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Panhandlers Carol Leitz (cq) (l) and J.C. (just chillin) (cq) talk with Urban Peak worker Tony Modica (cq) (far right) along the 16th Street mall in Denver, Colo. on Wednesday January 24, 2007. The couple had been panhandling non aggressively when Urban Peak worker came over to offer some help in finding a place to live. Urban Peak outreach workers like Tony Modica try to help teens through the tough time and get them off the streets so they don't have to panhandle. A year ago the city essentially outlawed most forms of panhandling in Denver. Downtown business people --the ones perhaps most annoyed by panhandlers -- say it is working. Police records show there were 215 arrests for begging from January through September in 2006. The largest number of arrests -- 82 -- were in and around the 16th Street Mall. That's a decline from 2005, when 104 people were arrested near the mall in the same period. (LINDA McCONNELL/ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS) **

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