City of Yakima Initiates Anti-Panhandling Campaign - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Yakima Initiates Anti-Panhandling Campaign

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YAKIMA, Wash.--The City of Yakima is enforcing new laws when it comes to panhandling, and they're also developing a public education campaign.

The Anti-panhandling Campaign is designed to raise awareness about the negative effects of giving your money to panhandlers who may use your cash for drugs or alcohol. The campaign will also show people alternative ways to donate, like to the proposed "giving meters". This way they can be sure their money goes toward a good cause.

People we spoke with said they're not sure if these efforts will stop people from begging.

"I do think it's an issue in Yakima, and I'm glad the city's trying to do something to fix it but I don't know if it'll work," said Lorena Arias.

"You can try, probably stop a lot of it," said Sandy Clark. "But I don't think you can stop it all."

The city said initially four giving meters will be installed in the downtown area. Then in the future, service clubs or businesses can choose to sponsor one of the giving meters and put it in a location of their choice.

All the money collected will go directly to local homeless service agencies.

The city said the cost of six giving meters will be around $4,000.