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OB To Hold Public Meeting About Panhandling Problem

Audio

Aired 7/6/10

Churches in Ocean Beach are holding a public meeting tonight to discuss solutions to the problem of panhandling by the homeless.

— Churches in Ocean Beach are holding a public meeting tonight to discuss solutions to the problem of panhandling by the homeless.

Aggressive panhandling by young transients has led to a provocative bumper sticker that says, "Welcome to Ocean Beach. Please don't feed our bums." Pastor Tom Ziegert, of the Point Loma United Methodist Church, has heard many people complain that the transients have used intimidation to get handouts. He adds that some O.B. homeless have also complained about that behavior.

Ziegert said tonight's meeting will address the tension that's come up around the issue.

"We hope to relieve that tension tonight by beginning to come to a common ground where we can be the loving and generous people we are in Ocean Beach," he said. "But also defend ourselves from abuse of our own hospitality."

Ziegert says the ultimate goal is to reach an agreement on how to prevent problems related to homelessness. The meeting will take place at Sacred Heart church in Ocean Beach.

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