February 12, 2005

Has Vancouver's anti-panhandling bylaw had some effect?

I don't know what caused it, but I haven't been asked for change from someone on the street since before Christmas. The black guy that I always see at Stadium Station is gone, and the litte meek guy with the marks on his face hasn't been around for months either.

I began to wonder if the cops were cracking down on panhandlers again - if Mayencourt's anti-panhandling bylaw was making a difference, and causing these guys to get hassled or swept off to other parts of the city. Or maybe, I wondered, did they find some new housing or a safe place to hang out and get some food, medical help or something? I really didn't have a clue, but the spare change has been piling up in my jacket pocket with nobody to give it to.

Luckily, I saw the little meek guy on Friday night as I walked home towards Stadium Station. I said hi to him, and asked how he was doing. He said something about being on some new meds, as I gave him a large fistful of spare change. He said thanks and I rushed off, feeling a bit relieved.

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