Gainesville currently has an ordinance that prohibits panhandling, but it is not enforceable due to free speech. The laws might change soon after a panhandler was struck and killed in April. Gainesville city commissioners have said the new ordinance won’t incriminate panhandlers but intends rather to limit where the activity is allowed in order to keep them safe and avoid another fatal accident. Some Gainesville residents, like William Irmen, a 54-year-old homeless man, rely on panhandling in these spots for consistent income.