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Ordinance Pertaining to Illegal Soliciting/Panhandling

Posted 07-10-23.

The City of Sevierville has an 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 can 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.
• Some panhandlers use subtle methods, such as appearing distraught or in need when they actually are not.
• 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 people 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.

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.

Sevier County Family Resource Center 865-428-7999
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Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministries 865-908-3153

TN Valley Coalition for the Homeless 865-859-0749

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 Senior Housing) 865-684-1880
Eastgate Homes 865-453-8500
Newberry Apartments 865-453-1729

East TN Human Resource Agency (ETHRA) 865-244-1700

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.
-Pay phones.
-Sidewalk café/outdoor eating area.

Contact Us

Bob Stahlke, Public Information Officer

300 Gary Wade Blvd.
Sevierville, TN 37864-5500
Phone: 865.453.5506