Businesses in Five Points South discourage panhandling - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Businesses in Five Points South discourage panhandling

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

"Being homeless, it hurts," Roy Dill said. "Sometimes, I've sat back and I've cried."

Four days ago, Dill was homeless. He knows what it's like on the streets.

"We have no other choice but to ask somebody for help sometimes," he said.

But now, asking for help in the Five Points South area could get him in trouble.

In the window of the Original House of Pancakes hangs a sign that says "Saying no to panhandlers is the right thing to do."

"I think it's wrong for them to tell people not to give us food," Dill said.

John Gentry has also asked for a handout. He was homeless for 15 years. He says the sign is inhumane.

"Lot of these people talk about the Bible and 'Do unto others as you have them do unto you,' but a lot of people don't treat people like they want to be treated," Gentry said.

The sign also says if you would like to help the homeless to make donations to such organizations like Jimmie Hale Mission and the Salvation Army. Gentry says that's fine, but it's not always a sure fix.

"They do their part," he said. "But without adequate funding and enough bedding...some times it's a hindrance."

Dill just wants people to know that homeless isn't hopeless.

"If it was the other way around, I would do everything that I could to help somebody," he said.

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