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Posted on: October 15, 2019

Chief's Corner

REAL CHANGE, NOT SPARE CHANGE

When you see someone, who appears to be homeless on a street corner panhandling for money, you may be tempted to give. Our community is very well intentioned and generous, but what we don’t realize is every time we give someone on the street a few bucks, we are perpetuating panhandling by enabling those individuals to fuel their addictions, jeopardizing their safety and desire to change their lifestyles. Panhandling creates many quality of life issues for communities. However, there’s an alternative that has a much higher chance of resulting in changed lives then just indiscriminately giving out money to somebody with a cardboard sign.

Instead of giving cash handouts, it’s important for community members to find truly transformative solutions to help those in need. There are many organizations across the City, the County, and beyond that support homelessness and their efforts directly benefit the homeless population. We encourage our residents to seek out those organizations and if you choose to give donations, then choose programs that support real change in the community. Many options are available to support those in need

Redirect Your Generosity

  • Support local organizations that provide a wide range of needed services —by contributing donations and/or volunteer time.
  • Your financial and volunteer support is an investment in long-term solutions.
  • Donate today to an organization of your choice.
  • Many local groups enjoy participating in regular volunteer service projects together. If you can’t locate a local group, consider initiating a service project at your office or residential complex.

Help is Available for Those Who Want It

  • Many organizations in Beaumont provide services and meals. Riverside County has many options for shelter services.
  • A directory of current resources, including meals, is available online at 2-1-1 Riverside Connect.

So, what should you do?

  • Walk with certainty and confidence. Make eye contact and acknowledge the person with a nod.
  • Choose to respond politely. You may simply say "no" or "not today."
  • If you want to offer something, consider bottled water or food gift certificates rather than money.
  • Call 951-769-8500 for non-emergency police assistance (or 911 in an emergency situation).


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