Arlington and Marysville took a stand against panhandling on Tuesday.
The two cities asked residents to keep their wallets closed to panhandlers, and instead give money to organizations that offer help to the homeless.
"When you give money to a panhandler, you can't know how it will be spent," Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said in a release. "When you want to donate, please consider giving to a local charity instead."
The two cities released a flyer with community resources where people can donate or get help.
In Arlington, though, signs are already posted around the city urging people to "keep the change" instead of giving it to those on the street.
Both Arlington and Marysville have laws on the books that restrict panhandling, but don't ban it outright.
Critics say officials like Arlington Mayor Barbara Torbert aren't being tough enough.
To that, she replied, “we don’t want to just push the problem to another city. If we want to get to the root of the problem, let's strengthen the organizations that are trained and knowledgeable about how to assist people who need help.”
While there are no hard statistics as to whether the softer approach is working, Kaylee Stewart says things are getting better. Her Arlington hair salon was broken into two years ago, but she has seen problems decline ever since.
“Even taking the garbage out used to be scary but now we don't really have to worry, which is good,” she said. “It’s progress.”
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