New initiative aimed at tackling Montgomery panhandling concerns

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 3:33 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Central Alabama Community Foundation (CACF) and Montgomery leaders are partnering on a new initiative to tackle panhandling.

According to leaders, Give Smart Montgomery will provide a “simple, safe, and effective” way for the community to address concerns about panhandling.

CACF said the initiative would grant monies to local nonprofits that provide meaningful assistance to individuals struggling with homelessness, mental health challenges, or substance abuse.

“The rise in homelessness we have seen in the wake of the pandemic has been staggering,” Commissioner Ronda Walker said during Monday’s announcement.

Walker said the program would help those who are struggling and protect community members as well. She mentioned two instances where residents were affected by those asking for money.

“We are not asking you to not give, we are asking you to give smart,” Walker added.

Leaders added that the initiative intends to address the underlying causes of panhandling.

Grant applications will open on August 1. Leaders added that this would be a rolling application process with no set end date. Nonprofit organizations providing programs or projects that address the categories of homelessness, mental health, or substance abuse regarding panhandlers are encouraged to apply.

The maximum current award is $2,500, CACF added.

If you wish to give, go to this website or text GIVEMGM to 44321.

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