What to Do About Panhandling

May 5, 2014

Dave, who declined to give his last name, panhandles on a median in Portland in July 2013.
Credit Patty Wight/Maine Public

The city of Portland has been at the center of the storm over the issue of panhandling, but other Maine communities are also grappling with it and discussing whether to put limits on people soliciting money from passers-by. In Portland, a ban on panhandling from median strips was ruled unconstitutional earlier this year and now the city is appealing that ruling. In Augusta last week, the police chief made news by using a cardboard sign to stage his own anti-panhandling protest. And other communities are trying to decide how to best balance the rights of the panhandlers with public safety.