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home : latest news : local April 29, 2016

6/12/2014 6:00:00 AM
Increase in Kingman panhandling blamed on court ruling
State law against it thrown out by judges
A woman holds a sign Thursday near PetSmart along Stockton Hill Road. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
A woman holds a sign Thursday near PetSmart along Stockton Hill Road. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
Want to help? Here's how
KINGMAN - Don't give to the panhandlers. Instead, donate money to established and legitimate organizations that work to help people in need.

That's the message from Kingman Police Chief Robert DeVries.

"Kingman is known as a giving community and our residents want to help others," DeVries said. "By giving to places like churches or other established organizations, you can know your money is being used in the right way.

"If people keep giving to panhandlers, they are going to stay here and we don't know exactly where the money donated to these people goes."

The Kingman Police is also sending out a letter to local businesses explaining how to manage the increase of panhandlers.

The letter, signed by DeVries, explains that since the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the Arizona law against loitering unconstitutional, there has been an increase in the number of panhandlers at the street corners around town.

In the past, police could take a more proactive approach to dealing with panhandlers and loiterers. Now, police can only intervene if a business owner calls and asks for help.

"The change has required police to be reactive instead of proactive with regard to loitering on private property," DeVries said in the letter. "Business owners are responsible to call police for assistance."

Scott Schulte
Miner Reporter

KINGMAN - Everywhere in Kingman, there are people with the little signs, seemingly down on their luck, begging for money. From one Kingman corner to the next, men, women - even children - hold signs asking for help.

Wayne Norris sets up camp most days off Sycamore Avenue near Walmart. Norris, 60, claims to hitchhike each day from his home in Golden Valley in hopes of raising money to fix up his dwelling.

Norris won't take a regular job: "I can't work," he said. "I receive $771 in disability and if I get a job I'll lose that."

Norris was a roofer before injuring his back several years ago.

Near Norris stood Carrie Clark and her two children, ages 10 and 12. Hunkered down under the shade of a tree, Clark was seeking money to start a new life.

"We had to leave our home when we did," she said. "We lived in Fort Mohave and we are starting a new life here."

For the trio, it was a matter of escaping a dangerous situation. Unlike some others, Clark was waiting for an interview with one of the fast food chains.

"This is temporary for us," she said. "I want to get a job so we don't have to be out here like this."

While the number of panhandlers grows in Kingman, so does the ire of residents.

Debbie Quinn of Kingman, a woman born with only one arm and no legs, doesn't believe in excuses. Her experience with panhandlers has left her frustrated.

"I saw a guy dressed up like Scooby Doo asking for money," she said. "He had a sign that said, 'I'm Hungry.'"

Within an hour, Quinn and her son saw the man leaving a store with a bottle of wine.

"If I can make it in my condition and on my small Social Security check, anyone can make it," Quinn said. "These people don't realize how good they have it."

Kingman Chief of Police Robert DeVries noted that the majority of people asking for money fall into three categories:

• Those with mental health issues

• Drug users

• Scam artists.

"It is very frustrating, because there is little we can do to rid our town of panhandlers," he said.

DeVries explained that an anti-panhandling law that used to back police in removing such people from local streets was shot down in federal court, where the law was deemed unconstitutional.

"Once that happened, our hands became tied as to enforcing any kind of laws about panhandling," he said.

Kingman resident Kenny Sanchez finds the parade of panhandlers overwhelming.

"I help when I can, but it really bothers me when people drag their children out there to panhandle," Sanchez said.

Devries noted there are many options besides panhandling for those needing help.

"There is the Cornerstone Mission, churches and the Kingman Aid to Abused People that are all here to help, but there are rules and regulations to use these programs," the chief said. "Most people don't want rules.

"I can tell you this - the true down-on-their-luck people you see panhandling are few and far between."

