Change for the Better – City of Prescott Initiative to Help the Homeless
Mayor Greg Mengarelli and the Prescott City Council have begun the “Change for the Better” initiative to alleviate homelessness and panhandling in the city. The initiative contains several elements that will work in conjunction with the city’s existing aggressive soliciting ordinance and will attempt to reduce homelessness and discourage panhandling. It will do this by encouraging people to donate to local charitable organizations and includes the following:
- – A marketing campaign to encourage residents and visitors to donate to the “Change for the Better” initiative, with the proceeds being shared among local services providers and used to further the initiative, instead of giving directly to panhandlers.
- – Donation collection boxes at local businesses, service providers, and faith-based organizations to encourage people to donate rather than give money on the street
- – 4 collection meters around the downtown to accept loose change to support local service providers
- – A partnership with the Coalition for Compassion and Justice (CCJ) on a work program to provide opportunities for those who choose to work rather than panhandle
- – Creation of an ambassador program in the downtown to provide hospitality and information to visitors, be the eyes and ears on the street, and provide information on available resources to the homeless and panhandlers
- – Use of architectural features near downtown sidewalks, street corners, and benches to discourage panhandling in certain areas