About The Bay: SF Union Square Panhandlers Aggressive As Ever

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A new program by the San Francisco Police Department aims to crack down on aggressive panhandling in and around Union Square. But it doesn’t appear to be doing much to curb the persistence of those asking shoppers and tourists for a handout.

“Probably been approached 8 or 10 times I would say,” Phil Lucker of Fort Worth, TX, who was visiting San Francisco with his family.

“Really?” asked KCBS’ Mike Sugerman. “How long have you been here?”

“About two hours,” Lucker responded.

“It is terrible,” chimed in a man who calls himself iPadist, a DJ who plays tunes on his iPad in Union Square for tips. He says he works hard for the money, but points out not everybody does.

“And I have my hat, taking tips. A young lady takes out some money so I just grabbed her by her wrist and I didn’t want to hurt her but can you please release the funds please? I’m giving you the clean version of the story,” he explained.

About The Bay – KCBS’ Mike Sugerman reports:

A mobile command center was visible nearby, near the Powell and Market cable car turnaround. The command center is ground zero for Safe Shoppers, launched by SFPD as an extra presence for those buying presents. But the authorities can’t do much about the people asking … and asking … and asking for spare change, Sugerman found out anecdotally as he walked a several block stretch around Union Square one recent evening, observing a dozen people asking for change. Half of them approached Sugerman, too.

Police advise against giving panhandlers money.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Attila says:

    This reminds me to the South Park Episode “Spare some change”😀

  2. Ashley Salas says:

    They are like pigeons.. If you feed one you must feed them all! I have (honestly and sadly) no respect for the beggars that are downtown.

  3. JaneQPublic says:

    No true – if you give to one you can honestly tell the next beggar, Sorry, I already gave it to someone.

  4. Vern says:

    Tell em to call Obama

  5. FaRi says:

    LIVE TO GIVE. WHAT IS A FEW COINS GOING TO HURT YOU. IF YOU DON’T HAVE IT GIVE THEM A DOLLAR AND KEEP MOVING ON. G-D ALMIGHTY IS WATCHING US ALL, WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING THE LESS FORTUNATE. WE JUST NEVER KNOW WHEN WE MIGHT BE IN THERE SHOES. MAY G-D ALMIGHTY BLESS ALL THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING ON THE STREETS WITH A YEAR OF GOOD HEALTH,HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY IN ALL THERE ENDEAVORS. AMEN AND AMEN.

  6. dbarco says:

    In all my travels I have never seen such a horrible situation. SF has allowed the bums to ruin the beauty of the city and of course impact its draw as a tourist destination. One of the reasons SF has such a problem is the free money for street people and it attracts them from all over the country. I am all for helping the poor but to allow them to turn the ctty into a toilet is wrong.

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