Citizens divided on town panhandling ordinances - 262 participants

Apr 07, 2015

In the past few years, numerous NH towns and cities have considered passing ordinances that would ban panhandling in public places. Lebanon is currently reviewing an ordinance that would allow individuals to still hold up signs asking for money, but forbid them from going into roadways to take or receive something from a vehicle. On April 07, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Do you support or oppose town panhandling ordinances?”

“Do you support or oppose town panhandling ordinances?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Town Panhandling Ordinances NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 262 participants gave 885 responses

A total of 51% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 49% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 262 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 885 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A strong majority, at 54% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to town panhandling ordinances. 

  • “If these people would be as fortunate like you and I, they wouldn’t ask for money. They are human beings like us.”
  • “I don't think a town can morally pass laws against it until it has done everything to come to a solution to helping these poor people.”

Yes: The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 46%, were in favor of town panhandling ordinances.   

  • “I believe it is dangerous for them to go up to cars and it is extremely intimidating. Something needs to be done.”
  • “This is not a form of free speech. Not all of them are on the up and up—some do it to buy drugs.”

Other: As noted above, 49% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • "The problem is deciphering between the true homeless that need and the ones that are out to make their way by begging."
  • "It's free drug, liquor, and cigarette money—tax free to boot."

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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