1540 WADK.com Updates

A former Providence mayor's plan to reduce crime and panhandling in the city's Kennedy Plaza is being met with resistance from some advocates for the homeless.

Joseph Paolino Jr. announced the plan during a news conference Wednesday as protesters, including members of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, chanted outside.

Paolino is the chairman of the Downtown Improvement District. He says he'll recommend the district spend about $100,000 on outreach workers to help people who are homeless.

Paolino has also drafted an ordinance to make it a violation to pass anything from a vehicle in traffic to pedestrians. It could affect panhandlers and those soliciting money for charity.

The coalition argues that the ordinance's goal is to "eject those deemed undesirable" from the plaza.

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