This is my opinion and my blog so once in awhile I have to get on top of my soap box and say exactly what I think.
Everywhere I go in almost any city, I see panhandlers on many street corners, freeway entrances and exits, restaurant doorways, store entrances, etc…… asking for money because they are a veteran with no job, because they are homeless, because they want work, because they are hungry…….and some even go so far to say that they want money for alcohol and cigarettes, etc.
Here in Salt Lake City we have a large homeless population. Our city is very generous and the needy can get a meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
There are programs for the chronically homeless to get housing and those who are temporarily homeless have shelters to stay in.
I know that economic times are difficult for everyone including my own family, friends and acquaintances.
As I drive by Temple Square here in downtown Salt Lake, everyday there are the same people begging for money.
These people are there every single day, all day long.
If the panhandlers were not successful they would not be asking for money.
These people get cash and they do not have to pay taxes unlike the working middle class.
Begging for money is their full time job!
We have had the news media profile and interview some of the people from around our city who panhandle.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has many humanitarian services and resources to help those in need.
If someone needs help they can get help for some type of service in return. The church will train people to learn to become self-sufficient and self-reliant. If someone is in immediate need of help the church will step in and provide temporary help but the church will not let someone continually abuse the system. If you would like to find out more about the humanitarian services of the church you can follow the link listed below:
While I was in San Diego last week in the gas lamp district, I saw the sign shown at the beginning of this blog post about panhandling. The sign represents a sentiment that rings true in my heart. I had to stop and take a photo of the panhandling warning.
I wish more cities would display a similar sign.
I can walk by someone with a clear conscious and not give them money because I donate money through our church for the sick, poor and needy. Our church has amazing humanitarian efforts established and is usually one of the first and largest contributors to any disaster throughout the entire world. My husband and I donate money with our tithing contributions to help those in need. I am grateful that we are able to help those in need by supporting an established and reputable program where needs are being met of those they serve.
I know the money that I give; is not being used for reasons that encourage chronic panhandling.
Below are the words that were written on the sign posted on the streets of San Diego:
Panhandling Promotes Drug and Alcohol Abuse…..
give help……not money….
to help the homeless,
give to your local charity……….
Today as I was stopped at a long red light, a man approached me, holding a cardboard sign asking for $2.00 for a hamburger.
Not only was he asking for money but he wanted a specific dollar amount. Really???
I am happy that I can give money and know that it is being used in a proper and correct manner.