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August 19, 2005

Will work for food or stock options

From the Denver Post...

A survey of panhandling activity in Denver found that more than $4.5 million dollars has been donated in the past year.

The survey, sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver's economic-development office, also found that 42% of Denver residents have given money to a panhandler in the past year.

The survey found that women between 18 and 29 years old are most likely to donate, as are individuals with family incomes below $25,000.

The data indicated that, among those who give to panhandlers, the average annual contribution is $24.58....

City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, whose district includes the 16th Street Mall, said she had not seen the study but had heard the results were serious and significant. ...

The former City Council president noted that she knows of some panhandlers who make hundreds of dollars a week - and even a day.

"I know some people are making $150 to $300 or $400 a day," she said. "There are some people who are in desperate situations but many who are panhandling for a living."

Our church, along with several others in the same town, instituted a program several years back so that if someone came to the church asking for money, they were sent to the police station to pick up a voucher for food or gas, which the restaurant or gas station would then turn into that particular church for re-imbursement. So far the program has worked wonderfully. Professional scam artists that used to make the rounds of the churches, now go to other towns rather than risk entering the police station.

I watched one day as a man came into the church office asking for gas money to get back home. The church secretary called out the pastor, and he explained the process, as the secretary phoned the police to let them know he was coming. She wrote a quick note to the man, and told him the police would give him the voucher if he gave them the note. While he didn't ask, they also told him they would pay for a meal at a nearby restaurant. The man thanked them, took the note and left. the police called sometime later to confirm that the man had picked up the vouchers.

Quick, efficient, handles the problem without wasting money on scam artists.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 19, 2005 09:36 AM

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