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Mayor’s office making changes to signs warning of aggressive panhandlers, less than one day after WAFB report

Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 4:58 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Just one day after WAFB did a story on new signs popping up around Baton Rouge that aim to prevent aggressive panhandling, a spokesperson with Mayor-President Broome’s Office confirms they are changing the wording on the sign and correcting the typo.

“Mayor Broome has always been committed to a compassionate approach to helping our needy and individuals experiencing homelessness. The overall goal of the Mayor’s Homelessness Prevention Coalition is to transition people from homelessness to housing. The purpose of the signs is to encourage the public to help the needy through reputable charities, and to protect individuals in the roadway who are panhandling. We’re primarily concerned about traffic accidents and pedestrians getting struck, while connecting the needy with assistance,” said Mark Armstrong, Chief Communications Officer for the City-Parish of Baton Rouge.

The signs currently read, ‘Your generosity could lead to a fatality,’ and they urge residents to ‘help the needy,’ and to ‘donate to local charities,’ instead of those people possibly begging for food or money on the side of the street.

The signs were approved by the Mayor’s Homelessness Prevention Coalition, which is working to end homelessness in Baton Rouge through many goals in 2021.

“We’re placing our signs very strategically, in some of the main traffic areas where we know concerns have come to the city, where visibly we have seen panhandling take place on a more aggressive platform,” said Dr. Pamela Ravare-Jones, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer in the City-Parish of Baton Rouge on Tuesday, February 23.

WAFB pointed out to the Mayor’s office on Tuesday, about the typo when it comes to the website address on the signs.

It’s supposed to be www.brhelps.org with an s, which would lead you to this website.

“We’re moving forward and making sure that is taken care of,” said Ravare-Jones on Tuesday.

The Mayor-President’s Office confirms new signs with the changes, will be going up in the coming weeks and month.

Click here to report a typo.

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