Title:Panhandling in Winnipeg: Legislation vs support services : volume 1 : executive summary.
Author(s):Carter, Tom|split|Friesen, Anita|split|Polevychok, Chesya|split|Osborne, John
Subject:Employment – general|split|Unemployment – general|split|Urban issues – general
Publisher:University of Winnipeg
Place of Publication:Winnipeg
Date of Publication:2007
Panhandling, the act of stopping people on the street or in public or private spaces to ask for food or money, has long been part of the urban environment. The activity generates various reactions from people: some see it as a sign of poverty and lack of services including affordable housing for marginalized groups. Others view it as having a negative effect on businesses. Some perceive panhandling to be the outcome of alcohol and substance abuse; the result of family breakdown; or as the actions of those unable or unwilling to sustain themselves by other activities.
The negative reaction to panhandling by a substantial proportion of the public has prompted legislation to either control and/or eliminate panhandling. In response, the City of Winnipeg passed legislation that prohibits some methods of panhandling, and places restrictions on some aspects of panhandling activity, particularly as it relates to specific types of services or locations in the city. This project is designed to answer the following questions regarding the need for, and the effectiveness of, this legislation:
1. given the nature, number and activity of panhandlers in the city, is this legislation an appropriate response to the circumstances?
2. based on the results of this research and the experience of other cities, is the legislation likely to be effective? and,
3. drawing on the findings of the research and experience in other cities, are there more effective means of addressing the issues of panhandling? Is legislation the answer or should the focus be on services and programs to address systemic problems that lead to panhandling in the first place?