Downtown Residents Concerned about Panhandling Vagrants

City officials have focused a lot of attention on the effects vagrants are having on the downtown business community but some residents say they’re being impacted just as much, if not more.

Neighbors on Grace Avenue say they miss the old days and say they won’t feel comfort in their home until the city can stop vagrants from panhandling in their driveways.

at was once a quiet neighborhood. This street is tucked in to the middle of downtown and there was a time when there was barely any traffic. Now it’s a constant of pedestrian traffic and it’s always people you don’t know” said long time local Mary Robinson.

Robinson was enjoying a sunny afternoon on her front porch Wednesday, but it’s a rare occurrence. She says vagrants have forced her to dramatically alter her lifestyle.

“I’m not as comfortable being in my front yard as I once was; I’m not comfortable taking a walk, I gave away a perfectly good bicycle and I went out and bought a gym membership.”

Robinson also had a home security system installed, put up a fence, and is even paying for an additional street light. Across the street, Robinson’s neighbor said he too, is fed up with the vagrants. He’s put his house up for sale

“I don’t fear for it, I can take care of myself, I have weapons. So, if push comes to shove, so be it, but it’s become a nuisance” said Frank Brunyansky.

Tuesday night Panama City commissioners voted to have Mayor Greg Brudnicki continue exploring his proposal to build a community resource center, that could house the Panama City Rescue Mission. A city-appointed taskforce is leading that effort

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