Panhandling in Sioux Falls: What you can and cannot do

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — If you’ve noticed more panhandling in Sioux Falls, you’re not alone- so have Sioux Falls Police. And they’re highlighting what donors and recipients can and can’t do.

Roy Warren is out north of West 41st Street and South Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls with a sign that reads “I Need Work, Please Help, Hungry, Broke, God Bless.”

“Looking for work,” Warren said. “Looking for a blessing.”

Near East 10th Street and Interstate 229, Trevor Willschau holds a sign that says “Anything Helps.”

“I just am doing this and hopefully get enough money and can then hopefully just then maybe either get a cheap hotel or even something,” Willschau said.

Panhandling is not illegal in Sioux Falls. However, how you go about it, whether you’re the recipient or trying to help out, could make it illegal.

“Panhandlers have to be on public property,” Sioux Falls Police Department spokesperson Sam Clemens said. “If they’re on private property they need permission from the owner or the manager of the business.”

Involving traffic is problematic, too.

“The problem we have is when the panhandlers are going into traffic, into the street to get money, and the other part is people giving them money,” Clemens said. “There’s a chance that the person, the driver of the car or a passenger, if somebody’s providing money or food, could be anything, to a person, they could be charged. They could be … given a citation for holding up traffic. The panhandler can get arrested for going into traffic.”

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