Many citizens regularly encounter panhandlers in front of businesses or near traffic intersections. Some of these panhandlers exploit citizens' generosity to support drug or alcohol addictions. Other times, citizens are robbed of their belongings. The presence of sign-carrying panhandlers, near intersections, can also distract drivers, raising the potential for traffic collisions.
Giving spare change or a few dollars likely enables panhandlers to avoid meaningful aid programs that can result in long term positive behavioral changes rather than relief for the day. The Stockton Police Department suggests that instead of giving panhandlers cash donations, citizens should consider donating to charitable organizations that can help the homeless. The United Way of San Joaquin County is an umbrella organization that raises funds for local non-profits that address health, education and income needs in our community. Many of the organizations receiving funds from United Way provide services to the local homeless population. You may also prefer to donate directly to one of the many non-profit organizations in San Joaquin County that assist the homeless.
You can find more information about donating to United Way of San Joaquin County and other non-profit organizations that help the homeless by clicking on the links under External Links below.
This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 1/2/2012