A dazzlingly stupid idea to combat beggars from Shirley Franklin

Stupid. This is what government is supposed to do in the eyes of Shirley Franklin, the “Mayor too busy to think.”

Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin said Wednesday the city is putting five “donation meters” downtown for people to contribute money for homeless outreach services.

The yellow and black meters are part of a new campaign to discourage pushy panhandlers — titled “Give Change That Makes Sense” — by city officials and community leaders.

Yes, these criminal beggars will stop their actions because there are donation meters that will be the conduit for them to get needed services.

I’m sure Franklin considers this a job well done and a good use of her time. Meanwhile, the Fire Department and Police Department are in shambles.


  1. Three Jack says:

    note the poll question posted by the ajc – “would you rather give money to a panhandler or donation meter” – where’s the third choice, none of the above, arrest the bums!

  2. John Konop says:

    I do think this is a bad idea but calling them “criminal beggars” is harsh. Many homeless people not only have financial problems, but they are victims of mental illness and or spousal abuse.

  3. Rogue109 says:

    I do think this is a bad idea but calling them “criminal beggars” is harsh.

    What they are doing is a crime. Those that are doing it are criminals.

    Hey, there’s a large swatch of the nation that are “criminal jaywalkers,” too (grin)!

  4. Rogue109 says:

    Yeah, and lets crank up the debtors prisons, too!

    They are already here. It’s what happens with child support cases and the deadbeat dads.

    You must not care about the children. Too bad.

  5. Tinkerhell says:

    “but they are victims of mental illness and or spousal abuse.”

    So how does walking the street begging for $ help out either of those situations? Get to a shelter if you have no other way to help yourself. If you are in such a mental decline that you are unable to do that then the police should be able to get you to a facility to provide assistance. Donations from the public should be going to those shelters not into the hands of random beggers on the street.

  6. Common Sense says:

    Rouge—You ever run through a light turning red, come to a rolling stop, buy something online and then not pay state sales tax?

    You dirty criminal!

  7. John Konop says:


    The major reasons and lack of causes for homelessness as documented by many reports and studies include:[14][15][16]

    Lack of affordable housing
    Unavailability of employment opportunities, which becomes a vicious circle due to the initial problem of being homeless
    Poverty, caused by many factors including unemployment and underemployment
    Lack of affordable healthcare
    Substance abuse and unavailability or lack of needed services
    Mental illness and unavailability or lack of needed services
    Domestic violence
    Prison release and re-entry into society
    Natural disaster
    Forced eviction – In many countries, people lose their homes by government order to make way for newer upscale high rise buildings, roadways, and other governmental needs.[17] The compensation may be minimal, in which case the former occupants cannot find appropriate new housing and become homeless.
    Mortgage foreclosures on homes in the United States in due to the crisis of a large number of shaky and sub-prime mortgages granted by banks and other lenders.[18]
    A substantial percentage of the U.S. homeless population are individuals who are chronically unemployed or have difficulty managing their lives effectively due to prolonged and severe drug and/or alcohol abuse.[19] Substance abuse can cause homelessness from behavioral patterns associated with addiction that alienate an addicted individual’s family and friends who could otherwise provide support during difficult economic times.

    Increased wealth disparity and income inequality causes distortions in the housing market that push rent burdens higher, making housing unaffordable.[20]


  8. Three Jack says:

    konop wrote, “I do think this is a bad idea but calling them ‘criminal beggars’ is harsh.”

    so i guess you probably think ‘illegal immigrant’ is downright mean.

  9. Chris says:

    According to WSB, All the money put into these boxes will go to homeless outreach and advocacy efforts.

    So, basically, its a shake-down to hire professional shake-down artists to go to Government to shake us down some more.

    Truly the Atlanta City Government is the Government too busy to think.

  10. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    Comparing illegal immigrants to homeless people from our country is irrational. Do you support taking in mentally ill people from other countries? I was not correcting the definition only the harsh tone. Unlike you I focus on issues.

    I am sure Rogue109 was not trying to use the comment for red meat to fire you up! Also he is smart to know that when throw homeless people in jail tax payers pay the bill. I know you have hard time thinking past your emotional talking points at times.

