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A variety of resources and non-profit partners are available in Crystal and the greater metro area to help those in need. These organizations provide food support, assess physical and mental health needs, assist with housing and more.
The temperature or wind-chill become dangerously low. For a list of Metro warming stations in Hennepin, Anoka, Washington and Ramsey County, click here. Everyone is welcome.

The Crystal Police Department has ties to resources in the area and can provide immediate assistance to families or people who are struggling. 
Contact us.

While residents and businesses in Crystal are generous, giving money to panhandlers can have unintended consequences and does not provide long-term solutions for those in need. Many communities in the metro area experience panhandlers. The courts have ruled that panhandlers are protected by the First Amendment and may stand passively and display their signs. However, they may not behave aggressively or interfere with traffic flow. If you notice aggressive behavior or interference with traffic, call 911 so an officer may respond. The Crystal Police Department takes a proactive and compassionate approach with panhandlers. The department works hard to connect them with local resources for help.

Tips for Responding to Panhandling
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 also make you a potential victim of a crime.
• Carry a bag with some food and basic hygiene supplies that you could hand 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. 

Options for Businesses and Property Owners
Businesses and property owners can order panhandlers off their property and the police will assist in the notification and removal process. Additionally, police staff can give written notice that those parties may not return in accordance with Minnesota State Statute 609.605 Trespassing. This law states a person is in violation of state law if the person: 
• Trespasses on the premises of another and, without claim of right, refuses to depart from the premises on demand of the lawful possessor.
• Occupies or enters the dwelling or locked or posted building of another, without claim of right or consent of the owner or the consent of one who has the right to give consent, except in an emergency situation.

People who violate the statute after notice are in violation of a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine.

If you have further questions about panhandling in Crystal, contact the Crystal Police Department at 962-258-5321.
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