LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Metro police are writing tickets to people who stop to donate to the homeless on the side of the roads.
There’s a reason for it, but some think it’s going too far.
Monday evening on Foremaster Lane in downtown Las Vegas, sidewalks turn into shelters, shopping carts into storage.
“Especially after Thanksgiving, if you want to come here, it's a mess,” volunteer Sandra Cordero said.
“To me, it's just the feeling of they are getting a warm meal even if it's just this one time a year,” Elizabeth Arguello said.
Arguello said she and her family hand out hot pizzas to the homeless every holiday season. Her heart is in the right place. But if you try to hand out food or clothes in the area, police may hand you a ticket.
“We see it often where people will stop in the middle of an intersection, to give money or food,” Metro deputy chief Chris Jones said. “’And this is very dangerous.”
It’s not a crime to do something good. But your good deed can lead to traffic problems.
“It brings whoever is seeking those items out, into traffic where they could be hit by a car,” Jones said. “It also impedes traffic.”
“I mean it's good that people want to do good and give them food, but they're doing bad too because they're leaving all of the trash,” Cordero said.
Cordero is a volunteer with DUVEF. She walks and rolls the trash can up and down Foremaster Lane once a week.
“And that's what I mean - look at all the clothes,” she said. “They come and give them clothes but they don't have a place to put it. We want to keep our city clean and help the people that nobody cares for.”
There’s plenty for Sandra to clean up, even though the city spends about $100,000 a year for professional crews to clean this street.
“That’s taxpayer money,” Jones said. “We have to get out there, pick all these items up.”
That’s why Jones wants the valley’s generous neighbors to keep giving, but to non-profits instead.
“It would be easy for me to just give money to the shelters,” Arguello said. “But no amount of money could help my children understand people do struggle out here.”
And that’s what makes it worth it for Arugello.
“Knowing that the police could potentially give me a ticket wouldn't stop me from doing it,” she said.
Since Nov. 21, Metro police handed out at least four traffic tickets for illegal parking. The city also issued at least 13 citations for the same reason, last month.