Give Real Change: City of Spokane launches campaign against givi - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Give Real Change: City of Spokane launches campaign against giving panhandlers money

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SPOKANE, Wash. - The city of Spokane launched the "Give Real Change" campaign to educated people on why giving money to panhandlers does more harm than good. According to the city, many panhandlers are battling addiction and the money they receive often goes to fuel their destructive behavior.

So, instead of giving money to panhandlers, the city is asking people to donate that money to local charities that can help them get off the street.

Former panhandlers say when you give someone on the street money, most of the time they do not use it to find food or shelter.

"I've been homeless because of gambling and being stupid and that's my honest truth about that," said former panhandler Bill Shilts. "Alcohol, drugs, methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, a lot of it's just being put toward bad uses," said former panhandler Tavis White.

The money people would give to panhandlers can be put to better use at charities like the Union Gospel Mission, which provides food, clothing, shelter, and even medical care for those who need help.

For a list of other charities you can help, visit www{dot}realchangespokane{dot}com


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