When people approach you to ask for money, sometimes they really need help. But in most cases, they are not homeless. Many panhandlers use the money you give them to fuel addictions and other self-destructive behaviors.
Even small donations can help to create significant programs to help people in need. Social service organizations in Salt Lake City provide services for people who find themselves in need, but they can't do it without your support. Instead of giving spare change to panhandlers, please consider making a generous donation of money or time to the community organizations dedicated to solving problems and helping the homeless.
Downtown social service providers include:
- Catholic Community Services: Weigand Homeless Day Center
- St Vincent de Paul Dining Hall / Dinner at Vinny's
- The Rescue Mission of Salt Lake
- Volunteers of America
- The Road Home
- The Fourth Street Clinic
Panhandling is not an issue unique to downtown or Salt Lake City - it is a problem in communities across the Wasatch Front and across the nation. Every problem has a solution. Decide to help fight homelessness in a way that benefits the entire community. Then you can know you've given, without being taken.