ICT - Kingman Honda
Related Stories:
• Kingman panhandlers must contend with new rules
• Beggars can't be abusers
• Flagstaff tries vouchers to deal with panhandler influx
• Column: Hello, Kingman! Now get out of my car

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Article comment by: Jenny Holder

Want to know the more on Scooby Doo? He buys alcohol for a group of kids who hang out at the park. One of my daughter's friends told her this. That's something to be outraged about.

Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Article comment by: I have to wonder

Our man in this article says if he takes a job he will lose the 771 dollars he receives from SSD.

I was told by SSD I can make up to 800 a month before I lose anything from my benefits. Why is it different for him?.

He should be able to make a percentage of his benefits before having to give any back. Just like everyone I know would have to.

Getting a part time job should not be an issue. He can stay under his set amount and draw his full monthly amount.

Makes me think pan handling pays pretty good.

Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Article comment by: Seen all Kinds

To start off with, I know personally one guy in his late 50's. He dresses nice, but he works parking lots hitting people up with some sob story to get money. He sits at home thinking up good stories to tell them . "It's his job" He disgusts me and his family.
After Hurricane Katrina, a lot of refugees came to Kingman. I was approached in the Kmart lot by a woman in her 40's. She told me her story of being homeless and she wanted to know where she could get help. I gave her a ride to the shelter. She was very grateful. I even slipped her a few bucks.
My daughter was over by Walmart and saw a woman with 2 or 3 kids with a help us sign. She went and picked up three burger meals and took it over to her. "Thankyou" she said. Then my daughter went and parked near-by and watched. The kids hid the food with a big stash of food other people had given them. And they continued to beg. Unless it's someone like the lady from LA. I aint buyin' it!

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014
Article comment by: vock canyon

simple solution, don't give them any money and they will go away. In short ignore them. they are people too, but will figure it out.

Posted: Monday, June 16, 2014
Article comment by: Midwest Momma

Get them for Loitering. That is what they are doing. I'm giving up hope on Kingman and this country. The great Obama beg-a-thon. American workers struggle and can't pay medical bills while beggars and illegal aliens get star treatment and handouts and free medical care. What is wrong with this picture? Why is it legal for people to harass you in public and make you feel unsafe and endanger Kids and Pets. KPD, please pick them up for Loitering and Child and Pet endangerment. And thanks in advance?

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@biker randy

"I buy most stuff by check or credit card"

Don't worry, the panhandlers will soon learn to bring those new card swipe devices to use with them to use with their obamaphones.

@anonymous anonymous

"I wonder will Jesus......."

Since i am not a Christian, why would i care what he thinks?

And if you are saying that you give each and every panhandler you ever cross paths with money, i have no problem at all saying that is a lie. And you KNOW that it is.

"I do not think eternity is worth the bet"

Like i said, i am not a Christian, but i am 99.9% certain that the rules dictate that if your reason for giving is that you are hedging your bets, thinking you are buying your way into heaven.........

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: time for cuffs

the man or bum I should say in this story admits to fraud. Time for police cars and hand cuffs on this golden valley bum. He is defrauding social security that is not covered under bum court ruling. Time for a new police chief

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: there are ways fpr police to act

It is simple can't get them on begging get them on fraud charges, endangering of a child, trespassing, overnight camping oh and the one thing that gets them all loitering laws which is posted at every business. How about standing on a highway on ramp can't do that in all other states. I know our cops are underpaid and really don't care but it is to the point that we don't even go to walmart anymore because of the bums and losers in the parking lot that harass my wife while walking from her car. A walmart in vegas just had a bystander shot and killed by two cop killers on the run. Get the walmart controlled and the losers will leave. Just like the guy in the story here who admits to social security fraud. He panhandles so he can keep illegal income under the radar time for hand cuffs for that bum.Or maybe it is time for a new police chief who wants to protect his community from crime.

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: biker randy

Far as I'm concerned most the panhandlers are con artists. And since I hardly ever have more than $20 in my pocket, I don't feel guilty not being conned by them. I buy most stuff by check or credit card.

