Here’s the memo about Worcester’s “action plan” on panhandling. The original (in PDF format) is here.

All emphasis and links added.


Memorandum

TO: Michael V. O’Brien, City Manager
FROM: Jill C. Dagilis, Commissioner of Code Enforcement
DATE: April 8, 2005
SUNJECT: Action Plan to Reduce the Incidence of Panhandling

Pursuant to your request, the following report outlines the action agenda designed to reduce the incidence of panhandling and related concerns in the City of Worcester. Given your prior review and approval of this plan, strategies defined herein have begun and will continue throughout the year.

This initiative is the culmination of many months of planning through collaboration with a broad network of community partners. The goal of this public-private, interagency plan is twofold: To provide an extensive community education campaign that defines and supports the solutions to positively address the complex challenges associated with panhandling, 2. To provide a comprehensive system of social service/treatment response strategies to address the needs of individuals who panhandle. The effort must be grounded in a responsive, holistic, and compassionate approach.

  1. Both the national research and the local social service agency partners advise that we must educate those who give money directly to people who panhandle that this is not the solution, unfortunately it exacerbates the problem. Tragically, seven out of ten people who panhandle will use the money to buy drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Worcester has proven that it is a generous and giving community, particularly to those in need; citizens open their hearts and their wallets in an effort to help. There is a better way to help.
  2. Redirecting these same donations to targeted social service/treatment response systems is the solution. This approach strengthens the capacity of the agencies to provide food for the hungry, shelter and housing for the homeless, mental health support services, and substance abuse recovery services for those challenged by addictions. A program is in place to receive and direct these funds to the service agencies.
    1. Core objectives include:

      • Development and implementation of a 12-month multi-faceted public education campaign with
Published in: | on September 15th, 2005 | No Comments »