Sometimes, in an effort to make a person’s life better, people will give away money, food, or property. In many cases, this is through a non-profit organization but not always. There are many out there in need every day. In every major city in the country one may find people living on the street, most asking (through a sign) for the assistance of those passing.
The homeless in many areas rely upon the kindness of strangers. Some are physically challenged and in wheelchairs or on crutches. Some are traumatized war veterans who witnessed atrocities and were never able to forget them. Some are just down on their luck.
When you hand money or food over to a person asking for assistance on the street, there are no executives paid. No limousines or planes are rented to take company executives to events or openings. No lobbyists have been hired and greased the palms of politicians. No staffers or interns are hired to create spread sheets about the most effective way to use your donation. The government does not get any say in the distribution of the money. It’s just you and the person you decided should have some of your money or food.
This may be part of why John Davis, of Cleveland, Ohio, has now been ticketed.
John saw a man on the street while he was driving in Cleveland Fox 8 reported Tuesday. The man was pale, in a wheelchair, and had a sign asking for help. John has a brother who is paralyzed and tries to help the physically challenged when he is able.
John reached into his wallet and grabbed a couple of bucks to give to the man. As he approached the light at the exit, he rolled the money up vertically and stretched his arm out of his window. He says, the man touched the cash and one of the dollars fell to the ground.
The man then bent over and picked it up.
A few moments later, John is pulled over by a Cleveland police officer and ticketed for littering. The ticket cited Cleveland’s Municipal Code, Section No: 613.06, littering from a motor vehicle. His offense was written as “Throw paper out window” with “money to panhandler” in parenthesis.
John said he was confused because money is paper but it’s not trash.
Instead of discussing the economic implications of a city officer considering the country’s paper fiat currency trash, and ticketing someone for dropping it, we will finish John’s tale.
Section No: 471.06 states in part that “No person shall stand on a highway for the purpose of soliciting…contributions…”
It also reads that “No driver” is to “transfer currency….to any person standing on a street or highway.”
But John says that’s not what he was ticketed for. He was cited for littering from a motor vehicle, and the officer advised him to “take it up with the courts.”
John does plan to challenge the ticket in court, mainly because it carries a hefty fine. It could cost him $500 once you add the fine plus court costs.
The experience has left him disheartened, and has already destroyed his joy and willingness to give money to those in need.
“I’d like to do it again but I’m petrified I’m going to get a ticket.”
It’s interesting that the city of Cleveland does not want people to donate to those in need unless those in need are able to afford, well, what exactly? Those on the street cannot afford homes, cars, permits, or any other permission from the city. Maybe the city wants to make sure they control who is worthy of donations.