Public Hearing Set For Panhandling Issue

<p>Homeless man</p>

Homeless man

You see them on a daily basis; on your drive to work, or walking through the busiest parts of Yakima, people living on the streets, asking for spare change.  

Vicki is spending her day at the Wal Mart near Terrace Heights, ignoring the drivers and passengers yelling "get a job."

"If you don't have a shower, if you don't have an address, a telephone, and you don't get real good sleep because you have to keep moving from the police; how are you going to get a job?" asked Vicki.

However, Vicki's time asking for money while on the streets could be coming to a close.

The Yakima City Council is holding a public hearing tonight to discuss the impact of panhandlers on the community -- as well as what community members might do to remedy the problem.

From there, the city may adopt tighter regulations as to when and where people can "fly their signs" -- especially in areas with high traffic volume.

Some of those areas include the intersection of South 1st Street and Nob Hill, and 16th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.

People say they'd like to see more regulation placed on panhandlers in those areas before it gets out of control.

"Maybe keeping those areas in check would be a great idea?," said Martha Ayala, "I know that they've been talking about limiting the hours they could panhandle. Maybe if they can't get their money, maybe they'll start doing something more productive."

For some people like Vicki, it's is the only way to be more productive and get herself back on her feet.

"We're making a few dollars then we leave, I'm not here every single day," said Vicki, "I just make a few dollars; enough to take care of stuff a little bit."

The city council will hold the public meeting at 7 in Yakima City Hall -- no final decisions will be made during tonight's hearing.