When Patch ran a story yesterday about a Milford resident creating a petition for “action against panhandling” in the city, his goal was to attract 1,000 signatures.
At the time he had just six signatures, and just one day later it’s up to 174 signatures.
Milford resident Lenny Addario, who started the petition drive, states on Facebook:
“I am the one who started the petition to impose some sort of fine or law against these people. I also have been the first to donate or help others in need family, friends and strangers. These people who are consistently out there have been seen by many getting into and out of the drivers seat of reasonably nice cars, and on smart phones. They have refused work when offered.
"They are always clean cut and appear to be well fed. Their clothes appear to be washed regularly. They can apply for jobs and work if they have all the above. And if they don't and they are truly homeless there are places in and around Milford that can help them. I can't say all of them because I don't know for sure but most are scammers preying on the kind-hearted taking advantage of Milford's good nature "the little city with a big heart… But these people do not belong here not in my town preying on Milford's good nature.”
A majority of commenters echoed Addario’s sentiment, but some didn’t.
Steph Cuzino wrote on Facebook: “Saddened that so many Milford residents want to make the less fortunate simply "go away.” Gentrification, anyone? The problem still exists even if you don't see it. And for the record, the problem is not people begging for money. The problem includes, but is not limited to, limited resources for those in need via shelters, jobs, access to affordable mental health and medical care or addiction services; and the systemic roundabout of the systems that keep people impoverished right where they are.”
Below is a sampling of the comments. And here’s another chance to tell us what you think: What’s the best way to address panhandlers in Milford? Tell us in the Comments section below.
Veronica Marie Thennes: It's sad! I am more than willing to give food and even money to someone who is really in need. The issue is with all the scamming you can't tell who truly is in need.
Adam Wisniewski: Yeah I have been seeing a lot of these people in Milford lately I have lived in Milford most of my life and it has never really been to big of an issue but lately there just everywhere in Milford it's getting to be a problem in my opinion.
Barbara Wood Carroll: Tragic that people have such difficulties being faced with the harsh reality there are homeless, disenfranchised, mentally ill people in Milford. Where would you like them to go? Or if they have nothing (no car, no cell phone, etc) , then would it be ok for them to ask for help?
Tom List: I welcome the end to panhandling in Milford it is an eye sore! I help as many people as I can each year, but there is nothing wrong with them helping them-self along the way.
Aimee Morgan Chase: I signed it! It's not that I am a giving person but its uncomfortable. They stare you down and roll their eyes. I have seen it all. When one is on every corner there is a problem. Time to get a job like everyone else in America!
Karin Gilbert: I feel like people need to show a little more compassion. Until you know someone's story or what they're going through, don't be so quick to judge.
Cornell Schreiber: Don't know how many people remember back when their signs would read "Homeless, Hungry, Will work for food, please help" I watched over by Barnes & Noble as a woman went over to McDonalds and bought a large sack of food, handed it to the guy, after she was clean out of sight, he tossed the food into the bushes as though it was a bag of trash.
Bill Briggs: It’s overwhelming how blatantly in compassionate people can be. We should start a petition to get rid of all the selfish, self absorbed, people who can't differentiate the diff between need and want and can't function without finding something to complain about.
Peggy Hall O’Hara: I can't stand seeing the panhandlers, the one by the truck stop tells you how much you should give him and it changes depending on what day it is!!!