Albuquerque Gives Panhandlers Day Jobs, Not Tickets

http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-albuquerque-gives-panhandlers-jobs-not-tickets.html

The van initiative is part of a larger effort in Albuquerque to reduce homelessness and panhandling. In May, the city started posting blue and white signs at intersections that list a 311 phone number and a website. Panhandlers can call the number to connect with services. At the same time, motorists can visit the website, managed by the United Way of Central New Mexico, to donate to a local shelter, food bank or an employment fund to pay panhandlers’ wages.

Branded “There’s a Better Way,” the point of the campaign is to encourage more effective charitable giving to help the homeless. Not only does the van provide some income to panhandlers, but it drops them off at the end of the day at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, a nonprofit that connects people with housing, employment and mental health services…

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