Victory For Tampa Panhandlers

(UPDATE 1 p.m.)      Tampa’s controversial roadside panhandling ban is half way to being repealed.

Council voted today to get rid of it after getting sued by a charity that claims it relies on money from motorists to house and feed the homeless.

But roadside begging is still illegal in Tampa, because a county ban also applies in Tampa city limits.

Council must approve its repeal during a second vote to make it official.


Tampa City Council is set to take the first of two votes on repeal of the city’s controversial ban on panhandling.

Up for repeal are parts of the begging ban that generally prohibit solicitation along city’s roads and streets by individuals, but allow hawkers to sell newspapers.

Council will likely vote to get rid of the ban because members are not keen on being drawn in to an expensive and long running legal battle with  the group Homeless Helping Homeless, which has sued the city over the ban.

The shelter says it gives beds and meals to Tampa’s homeless, largely paid for with donations by passing motorists.