The City of St Augustine is telling Historic City News that a new brochure has been produced in response to the recent aggressive panhandling problems downtown. This brochure is designed to be given directly to tourists and others walking downtown in the evening.
The message on the two-sided brochure encourages people to avoid panhandlers, to politely say “no” or “sorry”, and to consider contributing to the solution. By saying “No” to panhandlers and “Yes” to giving, your donation supports our local efforts through United Way of St Johns County.
“In St Augustine we care about our visitors and we want to ensure they have a fun time in our city,” a Public Affairs spokesman told reporters. “This program offers a way to decrease panhandling and increase services to the homeless by giving to local organizations that provide them ongoing services and support.”
When approached by a panhandler, the brochure suggests, instead of a handout, consider giving a small donation to one of our trusted local organizations that provide the homeless with shelter, food, job training, and health care.
The process to make a secure and immediate donation is:
- text STACARES to 30306
- Follow the prompt to make your donation
- complete the process within 48-hours
This program was initiated by The City of St Augustine. Be confident and calm when approached by a panhandler. It’s ok to say “no”. Continue on your path and politely say “no” or “sorry”. Most panhandlers will recognize your firm stance and move on. If you feel threatened by a panhandler, or someone else, call 9-1-1. The non-emergency number for the St Augustine Police Department is (904) 825-1070.