Thursday, February 28, 2008

Channelling Your Charity Money

"Panhandling could become history," writes the SMDP.In an article describing the "panhandling education campaign" in the works by the Santa Monica City Hall, the SMDP describes how they awarded $100,000 to a social marketing firm to "teach residents and visitors that rather than giving change directly to homeless individuals, they should reroute that donation to a social service provider that could use the money in its efforts to get homeless people off the street."

Somehow, this doesn't feel right. Perhaps it's a personal disenchantment with local services, who are often great at debating ad nauseam and wasting volunteers' time and money -- yet slow and short at helping those they're supposedly dedicated to. Or the bitter memory of being ticketed by a cop for feeding a homeless on the beach. Cost? $64 plus a lecture. The "misdemeanor?" The homeless are a vulnerable population, argued the cop, and buying them a
Perrys' Cafe burrito with coffee instead of letting them forage in the nearby garbage cans is putting their health in danger.

No, this definitely doesn't feel right. Better keep giving greenbacks to the homeless -- even if it has to be on the fly and sly.

photo LA Frog