Philly offering advice on alternatives to giving money to panhandlers

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The city will hand out cards with alternatives for helping homeless. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

The city will hand out cards with alternatives for helping homeless. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Some new cards are being handed out on the streets of Philadelphia encouraging recipients not to give money to homeless people. 

“Tips for Human Kindness” requests donations to a fund that will give money to homeless-services providers.  Liz Hersh, who leads the Office of Homeless Services, said the cards give kindhearted people an alternative.

“Homeless advocates recommend that you don’t give money to panhandlers,” she said. “But the urge to give is a warm, real desire … we want to encourage people to do something kind to address people living on the street, which is not right.”

Donors can decide which group gets the money.

“People are coming from out of the city, and we wanted to give them a place to donate where they knew the money would be used for real solutions in a coordinated way,” Hersh said.

The cards point people to the website phillysharedstreets.org.

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