A rise in the number of panhandlers on the streets of this country has given rise to the promulgation of ordinances outlawing this activity. Although there has been a great deal of press and litigation revolving around such public policy, little is known about homeless panhandlers. This article reviews the rather limited information about what is known of the sociodemographics of panhandling. Strategies used by panhandlers in pursuing their occupation are described, along with their own perceptions of their occupation. Services available to this population are discussed, along with some suggestions for resolving the problems associated with panhandling on America's streets.



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