Life for panhandlers in South Florida is getting harder. Delray Beach may join several other South Florida cities in cracking down on the practice.
The city is not trying to outright ban panhandling, like it has been in some areas in Miami, but it is trying to legislate panhandling politeness.
The city is looking to add language to the municipal code defining what panhandling is and where it should be avoided. For example, it shouldn't happen within 15 feet of a sidewalk cafe or at bus stops.
The hope is that adding some restrictions will give the police a tool to not only penalize panhandlers in certain circumstances, but engage those who might be homeless.
Delray isn’t alone in cracking down on panhandling. Fort Lauderdale and Miami in have also added restrictions recently.
The Federal Supreme court has ruled that panhandling is protected under the First’s amendment. But so far, no one challenged crackdowns like the one proposed in Delray yet.