As for Walmart allowing RVs to spend the night it their parking lot, I have no issues with that and may do it some time myself traveling w/a RV. But also know in some cities the local WM is not allowed to offer that to RVers. Sadly, whatever convenience is available some are going to abuse the privilege.

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2014
Article comment by: There no business like show business

I know when I had very little food it showed in my face and body. I lost a lot of weight from 280 down to 220. I got use to not eating a full meal. A lot of these folks are not that bad but they do look rough. Its humiliating to stand out there and see the many faces pass you. Capitalism Socialism Fascism whatever you want to call it we will always have souls to take care of with our hard earned money.

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"because all we have to say is a simple "no"."

And the source of the problem is everyone who gives them money instead of a simple "no". They would not be here if people did not give them the handouts. Sort of like feeding pigeons.

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Article comment by: Secret message

So for all of you who say that these people have no real issues going on, how do you know?

There is a learning disability that causes people to have a lack of mental planning and organization -- most autistic people have this issue too.

But you can't see this on the OUTSIDE looking in. You can't judge this by noticing if that person throws away his egg salad or laughs about the money he gets. No matter how much he makes on the corner, its STILL not a life most of us would trade for! SHAME on you!

Since 1 out of 50 in our society has autism, next time you feel the need to mock a person asking for help, do this first: "IF I knew he had autisim, would I STILL treat him with scorn?"

Then treat him as if he has autism. **YOU** will end up MUCH happier in the end. You will be the winner. Maybe the bible really does know a thing or two...beggers actually give us an opportunity to make **us** better people.

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Article comment by: It Pains To Have Them - Be Them

" Hope the day doesn't come when it's you standing out there." had the best comment in my opinion. Repeat - follow your instincts. The only thing I would add is that it is not for us to judge what the begger does with the handout we've given them. We've done our part in God's eyes. It is the begger who will be judged accordingly with what they do with it. We should look into our own hearts to search why we feel such anger at these beggers, and deal with that answer, because all we have to say is a simple "no".

Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Article comment by: dv s

Do you "givers" realize these panhandlers are homeowners, make more than you do, probably $30,000 a year, or's their job, own their own homes....they do very well the article says...very few are really needy....!

Stop giving so they will go away....

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: enforce laws

There is a law that there are to be NO overnight camping anywhere in Kingman. KPD enforce the law, so what if Walmart gets mad. It is a law.
Our mayor candidates need to move on this.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Tired of Takers and Liars

" Hitler cleared the streets of the prior to the Olympics in the 30's."

Ridiculous and unnecessary false comparison - way to lower the tone for no reason.

"Hope the day doesn't come when it's you standing out there."

people are talking about the scammers. actually read what is written.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Fat Chance

Our sign reads, "Need HELP! City resident trying to pay water bill."

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: A C

Most are scammers. A friend of mine made a bunch of egg salad sandwiches after Easter and took them to the crowd over by Del Taco and only 2 of them ate, the others threw them out and laughed. One stated that she makes more money on the corner begging, than my friend does at his job. It's sick and disgusting and it's a shame that law wasn't passed. If i see someone who generally looks down on his luck or hungry I will give change, or food if I can.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Hitler cleared the streets of the prior to the Olympics in the 30's.

People who attended that epic year when Jesse Owens took the top medal were so amazed at how nice everything seemed. So what are we trying to pull? For the Rte 66 celebration we have to look like our town is the little island where the recession never hit? People forget in the 30s rte 66 was the corridor people used to go to the promised land of California where the jobs were supposedly so plentiful...not. Everybody close your eyes for the party now. Pay no attention to those people behind our curtain who have lost jobs, homes, families, and with our help, last but not least they can lose hope in humanity as a whole. You just want them to go away, right?

