In response to an increase in panhandling throughout Grand Rapids, HNCP and a collaboration of social service agencies, businesses, churches and city officials have teamed up together to address the issue in positive ways. “Real Change, Not Spare Change” is an educational campaign that addresses the panhandling in multiple ways.
Some panhandlers are homeless and genuinely need help. As a community we can help them in more effective ways.
Panhandlers may be seeking money to purchase drugs or alcohol. With that in mind, there are better ways to give.
Most residents of Grand Rapids are charitably minded. We want to help people give without enabling unhealthy behavior.
The Real Change Not Spare Change educational campaign gives people the opportunity to help without hurting and the peace of mind to know where their money is going. One can redirect their giving by: Looking for Real Change, Not Spare Change giving jars at hotels, restaurants and bars, or by making an online donation to the Real Change Not Spare Change Website. Online donations should be available by mid June. All proceeds will go directly to the Heartside Community Fund, which helps individuals with prescription co-pays, buying work boots, bus tickets and more.
Like already mentioned, some panhandlers are homeless and genuinely need help, but direct donations are
not always used on items like food, clothing, or shelter. As a community, we can help
in more effective ways. We can treat panhandlers with respect and help those in need through donations to the Heartside Fund, a community resource for local social service agencies. Every donation to the Heartside Fund helps–no matter how large or small.
Make sure to check out the Real Change Not Spare Change website at www.realchangegr.org.