CABOT, Ark. — Ken Kincade, the mayor of Cabot, has garnered over a thousand shares, comments and reactions on a recent Facebook post of him holding a street sign that says, "KEEP THE CHANGE," with "Don't support panhandling," underneath.
The sign has, "give to a local charity," at the bottom.
His caption reads, "The signs are in and getting installed next week. Hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend. Please travel safe."
Comments under the post ranged from support to disagreement, and everything in between.
One of the top comments that stand behind the mayor states in part, "Lawd y’all, he’s not laying down the dang law saying don’t you dare give to panhandlers or else. If you feel so compelled to do so, wonderful and good on you."
Another top reply to the post is from a local Little Rock non-profit, The Van.
Part of the comment reads, "PLEASE have conversations with humans in your community and give directly to people in need as you see fit. Remember, homelessness and panhandling may not be synonymous, but there’s no shelter anywhere near Cabot. People need options not degradation."
The signs, however, have not been installed yet throughout the city. And Mayor Kincade said that ultimately, the community has a choice.
"The community can give to anyone they want to give to. It is their right and choice to do so. It is my job as Mayor to make sure the public is making informed decisions."
The mayor said the signs are meant to discourage those who can be described as "professional panhandlers," and that the signs are not a law, but simply to remind the public that they have a choice of how they can give to those in need.
"Cabot is a very generous community and we are here to help people, but we don’t want to enable professional panhandlers that are taking advantage of our community," Mayor Kincade said.
"As a community, we will continue to help the disadvantaged. We have a group that has been working for quite some time on a homeless shelter for Cabot."
The mayor also said that if anyone is in need can call Cabot City Hall and that they will be directed to someone that can help.