July 30, 2014

Elyria
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74°F
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Lorain businessman passes out signs against panhandling

Downtown Lorain merchants on Broadway will be posting these signs on their storefronts. ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED

Downtown Lorain merchants on Broadway will be posting these signs on their storefronts. ILLUSTRATION PROVIDED

LORAIN — One group is working to increase safety and business downtown by developing a zero-tolerance policy for panhandling and loitering.

Jim Long, president of the board of the Lorain Growth Corp., said that while panhandling isn’t a major problem in the city, it does affect area businesses. He said the Lorain Growth Corp., in its efforts to promote area business, is distributing “No Loitering/No Panhandling” signs to business owners, who will post the sign on their doors.

The signs were paid for by business owner Jon Veard, who started posting the signs last year, according to Long.

Veard suggested a zero-tolerance policy during a meeting of citizens and business owners, according to a news release.

“The only way we can handle this problem in our community is to have no tolerance for this sort of behavior,” he said via the news release.

Long said the Lorain Growth Corp. will distribute the signs today. The signs serve as a warning that loitering and panhandling will not be tolerated in the downtown area, and anyone being reported as bothering patrons or panhandling will be prosecuted using city ordinances already in place.

Loiterers and panhandlers could face misdemeanor charges.

Long said the Lorain Growth Corp. has the support of the Lorain Police Department.

He added that the signs will serve as a preventative measure, especially with the holidays approaching.

“(Panhandling) affects people who intend to shop,” he said. “Some of the people feel that they don’t want to get out of their cars and shop.”

He said many of the panhandlers are not homeless and are coming from other cities, like Cleveland.

Supporting the project is the owner of Club Copa, Jose Ramirez, a safety committee member who designed the sign.

The Lorain Growth Corp. and the city’s downtown businesses also have been working to develop the Lorain Waterfront District as a viable business district. The group has worked with the city of Lorain to install new, brighter street lights and digital, broadband surveillance cameras downtown, according to a news release.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • Tom

    “while panhandling isn’t a major problem in the city”. I think Lorain has enough major problems to concentrate on…

    • Phil Blank

      Try this. Start out about 9am on a weekday morning at 8th and Broadway, head west on 8th to Reid Ave. At Reid Ave, turn north (right) and head to the library on 6th and Reid, continue past the library on Reid Ave. and head to the bus shelter on 5th street, the one with all the windows broken out.
      Then turn west again and head to the covered walk by the small shopping plaza and turn north again and head past Mor-For-Less. Continue past Mor-For-Less and head to Veterans park.
      At West Eire head east back to Broadway, turn right on Broadway and continue to 8th and Broadway.

      Then tell us that there isn’t a major problem.
      Here is a tip, don’t smoke along the way or put your hand in your pocket as if reaching for something to smoke or they will be on you like flies!

      • Zen Grouch

        …lace your smokes with China White and pass ‘em out like Halloween candy.

        • Phil Blank

          Funny, but that could work!

          • Zen Grouch

            Then you can take the ones that don’t die and turn them into your own personal army of hobo zombies.

      • steveland

        I work downtown 5 days a week. No one is on me like flies. And if someone does ask for money I make em earn it first.

        • Zen Grouch

          **And if someone does ask for money I make em earn it first.**

          Yeah… I heard those toothless bums will do -ANYTHING- right then and there, for five bucks.

          …umm, sorry, couldn’t resist.

        • hottamomma

          That’s a good idea Cleveland. I usually just give them some change if I got it. Now I will make them earn it

  • levtrotsky

    Put the largest one at The Lorain Public Library on Fifth Street……………..the loitering & panhandling is disgraceful!

    • Phil Blank

      They now have cameras out there, but they just stand out of the view of the cameras.
      All the cameras are pointless anyway and not just the library cameras. Once the crime has been committed, its too late, especially if its a really violent crime, the damage is done.
      A camera can’t bring back the dead, doesn’t work in war zones does it.

      • levtrotsky

        Who advocated cameras? How about a patrolman and a German shepherd???

  • alreadyfedup1

    Obama will provide!

  • Joe Smith

    Yea go ahead and fine them, where would they get the money to pay it? The other option is to jail them at the taxpayers cost.

    No win situation

    • Mark B

      Pick them up and take them to the city limits and drop them off , they will get tired of walking back.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        Rambo! First Blood!

        • Phil Blank

          Just had a bit of Vigilante justice!
          Family of Kidnapped Louisiana Woman Kills Abductor in Daring Rescue

          ABC News Staff

      • hottamomma

        Lol lol

  • stillsleepyeyes

    they should make them into shirts …………….that way the taxpayer could wear them to meetings when ye ole Lorain council wants more monies………………..

  • Macdaddyoh

    Hey, can anyone spare some change? Thank you and god bless you!

  • Brian_Reinhardt

    I think people should take a walk down Broadway and visit the businesses who put up the signs and let them know we’ll be happy to spend our money elsewhere.

    If a person is in your building panhandling that’s one issue, but to target people who may legitimately need help is another.

    What’s next? No asking people for the time, or a light?

    • Phil Blank

      Yes!
      That is how they get you!
      First the try to ask a question or try and tell you something and the next thing you know, they are hitting you up for money!

  • Phil Blank

    The already have a “No Loitering or no loitering or panhandling” sign up on the wall outside Mor-For-Less, but it doesn’t do much good,
    Store owners tell them to leave or they will call the police.

    • Zen Grouch

      These signs are like internet petitions… they got no teeth.

      Unless you modify the signs slightly, by poking a hole in the middle of ‘em, then mount a jumbo economy size can of mace to the back, then have a ball! Maybe even make a reality based video called “Bum Flush!”

  • oldruss

    Give them all a one-way ticket to California. The United Farm Workers of America are guaranteeing everyone who applies a farm laborer job.

    http://www.ufw.org/toj_play/TOJNEW_12_JAL.html

    • ken

      your all a bunch of jealous losers! Lorain pride kicks Elyria shame any day of the week!

  • DonMega

    Hey support our local bums-sike.