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De Blasio Miffed By Reports Of 'Professional Panhandlers' Targeting Tompkins Square Park

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Professional panhandlers in the park? Not on Mayor de Blasio's watch.

As 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported, De Blasio was clearly miffed by those on the street who have been collecting money -- making a clear distinction between those truly in need, and the ones he calls 'professional panhandlers.'

"And I think there are people who panhandle who maybe are in desperate need, and maybe don't know there are these other options, or don't know what to do with it. There are people who have mental health and substance abuse problems, but there are also people who are doing it purely out of choice. I mean this is a fact, who somehow think it's fun or they think it's a way to make easy money and I resent that, I really do," the mayor said.

The mayor was responding to reports that people were coming in from out-of-town to do this in Tompkins Square Park.

He plans to send outreach groups to engage and offer assistance, saying there may be services or job training that can be provided to get them out of there.


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