What should I do when panhandlers approach me?

Panhandling is not inherently illegal. The City encourages residents to respond to panhandlers with a respectful but firm “No.” All of our partner organizations as well as law enforcement concur that giving money to panhandlers does more harm than good, and may encourage panhandling and support illegal activity including drug use. Responsible options for generosity include volunteering with or donating to any of the local organizations which work to solve homelessness in our community. If the panhandler is aggressive and you feel threatened, then call 911. You may also dial 211 or visit www.connectriverside.org for additional resources for helping those in need, including information about Community Mission of Hope and other front-lines relief organizations. 

For more information about the Responsible Compassion Program please visit our website: www.responsiblecompassion.org

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1. What is the City doing about homelessness?
2. Why are there so many homeless people in the City now?
3. If the City is too nice to the homeless, won’t we become a “refuge” city?
4. What should I do when panhandlers approach me?
5. When can I call the police?