Task force takes aim at aggressive panhandling Uptown - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Task force takes aim at aggressive panhandling Uptown

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Following aggressive reports of panhandling in uptown Charlotte, a task force is being formed to meet on a quarterly basis to help find solutions to the problem.

The recommendation comes from Charlotte City Center Partners following the results of a survey conducted last month that surveyed many members of the homeless community across the city.

The report found that of the 171 people living on the streets, more than half of them lived in and around center city.

Of the number of people panhandling, 90 percent of them are not even the most vulnerable people that local agencies work with on a regular basis.

According to the report, many of them are not homeless and are earning up to $150 a day by panhandling.

"Homelessness and panhandling are two different things," said Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners.

"This is something that we're dealing with and it's something that's not going to be once and gone."

Currently, city ordinances prohibit aggressive panhandling, such as:

 -- Asking for money after dark

 -- asking for money a second time, after someone says no

 -- Asking for money from someone who is standing in a line

 -- Asking for money within 20 feet of an ATM, bank, taxi stand, bus stop, light rail station or outdoor dining area

 -- Asking for money on the bus or light rail

The task force will explore funding options to provide more outreach for people living on the streets and panhandling. 

It will also review the city's ordinances on panhandling.

"We're trying to make sure we're a step ahead of this," said Smith.

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