Vernon residents have an easy way to help those in need.
The City of Vernon is reminding residents that the kindness meters downtown are an alternative to giving change to panhandlers.
“The money donated goes directly to service providers that feed and house the homeless community,” said Clint Kanester, manager of protective services.
The city has collected $2,427 since the kindness meters started in June 2016.
“While panhandling on public property is a legal activity and protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canada, B.C.’s Safe Streets Act and the city’s City’s Good Neighbour Bylaw have restricted certain panhandling activities,” said Kanester.
Panhandling to vehicles on a roadway is prohibited due to traffic safety concerns. While panhandling on public areas such as city-owned sidewalks is allowable, there are restrictions around panhandling at certain locations (such as near banks, bus stops or liquour stores), continuing to panhandle to an individual after that person has said or indicated no, panhandling after dark, panhandling from seated position on a sidewalk or aggressively panhandling, such as following, touching and/or continued requests for money.=