ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Orlando is dealing with a growing panhandling problem. City leaders say that complaints are on the rise and some worry that it is already impacting local businesses.
Thomas Chatman says that in recent months he has heard more complaints about aggressive panhandling from visitors, business owners, and folks who in downtown. This comes as the boxes designated for panhandling have been removed. Solicitation now takes place throughout the sidewalks and streets of downtown.
In 2010, a law passed and the city spray-painted blue boxes where panhandlers could legally ask for money. Those were removed in the summer of 2017. City leaders were worried that it could limit free speech after a Supreme Court ruling.
Now, Orlando city leaders are looking for another solution, even looking to see what other downtowns and cities are doing across the nature. They have found that most, if not all, urban downtowns are struggling with this issue.