This holiday season, remember not to give money to panhandlers, says Plaza landlord Highwoods Properties
Christmas is coming — time to
be kind to another like Jesus would have wanted spend a bunch of money so the global economy doesn’t crash!
The holidays are high season on the Country Club Plaza, the whitest, safest shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s a great place to park your car, walk around in the cold and purchase consumer goods you didn’t even know you wanted. Ah, but what about those homeless people that sometimes hang around outside the Gap? With their signs and their beards. You know the ones. Shaking their change cup at you. Sometimes their faces look dirty! Can’t we just buy our toddlers matching $200 North Face jackets without being reminded of the grim realities of our increasingly rigged capitalist system?
Because Plaza landlord Highwoods Properties technically can’t boot these people off the Plaza, it has instead hired some folks to pass out pamphlets encouraging people who walk past panhandlers to keep their money in their pockets. They read:
“Charity and concern for the homeless are wonderful things. But a quarter here and a dime there can add up to little more than a life of continued dysfunction and/or social isolation. Your spare change may actually be hurting a person in need by enabling him or her to delay seeking treatment and help.” The pamphlet goes on to suggest giving to a charitable organization instead.
KCTV5 pressed Highwoods for a response. They got this:
“Often, Plaza patrons have expressed to us concerns regarding panhandling. While most panhandlers are friendly and nonthreatening, there have been occasions when that is not the case. In response to this and to carefully guide our customers and also assist the homeless, we created a pamphlet for concerned patrons that shares tips for dealing with these sometimes-uncomfortable situations, as well as provides names and contact information of 10 organizations dedicated to assisting the homeless population of Kansas City. On occasion, these pamphlets are distributed to patrons on the street when encountering panhandlers.”
Ho-ho-ho, merrrrrrry Christmas!