TEXARKANA, Tx (KTAL/KMSS) – A city official said on Wednesday the public has been responsive so far to a campaign to combat panhandling in Texarkana.
The campaign, called ‘Responsible Compassion,’ was launched in November, 2020. It aims to educate the public about options to ensure that their compassion truly provides sustainable help to those in need.
Vashil Fernandez, board president of the Texarkana Homeless Coalition, said they’re hearing from some in the homeless community, that they are receiving less of a response from motorists. Fernandez added that some local nonprofits that help the homeless have seen a slight uptick in the requests for services.
Homeless advocates and city officials have said that panhandling is a safety issue and one-time donations may cause panhandlers to delay reaching out for services that could help get them off the streets. “If you have the need to donate, it helps to donate to the agencies that are providing services for people and these aren’t just one-off services, these are continuous services that they’re trying to do to help people become sustainable,” Fernandez said.
Advocates for the homeless said there are a variety of groups within the Homeless Coalition to help those in need with food, shelter, along with education and job placement. You can find more information on how to support services for the homeless at https://www.txkhc.org/.