Why Handouts Harm

It's natural to want to help, but giving to panhandlers keeps them from connecting with services and may contribute to continued life on the streets. Moving out of homeless takes integrated support and resources; by supporting long-term solutions, you can help make a difference.

Say yes to charity, no to panhandling because:

  • It keeps people from connecting with available resources.
  • It may be supporting drug or alcohol addiction.
  • It creates friction with local businesses.
  • It takes the focus off lasting solutions.
  • It encourages more panhandling.
  • It further isolates individuals experiencing homelessness.

Please Don’t Give To Panhandlers

  • DO answer requests with a firm NO
  • DO report illegal activity by calling 911 or a non-emergency number at (805)
  • DO treat the homeless with respect.
  • DO offer information where they can get help, by dialing 2-1-1
  • DO make donations to local organizations helping the homeless.
  • DON’T encourage panhandling by giving money, food, etc.
  • DON’T allow anyone to camp or loiter on your property.
  • DON’T assume you’re making a difference when you are giving; you may be hurting, not helping.