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Operation New Birmingham, the City Action Partnership, Birmingham police and Mayor William Bell are united in the effort. It comes after developers, landlords and business owners have urged leaders to do something about panhandling, saying it's bad for business and hurts downtown's image.A public information campaign includes a call for people however well intentioned to stop giving money or other assistance to beggars in the city. People are being asked to call CAP or the police to report cases of aggressive panhandling.Flyers being distributed to businesses urge downtown workers and visitors to "Give a Hand Up Not a Hand Out: Saying 'No' to Panhandlers Is The Right Thing To Do."Teresa Thorne, head of CAP, says the anti panhandling campaign is not cruel or Adidas High Tops Mens White insensitive."In many cases, they are people with addictions, and the money they ask for does not go toward a bus ride home or a prescription or a meal. Sadly, it goes for a bottle of wine or a hit of cocaine or crack or a street pill," she said at an ONB breakfast meeting last week."Digging in your pocket for change may salve your conscience for a moment, but it doesn't change anything. And here's what it does do it encourages people to panhandle and not only does that help no one, it hurts downtown."John Lauriello, principal with Southpace Properties, said persuading a company to locate downtown is already difficult because of the city's occupational tax, its higher business license rates and parking fees. Panhandling makes it even harder, he Adidas Duramo 7 Men's Running Shoes

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´╗┐Begging in downtown Birmingham might get tougher

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panhandlers," he said. "People shouldn't feel they are helping the homeless by giving panhandlers money."Calvert said though many downtown workers and visitors ignore panhandlers and walk away, others feel intimidated or uncomfortable when approached. He said reporting panhandlers can ensure that they get help they need if they need it.Calvert said the campaign will make it easier to direct needed assistance to the real homeless in the city.Lauriello said he believes panhandlers pose a threat to downtown rejuvenation efforts including the Railroad Park, which opens in September."The worst thing that could happen is having a bunch of homeless people, vagrants and panhandlers hanging around that park Red Harden Vol 1

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Adidas High Tops Mens White

Adidas High Tops Mens White

Adidas High Tops Mens White

Adidas High Tops Mens White

added."I had a firm in town recently that reluctantly looked downtown at a building," Lauriello said. "Two of the guys pulled up to a meter at the building and were hit up by a panhandler right after they got out of the car. We walked to the building they were going to look at and someone had left their bedroll in a mess in the doorway. The two guys said, 'John, find us something over the mountain. We don't want to come down here. This isn't the kind of place we want to be.'"Lauriello said he and other businesses and property owners have complained for several months about the growing problem, which some believe is tied to the weak economy. They met with the mayor and police department last week. Now, ONB and CAP are rolling out the public awareness campaign."To their credit, they are responding," Lauriello said.Michael Calvert, president of ONB, said under the definition of "aggressive panhandling" in the city's 1996 ordinance, almost every beggar is breaking the law. He said the law is rarely enforced."Most panhandlers are not homeless and most homeless are not Adidas Shoes High Tops For Girls Purple

or bothering people wanting to go to the park to have lunch or walk around or go to an event," he said.

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