Staunton City Council discussing measures to take to combat panhandling and safety in the city

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 12:59 AM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Thursday night, Staunton City Council discussed panhandling in the city and ways they can better keep drivers and those in need safe.

“You’re putting people out there within a few feet of 25, 35, 45-hundred-pound vehicles and something happens you know that somebody could get hit or God forbid get killed,” Mark Robertson, Staunton City Councilman said.

Council discussed other Commonwealth cities with signage up encouraging drivers to donate to local charities that can help those in need instead.

“It says for their safety and yours don’t give to solicitors, support a local charity instead and then it gives the Henrico logo and then a website,” Robertson said.

Discussion was had about whether they would want to put a website or a phone number on the sign for people to reach out to donate or for help, or if they wanted to keep it generic by simply stating donate to a local charity instead.

”Folks want to give, everyone has a good heart, and everyone wants to give we would like to see people give safely and effectively,” Michele Edwards, Staunton City Council member said.

City staff plans to look at the effectiveness of signs and different resources they can use for those who want to donate.

They plan for this discussion to be back on a work session agenda in Oct.