PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Pensacola, just like Escambia County, is looking to draft an ordinance that addresses soliciting and panhandling.
If you drive through the Pensacola area, you will likely see panhandlers at busy intersections asking for money.
“The difficult part is how do we enforce something and how do we enforce something fairly and legally,” Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves said.
Mayor Reeves said the city is looking into an ordinance to restrict soliciting and panhandling on the roads. Escambia County is doing the same.
“Sitting unsafely at a street corner, going out in the middle of an intersection, and the people in our community or the visitors in our community that are helping enable that is a significant problem,” Reeves said.
As the city works to address this problem, there are concerns about affordable housing and how the city can help the homeless.
“I think we need to have a conversation as a community about what’s the best way to help people who really need help,” Reeves said.
Mayor Reeves is looking at what it will take to open a new homeless shelter. It will likely involve subsidies and working with a community partner to operate it, he said.
“Right now I’m in the analysis mode of getting my entire arms around what the cost of a low barrier shelter is and what I’m calling an opportunity center,” Reeves said.