"It's OK to say no to panhandlers." So read the signs now going up across Palm Beach County -- part of an effort by Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and the county government to keep decent people from being bothered by the dirty and the weird-smelling.
"You don't have to feel bad inside," Bradshaw told the Palm Beach Post. "We want you to help. You want to
help. So get the money to the right people."
The right people, in this case, work for the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County, to whom goodhearted citizens of Palm Beach County may now donate via text message by texting "IGAVE" to 20222 to donate $5.
But there's a catch. Even Ann Chermin, the coalition's executive director, has expressed skepticism of the media campaign.
Bradshaw told the Post it's still better to give to a not-for-profit than to a panhandler who might conceivably use the money on booze or drugs -- even if that nonprofit doesn't agree with Bradshaw's methods.