Letter: What’s up with panhandlers at intersections?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[Regarding “Street Signs: How Is Asheville Addressing Panhandling?” Sept. 28, Xpress:] Can anyone explain why panhandlers at street intersections usually remain stationary even when the traffic light is red for cars headed in their direction? It seems strange that they don’t walk down the line of cars that are waiting for the light to turn.

I thought there might be some rule prohibiting them approaching drivers, but as I read the rules, the prohibitions only seem to be against threatening persons in cars.

— James Greene


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4 thoughts on “Letter: What’s up with panhandlers at intersections?

  1. SpareChange

    Personally, I’m really not looking for panhandlers to be even more intrusive and active by coming up to the window/door of people’s car. I get somewhat alarmed when any stranger walks up to my car, where they are then in a position to open a door or reach through a window. Others might respond even more defensively than I. It’s better and safer for everyone concerned if they remain stationary, where people who wish to give them money (but PLEASE DON’T) motion to them or make eye contact.

  2. Taxpayer

    They shouldn’t approach a car uninvited and most don’t. The panhandlers around Tunnel Rd are more aggressive than most though. Roll up windows, lock doors. They’re obviously here to stay.

  3. Lynn R

    As I was visiting a particular store in Johnson City, TN I noticed a homeless person sitting practically in the store’s entrance. To get into the store required that I knock to get the attention of an employee. Once I browsed and located the item I wanted to purchase, I brought it to the checkout counter. It turned out that the man that was checking me out was the store owner. The store owner asked from where I came and I told him Asheville, NC. The man seethed and vehemently said, “D you see that man on the sidewalk? Well, he’s homeless and refuses to let customers in my door until they give him money.” He continued by saying he called the police numerous times and they make him move on. He said the guy always returns. Because of his erratic behavior the store owner is forced to lock his doors and give people entrance when they knock. This store owner then hit me with this revelation. He said he asked the homeless man from where he came? The man told the store owner that Asheville bussed a bunch of them to Johnson City. The man then told the store owner that he was originally in Charlotte, NC with others in a homeless camp. He told the store owner how leaders in Charlotte quietly bussed an entire group of them to Asheville. It made sense why this store owner despised people from Asheville. Cities need to find a way to take care of people, rather than bussing them out to become the burden of another city. How about treating the homeless like humans with feelings and treat those with mental illnesses to be able to function properly again? Develop a training program to teach them a trade thus enabling them to work. Not all homeless people are drug users and not all of them are violent. They have fallen in hard situations that were no fault of their own in a lot of cases. There is a percentage of the homeless who want to live off the grid for personal reasons. This percentage is difficult to reach. Bussing the homeless from one city to another is the equivalent of budding the migrants. Think about it.

  4. WNC

    So you want all the southern boarder cities, and counties to keep the untold millions of illegal crossers who are butting in front legal crossers. How sympathetic of you to want non sanctuary cities to endanger their citizens, ruin their schools, break their budgets, deal with mental illness, crimes, dead bodies, and a host of problems while making billions of dollars for the cartels ( under the Biden Cartel Financial Stimulation Plan) which is causing inflation for the price of crossers and not to mention human trafficking.
    So called sanctuary cities are name only.
    Martha Vineyard has some of the richest households in America. They went crazy at the thought of being a sanctuary cities as they had proclaimed their support earlier,
    This is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th house crowd who had vacant houses on the island for the most part but couldn’t stand the thought of allowing homeless immigrants to live their empty houses. The same crowd who “support” green energy but prevented wind turbines from being on their shores 25 years ago with the help of “super green” Ted Kennedy and family.
    If time was’t an issue we would talk about NYC crying about being devastated by a small fraction of 1% of immigrants.
    Lynn R sounds like your from the same mold, by the way Asheville has people bussed to it in the dark of night regularly.
    Most of the fentanyl comes across the border. Some folks who say they care for the dear immigrants are poisoning their citizens, kids, schools, adults many of which are now panhandlers. This shows ignorance or plan destruction either way same result.

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