New panhandling law proposed in Du Quoin

New panhandling law proposed in Du Quoin
By: Arnold Wyrick

DU QUOIN, Il. - Drive down main street in Du Quoin, and welcome signs greet you from virtually every light post. And Du Quoin's city leaders tell Heartland News they do welcome everyone to their town.

But there's a growing problem with some of the activity happening on Du Quoin streets. And that involves strangers asking other people for money. One of the worst areas for the panhandling is around the Amtrak station.
Some business owners in the area say people have been coming into their shops asking for money too.
"I just give them the dollar, I do. As long as they don't come in when I have customers in the shop. I really don't mind," says Marjorie Mannino at Tolley's Barber Shop.
And city leaders say they do realize some folks are just asking a friend to make change in order to buy a newspaper. But there's a difference when it's a stranger asking someone else for spare change.
"He's stopped in 2 or 3 times, and I told him we couldn't help him. But that he could go to the Senior Center, or one of the churches. Of course he was kind of disappointed, but we can't help everyone who walks in the door," says Alice Messer at Pene's Frame Shop.
Currently there is nothing in the city's ordinances to prevent someone on the street from asking someone else for money. But the city's attorney is drafting up an ordinance, to curtail that sort of activity.
It will go before the city council, for a vote during the next meeting scheduled for October 23rd.