NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - One of New York City's most well-to-do streets is not immune to the growing panhandling problem. It is a sunny summer morning on E. 29th Street and Park Avenue South. Business is brisk for panhandlers who zero in on drivers stopped at the light on the busy crosstown route. It's almost like an unofficial toll.
There's no shame to them as they panhandle, knowing Fox 5 News cameras are right there. A man who says he's an Army veteran works the corner by day and sleeps in a city shelter by night.
"Some days are better than others," Jon Pryor says.
He says he has no other choice at the moment as he says he tries to get housing and a job.
The manager of the Bread and Butter food store on the corner is not pleased with what is going on.
He says the panhandlers come into the store, shoplift, and even stick their hands in the food buffet.
The store's owner says they've called 311 repeatedly and got no help. He says police have come when they've called 911 because of the stealing but he says the number of panhandlers keeps growing and it's hurting business.