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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dealing with Panhandlers

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

So you’re on your way to the grocery store and you’re approached by a panhandler who asks for some spare change.
You’re not about to give away your money, but you also wish to avoid being rude to someone who may be down on his luck.

A solution to this dilemma has been provided by 2-1-1 San Diego, which has printed informational cards that offer a way for the needy to access everything from housing to food to counseling.
2-1-1 San Diego is a non-profit organization that has assisted many people by connecting them to helpful agencies in times of crisis, financial or otherwise.

The 2-1-1 information cards can be picked up at the Santee Community Services Department,  Building 6 at City Hall, or you can make your own card by printing the accompanying JPG image.  Giving these cards to panhandlers is better than giving them your spare change, which in most cases will be used to buy drugs or alcohol.
In an effort to discourage panhandling, the Sheriff’s Department urges residents who are solicited for money to call the agency’s non-emergency number (858-565-5200) to report it.

Santee has an ordinance that prohibits “aggressive” panhandling, as well as panhandling next to an ATM machine or within 50 feet of a signalized intersection.
To ensure your money is actually helping poor and homeless people, you should donate to nonprofit charities such as United Way, Project Alpha, St. Vincent de Paul Village, Veteran’s Village of San Diego, the Santee Food Bank or Feeding America.

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