(CNN) — At a busy intersection in Omaha, Nebraska, passers-by are used to seeing people begging for money. But recently, a new face has shown up on one of the corners.
Charles Logan is a retired military man, and he says he’s fed up with panhandlers.
“If you want money, go get a job and work for it,” he said.
Logan decided to take a stand after seeing his own son begging for money on the street.
“That is what really hurt me because I know that he didn’t have to do that,” he said. “And a lot of people out here don’t have to do it.”
Logan stands right across the street from pandhandler Charles Smith, who says it isn’t so simple.
“We all go through our personal struggles whether it be financial, physical, mental, emotional. He doesn’t understand that,” Smith said.
Smith is a single father who says he is facing eviction from his apartment, and is trying to pay his rent before his disability check arrives.
Another panhandler nearby, Aaron Hansen, said he struggles with drug addiction and just got out of jail.
“I’m a college graduate. I was raised by very respectable parents. I’m a decent person,” Hansen said. “It’s just a temporary thing until I get back on my feet.”
Logan’s sign is drawing attention on both sides. Some honk in approval, while others find it offensive.
“That’s one of the best signs there is out here,” one driver said.
But not everyone agrees. Just this month, police reports state a panhandler threw a drink at Logan, another threatened him with a knife, and someone even sprayed him with mace. None of that has deterred him from his mission, he says.
“That’s what America is built off of, people that work. Not people that beg.”
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