The homeless population has increased since the beginning of the pandemic. There was a recent arrests that were made by the Lafayette police department as two panhandlers were begging for assistance.
There have been conversations for solutions on how to deal with panhandlers are being discussed as many homeless shelters are trying to help get people off the streets.
“It's a systemic issue , um and it's not something that you can just kind of throw one idea at and hope it will stick”
As homeless numbers increase throughout Acadiana , conversations about tackling the issue are also on the rise.
“We need to collectively drive those that are in need to these resources you don't know where the dollar goes when you give it outside your car”
Mayor president Josh Gulliory says fixing this problem in the city is top priority ..
“We have plenty of federal dollars not only with this program but federal dollars to the millions that are going to programs such as arch.”
While lcg works to fund homeless programs john nugent , executive director for safehouse says the process of dealing with panhandlers won't be easy ..
“We are getting a lot of people that will come off the streets and they will clean up specifically with opioid users and they will clean up for a while and then they might go back and we are seeing a lot of them that are dying so ya know this is a life-or-death situation”
While two arrest were made by lpd of two panhandlers, nugent says providing resources and guidance is a better solution in handling this crisis
“We need to be having conversations amongst ourselves. We need to be having conversations with individuals on the streets. We need to be having conversations with people that are working with police officers , with social workers and things like that.”
We're still waiting to hear back from arch and lpd on this issue.