Mayor Torres forms committee to tackle panhandling | Paterson Times

Mayor Torres forms committee to tackle panhandling


The city has created a new committee to address panhandling after receiving numerous complaints from residents, announced mayor Jose “Joey” Torres on Thursday afternoon.

Torres’ new working committee is made up of representatives from the city’s health department, housing authority, police, and St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center. The committee is tasked with figuring out ways to tackle homelessness and panhandling in the city.

“The city has received numerous citizen and visitor complaints on panhandler throughout the city at times both aggressive and menacing,” said Torres in a statement. The city’s many entrances are often guarded by White out of town heroin addicts seeking dimes and dollars from motorists as they enter the city.

Council members have repeatedly railed against panhandlers – who do not resemble the city’s mostly black and brown population– occupying the city’s entrances and further tarnishing its already battered reputation.

The mayor wants a “local needs assessment action plan” that will provide referral services and immediate assistance to the panhandlers.

“It is imperative we take action in resolving this quality of life issue,” said police director Jerry Speziale in a statement. “The committee and its recommendations will aid in identifying effective and fair ways to do so.”

The committee will likely have a needs assessment report completed within the next two weeks which will include recommendations.

  • Rose Ritokoski

    We are not helping the panhandlers by giving them money most just drink the money given there are soup kitchens support those instead or by or make them a sandwich.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    sure,blame the white out of town people.what percentage are these people compared to all the paterson ones doing the same?officials in this city better stop blaming & do something. we all know how bad paterson is.if you took the "white out of towners" away,there would not be even a fraction of difference.
    we aren't stupid.we see & live the truth about paterson daily.maybe it's time for you officials to actually get out in our streets & see what's going on.see what we go through.& while you're at it,make sure to bring inspectors along as they have blinders on.they don't see garbage filled yards,or trash in front of homes,or recyclables in just about every garbage can,they don't see 2×4's holding up sagging porches for months & years,etc-&you wonder why this city is in the shape is in?maybe the white people are sneaking in at night & doing all this too?