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: love the locals

Regarding opinions expressed about the upcoming Rt66 Festival... I bet any homeless and panhandler will be rounded up and sent out of town. Out of sight , out of mind

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Samuel Twinston

It is hard to see the amount of people that have started to use Kingman for their panhandling ventures. My family with two young girls have been approached many times in the Walmart parking lot. They have given their allowance and were asked by the panhandler if that was all they had. It made them feel intimidated and sad and afraid to go to Walmart.They have been instructed to help at cornerstone or donate to the mission. The problem seems to have escalated when Walmart decided to let their parking lot become a free campground and allowed people to stay overnight. At first it was overnight RVers now people live there and you see all kinds of horrible things. People take advantage when they can and it looks like things are becoming that way. The weekends are the worse and at times it looks like the handlers may have to draw straws or take turns for the corners. Sad to see what is happening here. I hope we can get a handle on it before it becomes much more out of control.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Doug USMC 67-71

I give to some and not to others. I judge. I give to some groups and not to others. I don't give to groups that have any paid staff.

We should encourage busking, give me juggling or music and I'm much more likely to pitch in. Then it's not begging it's a job.

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: legally blind person

to. hope the day doesnt come. may god bless you the world needs more people like you. to the rest of you that commented on this article have a heart. not every one panhandling is going to spend the money on booze or drugs some of us cant get work because of our disabilities. not all of us have money and believe me not every one panhandling wants to panhandle. some times you got to do what you got to do to eat and keep a roof over your head and clothes on your back. even if that means standing on a street corner and begging for money or food or even trading a days work for 1 meal. my heart goes out to those in need. you dont know that persons story so dont judge. judge not lest thy be judged. you never know that could be u needing help. not every one can get those grants it not as easy as you think it is. i barely make it on what i get each month. i would absolutly love to have a full time job. believe me when i say you dont get jack on ss or nutrition asst. so the next time some 1 asks for help try to help them even if it is 20 bucks for gas that gas could really help that person u never know you could be saving that persons life by giving them that 20 bucks for gas or even some one elses

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Jack BeQuick:

You mentioned the children (100,000) coming over from Central America. It is so inhumane of this administration and so heartbreaking. They have been molested and abused on the way, de-hydrated, lost, alone and today I learned, we already have 400,000 here in foster care with no parents that have already come.

All because obama gave the amnesty word out and they believe if the children get here before the end of this year, they will all be taken care of and given amnesty. Parents can follow.

Obama gave a speech to some Democrats and actually said the "Dreamers" (illegal children) are the future of America. Why would we NOT want to put them through college he said.

Well, obama, those that live through the journey you mean - ones who aren't so screwed up from the trauma of leaving their parents, being molested by drug dealers and coyotes on the way.

Who is hugging these children? Who is tucking them into bed at night? Oh now I remember. They are laying on cement, not enough food, no showers in ten days here not counting all the days getting here, many very ill.

I don't know when I have been more outraged at anything than I am at this blatant disregard for human life.

This sums obama up. Kill them in the womb, abuse and use them after they're born

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2014
Article comment by: Enough Already

If they hang their signs in front of your windshield call Kingman PD. That's illegal. If they have pets with them call K PD to do a welfare check on the animal. Dogs can't tolerate the heat and are helpless. Same with kids call CPS or police. Many panhandlers walk in and out of traffic to collect money, that's obstructing traffic. I saw whacky Scoobie Doo do it today and called it in. They said they would check it out and by the time I came out of Walmart he was gone. All this has nothing to do with needing help and everything to do about not wanting to abide by certain rules and demands that make a society workable. Like being to work on time or dress properly. Buying alcohol and drugs is the new God. It's getting to the point where going to the store is unpleasant and possibly dangerous. Complain to business managers and say you won't shop there anymore. There are ways to get around rulings that look good on paper but have no place in reality. The young guy begging at Petsmart and Stockton Hill Road looks like an able worker. What's his story?

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