DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A new approach to solving Deep Ellum’s panhandling problem is catching people’s attention as well as skepticism.
This weekend the Deep Ellum Foundation posted signs on businesses and in parking lots with the slogan, “Use Your Change for Change.”
Scott Rohrmam with the Deep Ellum Foundation said one of the reasons so many panhandlers hang out in the Deep Ellum area is because so many people in the area give.
However, he said local shelters and organizations who work with the homeless in Dallas told him giving panhandlers money more times than not doesn’t help. Instead, it often funds bad habits, such as alcohol and drugs.
Rohrman said that was the motivation behind the new signs.
“If they understand that giving money to people on the street doesn’t really help them, I think it will start making a difference,” he said.
However, not all businesses owners are convinced this new approach will help.
“I don’t think it will change anything,” said Mike Turley, owner of Serious Pizza on Elm Street. “You donate money – that’s great, but it’s like these bums care about that at all.”
Turley said he believes some people stay away from the Deep Ellum area because of concerns with panhandlers.
He said they can become aggressive, even entering his restaurant at times to ask for a slice of pizza or money from his customers.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “But I don’t know if there’s a solution.”
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