Signs go up in Kennewick discouraging people from giving to panhandlers

Signs go up in Kennewick discouraging people from giving to panhandlers

Say no to panhandling. Contribute to the solution. Give to local charities.

That’s what Kennewick police are asking you to do instead of handing out money or food to people on street corners.

23 signs were installed Tuesday at 17 intersections in Kennewick in an effort to discourage drivers from giving to panhandlers.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to panhandling,” said Sgt. Aaron Clem with Kennewick police. “We’re trying to recommend to people that instead of giving to panhandlers to solve their problem for a day or for a meal, to contribute to the local charities that can help solve their problems long-term.”

The signs were put up at multiple intersections including West 27th and Quinault Avenue and near the Starbucks at Clearwater Avenue and 395.

Panhandling has been legal in Kennewick since last year. The city repealed a law banning panhandlers after a state supreme court decision ruled a similar law in Pierce County as unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

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