearted public.

Panhandling isn’t illegal, but if a fellow has a sign and it tells you he needs to buy gasoline and he doesn’t have a car, then I guess it would be fraud.

What concerns me going forward is there are cities where this has become a serious problem.  The beggars become ever more aggressive and people stop coming to town.  The merchants suffer and the so-called civil libertarians believe shopkeepers somehow deserve what they get.