  11. atlantaman says:

    Unless they are planning on using the money from the “donation meters” to buy crystal meth and Thunderbird, I don’t think explaining to the panhandler that “you already gave at the donation meter” is going to appease him very much.

  12. heroV says:

    John Konop: nice job twisting the hell out of ThreeJack’s words. He did not compare illegal immigrants to “homeless” people. He compared illegal panhandlers to illegal immigrants.

  13. Three Jack says:

    thanks herov.

    konop, didn’t see rogue’s post until you mentioned it.

    using your logic – “smart to know that when throw homeless people in jail tax payers pay the bill.” – we no longer should arrest criminals because it cost taxpayers money. hmmm.

    maybe if this undocumented victim of society had been arrested earlier, the person he murdered would still be alive – from ajc story: “City leaders also say this is a public safety issue. A man was shot to death two weeks ago after arguing with a panhandler. A suspect was arrested and charged with murder.”

  14. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    Your solution for drug addicts, mentally ill, abused spouses and unemployed or underemployed is jail? Do you think about anyone but yourself? Someday when you grow up hopefully you will learn to walk in another man’s shoes!


    Do you really think a person that illegally comes to our country is the same as a panhandler? Please!!

  15. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    Should we throw everyone who has a speeding ticket in jail. Do you blame every person ever not arrested and thrown in jail for a traffic violation as responsible for all the deaths via accidents?

  16. atlantaman says:

    The donation meters have nothing to do with helping homeless people and everything to do with helping liberals have a warm fuzzy feeling for the rest of the day.

  17. Grrr says:

    Hey guys, the point is to guide the public to stop giving to individuals. If you stop giving money to panhandlers (it’s supply and demand), they’ll move on. The collection meters offer an alternative for those who want to assist in homelessness initiatives. It’s worked in Denver and, if properly supported with an educational component – which is being supported by the ACVB, Central Atlanta Progress, the convention center and hotels – it could work here.

  18. atlantaman says:

    If we reduce the supply won’t they become more demanding?

    A good bit of these folks are addicts, so if you stop “giving” them money won’t they start “taking” it to get their fix. I wonder if it will increase the crime rate.

    It’s not as if all these folks will just get a job if people stop giving them money and give them sandwiches and sleeping bags instead. The root problem is we have a bunch of homeless people (some are addicts, some are crazy and some are lazy) and whether they get spare change from folks, get help from a donation meter, or get no help at all – it will do nothing to change the root problem.

  19. Grrr says:

    Atlantaman, I agree some are addicts, some are crazy and some are lazy. The hope is, driving the addicts and crazies to get available assistance will mitigate the problem and hopefully the lazies won’t have the initiative to get too demanding.

    The regretful element of this program is that it is a six-month initiative.

    Denver launched a 10-year program two years ago and is experiencing success. Before the 10-year plan was established, each chronically homeless person on the streets of Denver was costing the city $40,000, says the mayor, citing shelter, health care, detox and incarceration.

    “That money went to nothing. It perpetuated lives of misery.”

    The program is more than meters … it includes housing and employment initiatives embraced by the community.

    There are no hard numbers on the success of the program in Denver, but city officials and downtown dwellers and retailers say panhandling has ‘plummeted.’

  20. liberator says:

    I would rather see some Babes out there with garter belts on to put dollar bills into! That would do more to spur the economy!

  21. heroV says:

    John Konop: of course I don’t think that a panhandler is the same as an illegal immigrant. Coming to this country illegally is a far greater offense. The point that you are COMPLETELY missing is that aggressive panhandling is ILLEGAL within a certain boundary in downtown Atlanta.

  22. gatormathis says:

    Point well taken, but “real” point widely missed.

    First you have to install the meters.

    Then someone has to collect the money.

    Parking meter funds were mandatory for those parking on the street, and when you minused administration of the money, you were usually way out of the budget. So much for revenue development, when revenue is a “plus-side” term.

    Beggar folks, meet Mr. Middleman.

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