Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The plan was passed unanimously by City Council weeks ago, and has garnered the attention of the nation.
If there is any singular message the people walking along Main Street in Columbia were seeking to get out, they said it is the fact that the the faces there were just some of Columbia's homeless population.
"What we're doing here is just stating that we, as citizens, as law abiding citizens, have a right to be here just like anyone else does," said the walks organizer, Kevin Oliver.
They spent the afternoon, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., walking the City's center, but Oliver said their message should be seen as bigger.
"When they proposed the Emergency Response Plan," Oliver said, "I felt like the way it was proposed, and the way that it was worded, has leeway in it for basically criminalizing homelessness."
But not everyone there agreed with what the group had to say.
One man, walking a few steps ahead of the group with his dog, was seen carrying a sandwich board with messages opposing the group, and supporting the City's plan.
"We're not trying to kick them out because we don't like them and we don't care about them," said Stephanie Sharpe, the owner of a downtown dance studio and store. "They have rights, but we have rights too."
Sharpe said that she was going to have to close her business because of lost revenue, stating that panhandlers have frightened her customers away over time.
She also said that her 13-year-old daughter was asked once for money, and was frightened enough to stay in the car parked outside the studio.
"I won't be open much longer," Sharpe said. "The market on Saturday mornings, and the homeless situation, people do not want to come downtown and shop. They just don't. It is an ongoing issue."
"This event itself isn't going to accomplish anything in and of itself," Oliver said. "What it hopes to do is keep the conversation going."
Columbia City Council is expected to hold another discussion of the issue at a meeting Sept. 3.