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Safety Ambassadors ride the streets
Safety Ambassadors ride the streets
Bike patrols help the community
Bike patrols help the community
Ambassadors call for help as needed
Ambassadors call for help as needed

Panhandling

Panhandling

Panhandling is one of the biggest deterrents to sidewalk traffic Downtown. To confront the issue of panhandling, DAP's Downtown Safety Ambassadors report instances of aggressive panhandling to the Akron Police Department. In cases of passive panhandling, ambassadors check panhandlers for valid city issued identification cards, offer social services assistance and in most cases just ask them to move on.

DAP has developed a brochure in an effort to educate the public regarding new laws governing panhandling and offering alternative ways to give assistance to the homeless and hungry population in the City of Akron.

The trifold contains key points of the law and names and telephone numbers of social service agencies and Downtown meal sites as well as suggestions for those wanting to donate their time or dollars to helping those in need.

To request brochures, call Downtown Akron Partnership at 330-374-7676.

You may also call us to request copies of the Akron Street Card produced by Project R.I.S.E., VISTA and the Veterans Service Commission, which covers additional services available to those in need in the Greater Akron area.

Download the Panhandling Brochure

Key Provisions of City of Akron Panhandling Ordinance

The City of Akron has taken measures to eliminate aggressive panhandling throughout the city. Panhandling is protected by freedom of speech laws. Communities like Akron are attempting to regulate its abuses.

Panhandlers are now required to register with the city (at no cost), to wear city-issued identification when panhandling and to conform to an approved manner and place of solicitation.

Areas off limits to panhandlers include within 20 feet of:

  • Banks and ATMs
  • Sidewalk cafes licensed by the city
  • Entrances to entertainment facilities
  • Schools and churches
  • Bus stops

Panhandlers may not:

  • Block your way
  • Use abusive language
  • Panhandle after sunset or before sunrise
  • Approach cars
  • Restrict pedestrian or vehicular traffic
  • Threaten, harass or otherwise cause you to feel you are in danger if you do not give ...to do so is aggressive panhandling.

EXPERTS RECOMMEND

If You’re Asked for Money:

 

  • Politely say “no” and walk away.
  • If a panhandler becomes aggressive or if you feel threatened, contact the police.

Consider this:

  • For some, panhandling is a profitable business, not an immediate need.
  • Panhandlers may not be looking for a meal, gas money or shelter.
  • Your dollars may go to support and enable destructive habits and dependencies.