SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The City of Sevierville reminded residents of its illegal soliciting and panhandling ordinance.
The city hopes the ordinance will improve areas for residents and visitors.
The ordinance says, “It is unlawful for any person to solicit money or other things of value in ANY of the following circumstances:
- After sunset and before sunrise
- By repeatedly asking a person
- Using abusive language or profanity, in an aggressive manner
- In city-owned parking lots/garages
- From motorists
- By falsely representing why they want money
- Or within 20 feet of:
- a crosswalk or intersection
- Any entrance/exit of any bank or check chasing business or ATM
- Public restrooms or bus stops
- Sidewalk cafe/outdoor eating area.”
The city gives reasons on why it believes you should not give to illegal solicitors or panhandlers:
- Giving money can discourage panhandlers from finding a long-term solution.
- It can cause safety issues for pedestrians and traffic.
- Sometimes, panhandlers may use the money to buy drugs or alcohol.
The City of Sevierville says if confronted by a panhandler, politely decline.
There are multiple social service agencies in Sevier County and East Tennessee that can help people in need.
- Tennessee Coalition for the Homeless
- Sevier County Food Ministries
- Sevier County Health Department
- Tennessee Department of Human Services
- Samaritan Place
- East TN Human Resource Agency