The City of Sevierville has established a new ordinance designed to discourage illegal soliciting/panhandling and improve certain areas in the City for residents and visitors. Giving to panhandlers may seem like a good thing, but it may do more harm than good. Consider that:
• Giving panhandlers money may discourage them from finding a long term solution to their difficulties.
• Panhandling can cause pedestrian and traffic safety issues
• Panhandling often makes pedestrians and motorists concerned for their safety.
• Panhandlers sometimes buy alcohol and/or drugs with the money you give.
• When confronted by a panhandler, the best thing to do is politely decline and continue on your way.
• Social service agencies are available to help persons who are in need of food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and employment.
If you witness illegal soliciting or panhandling, please call the Sevierville Police Department @ 865-453-5506.
It is unlawful for any person to solicit money or other things of value in ANY of the following circumstances:
• After sunset and before sunrise
• By repeatedly asking a person
• Using abusive language or profanity
• In an aggressive manner
• In City owned parking lots/garages
• From motorists
• By falsely representing why they want money.
• Or within 20 feet of:
-A crosswalk or intersection
-Any entrance/exit of any bank or check cashing business or ATM
-Public restrooms or bus stops
-Sidewalk café/outdoor eating area.
There are numerous social service agencies in Sevier County and the surrounding area that can assist persons and families in need. Some of these agencies are listed below.
Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries: 865-908-3153
TN Coalition for the Homeless 1-888-556-0791
Sevier County Food Ministries 865-428-5182
Sevier County Health Dept. (WIC) 865-453-1032
TN Dept. of Human Services (Food Stamps) 865-429-7005
Samaritan Place 865-684-1880
Eastgate Homes 865-453-8500
Gateway Village 865-453-1729
East TN Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) 865-244-1700