It is not illegal for people to panhandle or beg in Edina. They are protected by the First Amendment and may stand passively and display signs on public property.
Tips for Residents and Visitors
If you are approached by a panhandler or someone soliciting money, the following tips may be helpful:
- Do not provide money to panhandlers. Politely say no or sorry. Pulling out your purse or wallet can make you a potential victim of a crime.
- If comfortable, another option is to carry a bag with some food and basic hygiene supplies that could be handed out to those in need instead of giving money.
- Aggressive panhandling is illegal. If you feel threatened, call 911.
Examples of aggressive behavior include:
Confronting someone in a way that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily harm.
Touching someone without their consent.
Continuing to panhandle or follow someone after they have refused to give money.
Intentionally blocking or interfering with the safe passage of a person or vehicle.
Using obscene or abusive language toward someone while attempting to panhandle.
Acting with intent to intimidate someone into giving money.
If you would like to help people in need, donate wisely to the organizations that exist to help them. You can get the most positive results from your donation if you donate to charitable organizations.
A variety of resources and non-profit partners are available in Edina to provide food resources, assist with housing needs, and assess physical and mental health needs. Donating to these organizations helps support long-term solutions.
- United Way 2-1-1 provides referrals to resources and assistance for many issues. Call 211, or 651-291-0211. 211 is available 24 hours a day, every day.
- VEAP is the food shelf, which serves Edina, Richfield, Bloomington and South Minneapolis. VEAP also offers supportive services and housing stabilization programming.
- The Edina Resource Center provides a list of resources available to help in areas such as food, housing, transportation, healthcare, financial support and more. Phone: 952-848-3936
- VA Community Resource and Referral Center offers support programs for Veterans who are homeless.
- Oasis for Youth operates a drop-in Resource Center for youth ages 16-24. Oasis for Youth meets the needs of youth through individualized case management, connections to resources, improved access to services and supports, and assistance with basic needs.
- Agate Housing and Services offers shelter, housing, and resources for those who are experiencing homelessness. Phone: 612-874-0311
- Loaves and Fishes offers free community meals at Hope Presbyterian Church, 7132 Portland Ave. S, Monday-Friday, 5 to 6 p.m., and Woodlake Lutheran Church, 2120 W. 76th St., Saturday-Sunday, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
If you have further questions about panhandling in Edina, call the Edina Police Department at 952-826-1610.