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Aggressive beggars in the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina disturbing to visitor

January 24, 2009

The following LTE was published recently in The State and how true it is. A blind eye has been turned by the City of Columbia to an activity that is both illegal and potentially dangerous.

Non-Aggresive Honest Panhandler

Non-Aggresive Honest Panhandler

• Aggressive beggars disturbing to visitor

This past weekend, I had friends visiting from Texas, and they were staying at the new Sheraton on Main Street. They said the rooms were extremely nice and the rooftop bar had a great view.

On Saturday around 5:30 p.m., one of my friends walked the five or six blocks to the CVS pharmacy on Assembly Street to pick up some medicine. Unfortunately, he was approached five different times for money by what he classified as “very aggressive beggars.” He eventually ran back to the hotel.

He said he had never seen anything like this before, and he lives in Dallas.

Overall, they had a great time and really enjoyed the Vista, but I know this incident really stood out. I have a feeling this is not an isolated occurrence, which is a concern as we try to grow and market the Vista and Main Street areas.


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