Panhandling problems in Lancaster

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LANCASTER, Pa. - There has been an uptick in the amount of people panhandling in Lancaster according to the Lancaster City Alliance.

"Passive handling just standing with a sign is a quality of life issue, but it’s not against the law and we’re seeing an uptick in those holding signs asking for money," said David Aichele, Lancaster City Alliance.

The Alliance and the Lancaster Downtown Investment District are working with other organizations to find the best way to combat the issue. They have given businesses sign that say "It's okay to say No to panhandling". The signs encourage people to call 2-1-1 to find access to counseling, food, clothing and shelter. They furthermore encourage people to give to organizations that help the homeless like, the Lancaster County Council of Churches and the Water Street Ministries, rather than to give cash directly to the panhandler.

City Police are cracking down on aggressive panhandlers and the city is working to see what ordinances are already in place that could combat panhandling like the fact you cannot step out into traffic to retrieve money, it is considered obstructing traffic.

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