Re "West Valley Mayor advises just saying no to panhandlers" (Tribune, July 20):
Panhandling is an age-old problem. Giving a dollar to a beggar is frowned upon by our leaders. People are more comfortable giving millions to politicians.
The advice from our leaders to ignore panhandlers is dutifully obeyed by most. Perhaps the hope is, if we ignore them, they will simply vanish or migrate to a different city. The social problem presented by these needy individuals is a test of our own compassion.
This segment of our society is often burdened with significant psychological issues. We have failed, particularly during our years of economic stress, to provide the resources required to make them whole and productive. Many are truly destitute, with few possessions or resources.
Yes, some do not want to be saved, and some take advantage of us, but that should not prevent us from trying to help.
Little has changed over thousands of years since the Savior said in the parable of God dividing the sheep from the goats: "as ye have done it unto one of the least of these â¦ ye have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).
Salt Lake City