Charles Logan stands on Omaha’s street corners holding a sign.
He’s not asking for money, but trying to embarrass those who do.
The 66-year-old’s sign states, “If you need money, get a job and go to work! Get a job!”
Logan’s protest of panhandlers has brought a few altercations — including one on Friday that involved Omaha police.
Logan guesses that he was standing 50 feet away from a few panhandlers on the 72nd Street median south of Dodge Street.
One man approached Logan, cursing, threatening and yelling a racial slur at him, Logan said.
“I said ‘I don’t believe that you need to be out here, and I have a right to hold my sign just like you have a right to hold yours,’ ” Logan said.
The man then threw a cup of liquid at him, Logan said, ruining his shoes, pants and sign.
Officers arrived at 4:22 p.m. to calm the disturbance. The panhandler denied making threats and told police that he tripped, spilling his drink on Logan’s sign.
The man was not ticketed, but police found that he has misdemeanor warrants from Colorado.
Logan said the idea of holding a counter-panhandling sign stemmed from his son, who commented that he could stand on the corner to make a good amount of money.
“I can’t make them get off the corner, but I can sure embarrass them with my sign,” said Logan, who has protested at various street corners for about a month. “It must be working, because they’re mad about it.”
Logan has noticed that the panhandlers are in groups and will pass around signs that say “veteran” or “homeless” to earn more.
“It’s just a front,” he said. “It’s just a game with them.”
Candace Gregory, president and CEO of the Open Door Mission, has said that panhandlers often use the money to support an addiction to drugs or alcohol. She has suggested to instead hand out snacks or food, and to hand out business cards explaining what the Open Door Mission offers.
Logan said his sign garners several honks.
“They agree with it,” he said. “They blow their horns and they support it because they know it’s wrong and I know it’s wrong.”
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