Montgomery County message to citizens: stop giving money to panh - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Montgomery County message to citizens: stop giving money to panhandlers

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Some motorists think they're a nuisance. Others want to help them. But a new initiative about to be kicked off in Montgomery County is aimed at getting better help to panhandlers.

It's called "Give a Hand-up, not a Hand-out."

County council member George Leventhal (At-large-D) and County Executive Ike Leggett plan to announce the new program tomorrow (Monday) morning in Wheaton.

The intention is for citizens who want to help to donate money directly to county social services programs.

Leventhal says "Scrounging around in your pocket and handing spare change to someone begging on the street is not a good way."

He says the city has all kinds of housing, counseling and addiction and behavioral health services for people who need them. He says the panhandling problem conveys the image of a county that doesn't provide help.

Some motorists and county residents we spoke to said they sometimes give to the panhandlers because they feel they are desperate for immediate help. They worry that giving thru social services won't have a swift impact.

Citizens will be called on to Text Share at 80077 if they want to make a donation to Montgomery County.

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