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Midland man uses signs to deter drivers from giving money to panhandlers

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)

Tired of seeing the same panhandlers in the same locations, one Midland man is taking matters into his own signs.

“Giving someone a few dollars is not fixing the problem,” said Bert Gamble, Midland resident.

There are residents who have given money thinking it would help, then there’s Bert Gamble.

“I’ve lived in Midland for about two years now and I’ve seen the same people on the same corners,” said Gamble.

For the past few days, Gamble could be found either off Midland Drive and Loop 250 or Highway 191 and Andrews Highway.

“I kept telling my wife, one of these days I’m going to get a sign saying don’t give to panhandlers. I got sick of saying it and just decided to do it,” said Gamble.

No money to panhandlers is just one of his messages, the other, don’t beg, get a job. Gamble believes his actions are reasonable especially after he did some investigating.

“I actually followed them around before I started doing this. I wanted to see what their pattern was, and there’s an older gentleman who drives a white van and he drops the people off at their various corners and then he picks them up.”

Keeping a safe distance, we saw Gamble along with another suspected panhandler in the same area during the lunch hour Friday. Gamble added he has helped those who he thinks really need it.

“It’s probably not a perfect way to tell but if you see someone obviously having problems, I kind of leave them alone,” said Gamble.

With no city ordinance, panhandlers can solicit on any median, sidewalk, or curb, but Gamble hopes he can be the person to make you think twice about giving them your money.

“Donate your money to something that can help. The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, any church in Midland,” said Gamble.

Gamble tells us he’s had mostly positive feedback from residents in Midland. He hopes others will follow his lead with this idea.

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