NOT ALL HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE PANHANDLERS AND NOT ALL PANHANDLERS ARE HOMELESS.
The Best Answer is a Firm NO.
- Don’t encourage panhandlers. Simply say NO and continue on your way. If a panhandler is persistent and you feel harassed or threatened please contact 911.
- Panhandling does not solve the problems the person is facing and can often prolong the problem. Panhandling is not a reliable or stable income, it creates dependence on others, and is a cycle that is difficult to break even if someone doesn’t intend to do it very long.
- Someone asking for change may need food, housing, healthcare, clothing, addiction treatment etc… Please refer panhandlers to the services offered in our community such as shelter and meal services instead of giving money.
- Share this information with friends, and co-workers. As more people understand the dynamics of panhandling, panhandlers will get the help they really need.
- Consider giving your spare change to the organizations in our community dedicated to helping those in need.
If a panhandler needs Food, clothing, shelter or other services, please point them to local resources from our Statewide Resource Guide: msbos.org/resources