Panhandling in Amarillo: Is the Begging Getting Out of Hand?
I was driving around Amarillo the other day. I had several errands to run all over the city and one thing I kept noticing was nearly every intersection had panhandlers.
I looked at my fella and asked, "is it just me or are there more and more panhandlers these days."
I noticed that there were two different panhandlers at the intersection of I-40 W and Soncy, one on the sidewalk by the overpass and another on the median. Then as you turn onto Soncy, someone was at that median.
On Bell Street and I-40, I noticed one on the median and one standing by the turnaround.
Ross and I-40 had a panhandler on each median and on each corner.
At I-40 and Western, a man is sometimes sitting on the lawn by Blue Sky, creating paintings in exchange for money.
My editor told me that she was stopped at an intersection and a panhandler tapped at her window, she shook her head no, and he proceeded to try and open her door. She had her child in the car with her. This just shows that some of the panhandlers are getting aggressive with their betting. This is just another reason to keep your doors locked.
The City of Amarillo does have an ordinance against panhandling.
Sec. 10-3-41 says No person shall stand in a Street or highway and solicit, or attempt to solicit, employment, business or contributions from the occupant of any vehicle.
I recently noticed on Reddit that this question had also been asked, and most of the answers did point to the rise of Panhandling in Amarillo.
I may be a little cynical, but I know there are people in our city who truly need help. However, 9 times out of 10, it's normal people who stand on corners and make $200 a day tax-free.
I've actually witnessed a couple stand on a corner panhandling in dirty clothes, then at the end of the day, I saw that same couple down the road getting into a brand new Cadillac. Tell me that couple was homeless and needed money. I would say, no.
One of my former co-workers used to tell me about a cousin who panhandled. He made $100,000 a year tax-free.
I'm not saying all panhandlers are scamming you, I'm just saying be careful. If your heart leads you to give money, then that is your blessing to give, so give it freely.