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Growing Number Of Downtown Vagrants/Panhandlers Becoming Problem For Local Economic Development

October 14th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Not only is the growing number of vagrants and panhandlers on the downtown Cumberland Mall serving as concern for pedestrians and shoppers- it is also becoming a problem for local economic development efforts. Paul Kelly, executive director of the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, said that he has talked to some downtown business owners who are expressing frustration and concerned with a lack of safety for customers. He said the issue has grown to the point that some businesses may choose to relocate…


9 Responses to “Growing Number Of Downtown Vagrants/Panhandlers Becoming Problem For Local Economic Development”

  1. October 14, 2019 at 7:58 am, David said:

    There are solutions! I was in downtown Winchester Saturday, during their October Fest and it was fantastic. Despite open air drinking and a very large crowd it was a pleasant time. There was a very large number of private security and police, which may have led to the pleasantness. We can solve this if we have the will.


  2. October 14, 2019 at 8:39 am, LRH said:

    We stopped going downtown 5 or 6 years ago. Two or three times a month, we use to enjoy sitting outdoors eating, drinking, people watching, listening to music spending on average +/-$75 an evening. At some point, I had to ask myself why I was paying for the privilege of having foul mouthed tattoo covered bums with a pit-bull on string and two/three screaming kids sitting or standing 5 feet away me. I voted with my feet. Until this issue is dealt with DT will not be back no matter what gimmick they come up with. Open the road or don’t. Throw a street party or don’t. I does’t matter.


  3. October 14, 2019 at 9:24 am, Brian said:

    In today’s world we’ve made it acceptable for people not to be responsible for themselves if you are an able-bodied I would say man but that would be politically incorrect stop giving them handouts make them become responsible for themselves if they harassing other people arrest them hopefully the judge will give them the choice get a job or go to jail


  4. October 14, 2019 at 9:36 am, Mike said:

    A few years back I had someone walk up to my car while I was withdrawing money from the ATM. I must say I blew my gasket. A woman from the bank came out and helped the situation which I appreciated but my goodness it was a pretty ridiculous situation.


  5. October 14, 2019 at 10:00 am, Linda Enderle said:

    I used to enjoy going downtown to eat and just browse the shops. As I’ve aged and it has become difficult to walk The 3 or 4 blocks from where I can find a place to park ( which is another issue) thus having to walk by the vagrants and panhandlers I’ve stopped going downtown at all except to bank. It’s shameful that nothing is being done to rid the area of the undesirables and make it safe for the people that would once again enjoy and spend money in the downtown area..
    It’s no wonder people have chosen to go out of town to shop and spend their money.


  6. October 14, 2019 at 10:14 am, mac said:

    Are the Cumberland police so overwhelmed with other crimes that they can’t dedicate one officer to patrol, at least, on days when a function is taking place?
    It would be a simple matter to roust the bums and other ne-er do wells to keep them moving.
    If they are present often enough the precedent would be established.


  7. October 14, 2019 at 3:29 pm, Brian said:

    We don’t need to just relocate them to a different part of town we need to find out what their problem is get them help if they refuse the help don’t let them continue to be irresponsible find a way to let them know that they are not welcome here to pray on the citizens of Cumberland


    • October 14, 2019 at 5:59 pm, LRH said:

      > We are at the last part of your statement… “let them know that they are not welcome here to pray on the citizens of Cumberland”. A sharp blow to the forehead might get the message across.


  8. October 15, 2019 at 5:13 am, Mark said:

    And what has the city done so far to discourage ‘poor bums’ from hanging out? Take away any place to sit down, make sure NO public bathrooms are available, etc. If you’re a shopper too bad!! ( and it’s more the bad behavior and lack of decency that’s worse than the occasional wino asking for change, imo.)


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