City of El Cajon Launches Campaign to Discourage Panhandling “Real CHANGE, not Spare Change”

El Cajon – This week, the City of El Cajon launched a campaign calling for Real change, not
spare change. The campaign encourages the public to contribute in meaningful ways to help
homeless individuals rather than contributing to panhandling.
The City has already begun installing signs around El Cajon that encourage donating to
homeless service providers rather than panhandlers. In addition, the East County Chamber of
Commerce will distribute posters for businesses to display which discourage contributing to
panhandlers.
Panhandling has a very real impact on El Cajon. It hurts local businesses and jeopardizes the
safety of well-intentioned donors (both pedestrians and motorists) as well as panhandlers.
Experts have stated that providing spare change to panhandlers does not help those in need. In
fact, in many cases, contributing to panhandlers only fuels their addiction or impedes them from
seeking help. The East County Homeless Task Force, the East County Chamber of Commerce,
the City of El Cajon, and other homeless advocacy groups believe the same.
The City advocates for a more effective way to help the homeless rather than giving spare
change to panhandlers. To help, residents are encouraged to visit the East County Homeless
Task Force’s website at www.ECHTF.org.
The City of El Cajon is a proud leader in supporting solutions to homelessness. The City
provides nearly $225,000 to transitional living centers and a local shelter each year. In addition,
the City has increased its support this year by setting aside an additional:
 $10,000 towards the Salvation Army reunification program to reunite up to 20 homeless
individuals with their families;
 $3,500 to develop an easy to use phone app that connects homeless individuals with
services;
 $70,000 to fund a housing navigator position with Crisis House that will help homeless
individuals find housing; and,
 $80,000 for rental assistance vouchers.
For more information, visit the City’s website at www.cityofelcajon.us.

Author: Monica Zech

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