Donations benefit local nonprofit agencies that provide outreach and services to move people off streets and into permanent, stable housing.

In response to an increase in panhandling in Minneapolis' downtown commercial center, a number of partnering organizations--including the City government, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, and Heading Home Hennepin: The 10-year Plan to End Homelessness in Minneapolis and Hennepin County--launched a collaborative public awareness campaign, titled Give Real Change. The purpose of the campaign is to better educate the citizens of Minneapolis regarding issues of panhandling and homelessness. It asserts that panhandling is demeaning for everyone involved and negatively affects community livability and local commerce.

"No person wants to panhandle for a living and panhandling is ultimately an ineffective means of escaping poverty for those who do," said Cathy ten Broeke, the Minneapolis-Hennepin County Coordinator to End Homelessness. "Giving to people who panhandle does not address the root causes of their poverty, and as a community, we can an must do better."

Instead of giving to people who panhandle, "Give Real Change" encourages citizens to volunteer their time or donate money to local nonprofit agencies that provide outreach and services to help move people off of the streets and into permanent, stable housing. As Monica Nilsson, Director of St. Stephens' Human Services Outreach Team often notes, people do not need a hand out, they need a hand up.

To learn more, visit and

Related Article: "Spare a dime? Nope. Minneapolis campaign recommends turning down panhandlers and giving to nonprofits.", June 16, 2010.

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    (612) 375-9644
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    801 Nicollet Mall
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