A businessman said it was time to take a stand. He felt harassed nearly every day when he drove past one particular corner near his home in Bradenton, Florida.

Ryan Bray, of Bray Remodeling, said that homeless men and women can be seen each day, standing at an intersection of 75th Street W and Manatee Avenue W and holding signs, often approaching cars in an aggressive way.

“They threaten violence. I could tell you what they said to me. The Bradenton Police Department heard it. ‘Kill my mother, rape my wife!’ And, that’s the politest things they said,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he was tired of it and wanted to take a stand. So one day, he rolled down his window and spoke to one of the men he had seen many times before, “I’ll pay you $15 an hour to do yard work.”

The Bradenton business owner says he had hoped that this homeless man, who seemed down on his luck, would say yes to a job offer. Not only did the guy decline but he was also seemed angry about the opportunity, according to Ryan.

“They want money, they don’t want jobs. they don’t want to work,” Ryan told. “They don’t want food. You can give them food. They don’t take it.”

Ryan was shocked by what he heard and saw. As Ryan rolled up his window, he says the homeless man kicked his Jeep and told him to leave.

That when Ryan decided to make a sign of his own. It read, “I offered him $15 an hour to do yardwork for me and he refused. If we as a community stop paying them, they will leave our neighborhood.”

He believes if drivers stop giving the homeless group money through their cracked windows, they’ll leave.

Ryan spent three hours on Sunday standing at the same street corner next to the homeless man who used foul language. Ryan explained that he wanted fellow drivers and citizens to know what happened, written on his sign. “It’s got to stop,” he said.

City council member, Gene Brown, said that city leaders feel as though their hands are tied and city ordinance prohibits banning panhandling.

“We want it stopped as bad as the next person. If somebody needs help, there’s help. We’ve got to get people to stop giving them money. We’ve talked about this quite a bit. We offer them food, a job, they don’t want it,” said Brown.

Ryan plans to bring it up at a city council meeting on July 24.

Categories: U.S. Florida