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Greene County sheriff complains residents are 'enabling' panhandlers

Greene County sheriff complains residents are 'enabling' panhandlers

November 14th, 2017 by Associated Press in Missouri News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri sheriff is urging residents to stop "enabling" panhandlers, saying they are abandoning donated items such as coats and heading off to "buy beer" after they have "enough cash."

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott turned to Facebook on Sunday after finding some blankets, a coat and food left on a Springfield street. He says his self-described "rant" is about panhandling, not homeless people. The post included photos of a box of graham crackers and bag filled with clothes.

The post had generated more than 3,700 shares and hundreds of comments as of Tuesday morning.

While some supported the sheriff, many homeless advocates weren't pleased. Hearts for the Homeless founder Devery Mills told the News-Leader that the post was "not by any stretch professional."