Portland, Maine, is considering a proposal that will solve the issue of panhandling as well as jobless in the city. In an effort to give hope to panhandlers, the city of Portland is planning on offering them jobs.
The pilot program that Portland officials are cooking will initially go on for 36 weeks, according to a report posted on FOX News. The results of the pilot program will determine whether the largest city in Maine will allow it to become a main fixture on their list of social programs.
Aggressive panhandling is technically illegal under Portland's laws. The issue is affecting tourism as city government fears that it will drive away tourist, thus affecting the income of businesses that rely on the influx of visitors in the city. Residents are also against panhandlers, thinking that they are a nuisance.
Press Herald reported that panhandlers who will get the job offers under the pilot program will be asked to clean up parks and do some light labors. The pay will be $10.68 per hour, and the city will release the payment at the end of each working day.
While there is no law that prohibits visitors and residents from giving money to panhandlers, the city is trying its best to discourage them from doing so. Some cities in the United States are urging visitors and residents to donate their money to charities instead of giving them to local panhandlers.
Panhandlers are also considered a safety issue for American cities. There are concerns that some panhandlers might also turn to a life of crime if they cannot raise enough money from begging.
Some panhandlers have mental or physical issues that prevent them from securing any stable job, while some are blaming the lack of jobs for their plight. Some are also victims of abuse from residents and visitors and most are homeless. Jobs & Hire previously reported that a McDonald's crew had been fired for his cruel treatment of a homeless man.