Skip to main content

St. Louis Park still struggling with panhandlers

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The affluent metro suburb of St. Louis Park is switching gears in a continuing effort to deal with a panhandling problem, KSTP reports.

It's not clear exactly how many panhandlers are working the streets of St. Louis Park, but Police Chief John Luse said city officials have noted an increase. Police had tried to offer them services, including food and shelter, KSTP reports. But "that proved to be the wrong analysis," Luse said. No one wanted that kind of help, he said.

So the city is now more focused on prohibiting panhandlers from standing in the median of busy roads, where they can be a distraction to drivers, KSTP reports. Signs are now posted on medians, and citations will be issued if necessary, police say.

The city created a web page for residents, offering guidance on how to deal with panhandlers. In short, it advises not giving them money and instead donating to charitable organizations that help the poor.

On the page, Luse in a lengthy letter to residents said he understands that the increase in panhandlers is making residents uncomfortable.

"People driving through or visiting our community are left with negative images of St. Louis Park," Luse says in the letter. "A resident recently described the Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 100 area as an “eyesore” in characterizing the image relatives received while visiting him from out of town."

Luse also notes: "There is no empirical data to suggest that the presence of panhandling has caused crime to increase in St. Louis Park. We do know anecdotally that many of our local panhandlers want only cash, and that when they leave their post they go directly to their liquor store or drug dealer. Some of them have even begun to dress in clothing that will play upon your sympathy or possibly amuse you. It is also true that of our local panhandlers several were our primary suspects in a string of home burglaries we have been investigating, and two have been charged with such crimes."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 6.16.49 PM

Fire sparks evacuation from apartment building, man arrested for arson

Police and fire crews responded to the fire just before 9 a.m. Saturday.

Flickr - utility pole power line

Morning storms cause power outages, ensuing problems in Eagan

There have been reports of disabled traffic lights and issues at local businesses.

kim crockett facebook sos

GOP nominee questions if those with disabilities, non-English speakers should be able to vote

Crockett made the comments in a 2020 radio interview following a ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Pharmacy

Jury: MN pharmacist did not violate woman's rights by refusing her morning-after pill

Gender Justice, the advocacy group that brought about the lawsuit, says it will appeal the decision.

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 3.03.13 PM

Revival to close its original Minneapolis restaurant

Don't worry – it's bringing the chicken to its nearby BBQ joint.

image

Fatal crash under investigation on Hwy 62 in Mendota Heights

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash near Dodd Road.

Pixabay bike wheel

Driver strikes 5 bicyclists near Mapleton

The Sheriff's Office has indicated that those injured were children.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.13.52 PM

The former Bachelor Farmer space is sold in Minneapolis

A new restaurant is expected to open next year.

flooding on Interstate 90

Supercharged atmosphere causing more mega-rain events

There could be a mega-rain event Saturday-Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and/or Iowa.

Related