Toronto supports instead of criminalizing panhandlers

According to the Wellesley Institute blog, the Toronto City Council's Executive Committee has adopted a panhandling strategy that ensures panhandlers have access to housing, supports and income. This buckles the trend of legislation that has tried to criminalize panhandling including Ontario's Safe Streets Act and BC's Safe Street Act.

In 2007, the city conducted a Panhandling Pilot Project (in PDF) to provide social services to people panhandling and to educate the public about urban poverty. The pilot project found that generally panhandling was unobtrusive, that many panhandlers experienced social isolation and loathed the fact that they had to panhandle. The project also found that an intensive social service response was more successful then criminalization. You can read a personal story about the Panhandling Pilot Project on the Toronto City website - "A story to tell : Retirement from Adelaide and York".