Murf. Panhandlers Stir Up Controversy, Concern

Jul 13, 2012

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --  Controversial comments made by a Murfreesboro firefighter are causing local officials to ask their own questions about the recent rise in panhandling on city streets.

The Daily News Journal ran a story this week on posts by firefighter Gregory Burt. Burt reportedly complained about a street-corner beggar that he claims really is not in need.

Now some Murfreesboro city commissioners and Mayor Tommy Bragg are also voicing concerns about beggars at the city’s busiest intersections.

City Councilman Eddie Smotherman says Murfreesboro has plenty of resources to offer those in need.

“If they really need clothing or food - we provide those services, and currently they’re certainly not taking advantage of the services we’re providing. They’re just willing to stand on the corner and ask for money.”

Smotherman is encouraging residents to avoid giving money to street beggars, but instead to suggest they get help at one of the city’s homeless facilities. Those organizations include Green House Ministries, Journey Home, or the Main Street Mission.