At stop lights or freeway on and off ramps, you’ve probably seen people holding signs and asking for money. It can be tempting to hand over your spare change, but next time you may want to think twice.
New signs have been installed on some roadways in Goodyear that say, “Say No to Panhandling - Consider Local Charities.”
The Goodyear Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team worked with the Arizona Department of Transportation to install these signs. The goal is to encourage well-intentioned citizens who want to do something to donate money to local organizations that help the most vulnerable among us.
An individual experiencing a crisis, such as homelessness, oftentimes has underlying issues such as mental health concerns or substance abuse issues. Getting these individuals connected to a full safety net of services offers a more constructive and efficient path to stability than a few dollars passed through a car window. Real help will take effort and a collective response from all of us in the community — not just from local food banks and shelters.
The city of Goodyear is working with other Valley cities and several nonprofit organizations to develop an effective, comprehensive approach to the challenges faced by vulnerable individuals. I encourage you to check givesmartaz.org for a list of healthy ways to give. You can also visit the city’s website at goodyearaz.gov/communityfunding for a list of nonprofit organizations who receive grants through the city’s community funding program and perhaps consider adding to our investment.
I encourage all who can give to do it in a way that will uplift our community and make a lasting impact for those going through the toughest of times.