Letter: Aggressive panhandlers are a real problem
In response to Barbara Keshen’s comment regarding panhandlers in Concord, “Is this a real problem, or is it a solution in search of a problem?” (“City may curtail begging,” Monitor front page, Jan. 22): Yes this is a real problem, Ms. Keshen.
The panhandling community in Concord has grown significantly in the past few years, and the panhandlers are getting more aggressive. I regularly use Exit 14 and I shop at the Fort Eddy Road Shaw’s supermarket. Panhandlers now stand at the end of the exit. They come right up to the edge of the road and hold their signs up to the cars. Yes, it is an uncomfortable feeling, but when my children are with me, it makes them feel unsafe to the point that they lock the doors.
Recently I was on Fort Eddy Road waiting in line to turn right onto Bridge Street. There was a panhandler on the sidewalk. As I started to move, he chased my car, holding his sign as close as he could to my passenger window. Did I feel uncomfortable? You bet! It scared me, and I’m glad my children were not with me.
We contribute regularly to organizations in the Concord area that help families who need assistance. I question whether what we see as the professional panhandlers are truly looking for that kind of help. There needs to be an ordinance regarding panhandling in Concord and it needs to be enacted now!
KAREN ROUILLARD BARRY