by Max Brantley
The panhandlers downtown (illustration is from California) are a dilemma not likely to ever be solved. Not if solution means that all the poor, homeless and disturbed among us will all become sheltered, productive people not seeking handouts. Not going to happen.
But it doesn't mean it's wrong to try to work constructively. It's not a matter deserving of snark. Just the same, re the item on the jump from the Downtown Little Rock Partnership: I hope they've made those donation boxes sturdy.
To the Downtown Little Rock Partnership Members:
Downtown Little Rock Partnership, in concert with SOMA (Southside Main Street) and the City of Little Rock, is putting together a campaign to educate our community about panhandling and to help people who are homeless. To that end, we are offering an opportunity to “Change for the Better.” This is a program to provide our community the opportunity to give financial help to those who feel the need to panhandle without giving money directly to them.
There will be secured boxes strategically located downtown to receive donations. There will also be printed materials available at appropriate locations to give to the panhandler. This information will reference those who are homeless to the places they can receive food, shelter, and assistance with job placement. The money will be collected and distributed among the local agencies that offer a wide range of these services.
We have a limited number of boxes that will be, for a tax deductible contribution, brightly painted with a sponsor’s logo and placed in strategic locations. Please consider the attached information. Help us make a “Change for the Better.”