Drivers could soon be fined for helping panhandlers on the streets of Fresno


You could soon face a fine for giving money to panhandlers on the streets of Fresno.

The ordinance will go up for a vote Thursday.

If passed, it will make it illegal for anyone inside a car to hand out money, food or other items to panhandlers at intersections and crossroads. 

The first time a driver gets caught, they will be warned.

But if it become a repeat offender the dirver will be fined $75 and up to $300.

Councilmember Luis Chavez is a co-sponsor of the ordinance.

He said panhandlers create big problems for the city.

He said the goal is to stop the panhandling by citing those who encourage the act.

Chavez said this ordinance will help get more homeless off the streets and take care of safety issues but others said it’s targeting residents who are just trying to do a good deed. 

“I have gotten a lot of calls in my office about almost hitting these individuals or getting hit,” said Chavez. 

“It’s going to hurt the charitable giving of residence in Fresno,” said councilmember Miguel Arias. 

Arias who opposes the ordinance, believes police resources could be better used elsewhere.          

If passed Thursday, the ordinance will go into effect for one year. 

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