Palisades News Letters: Another Way to Help Homeless

Another Way to Help Homeless

In your May 2 edition, Ella Zarky wrote that “Panhandling Should Be Redefined.” At the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness community meeting on April 3, the definition of panhandling was explored, and we listened to residents discuss the pros and cons of panhandling. It was generally held by people at the meeting that giving money to a panhandler is far less effective for that individual in the long run than giving to an organization like PPTFH, whose goal is to connect individuals with needed services and housing . . . instead of enabling a homeless person to stay on the streets.

Some people pointed out that giving the homeless food or clothing is most effective when given as part of an outreach process aimed at leading a person toward eventual housing with permanent support services. We asked our two-person Outreach Team what kind of clothing was most helpful to them in this process, and they said “clothes that you would need if you were homeless—socks, underwear, jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes (size 10 and up), jackets, sweaters, hats and backpacks. Not simply clothes someone doesn’t want anymore.”

PPTFH is pleased that the Palisades community is thinking and talking about “panhandling.” It has substantial implications for our community and helping our homeless people move to housing and needed services.

Doug McCormick, President
Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness

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