Panhandling issues persist in Sioux City

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Panhandling is a problem for a lot of people in Siouxland. Late last year, an ordinance passed in Sioux City to try and keep panhandlers out of the streets and off the medians.

One downtown restaurant owner said it’s still a problem.

“Sometimes they will come in at various times. Sometimes they will just sit in front of the restaurant and use our location to get people to walk by for a drink or change,” said Jeff Idding.

Idding said asking his patrons for money is only part of the problem.

“They’ll sit there in front of cricket drinking and then they’ll go out on the median and barely be stable. I’ve called the city before,” Idding said.

Terry Beckner stays at The Gospel Mission. He believes more shelters need to make sobriety a requirement and that life skills training wouldn’t hurt either.

“Like I said, you have to go and learn how to do finances to budget their money, go in the grocery store, buy the right type of food,” Beckner said.

Beckner says one success leads to another.

“That way we can follow rules of what life is, if you’re put in this home and they don’t follow rules, they’re going to get kicked back outside,” said Beckner.

Brightside Café said they have had people come in and ask for meals or leftover food, and they’ve come up with a way to help.

“Here at Brightside, we have a feed it forward program where everyone can have the chance to pass a meal to the ones that are in need of a meal, the way of doing that, seven dollars and 50 cents per meal. That includes a full sub, a hot soup, and a fountain drink “

The Sioux City Council is looking for a long-term plan to curb panhandling and help the homeless.

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