“Give a Hand, Not a Handout” Campaign
County Councilmember George Leventhal and County Executive Ike Leggett announced on September 9 a new initiative to address panhandling in the County and improve safety called “Give a Hand-Up, Not a Hand-Out.” The initiative encourages people to text donations to social service charities rather than to give cash to street-side panhandlers soliciting for unknown personal use. By texting to 80077, residents can easily contribute $5 to a non-profit organization that will distribute the proceeds to those truly in need in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Councilmember George Leventhal will announce a new County initiative on Sept. 9 in Wheaton to improve public safety and better serve those in need who currently solicit cash for personal use by panhandling along roadways on Sept. 9.
Joining Leggett and Leventhal will be representatives from public safety, homeless advocates, grass roots social service organizations and the faith community.
This new program encourages drivers to help those in need by contributing to County social services agencies rather than giving cash directly to panhandlers.
Panhandling contributes to distracted driving and more dangerous intersections. In May of 2013, known panhandler Mary Josephine Fish was killed in a traffic collision while on the median strip at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton.