Responding to panhandlers can be a tricky situation. Great Falls’ Coins for a Cause program addresses panhandling downtown at the root level by giving to more long term homelessness solutions.
Giving panhandlers spare change is a short-term remedy that perpetuates the cycle of poverty in our community; it neither creates nor facilitates long-term solutions. NeighborWorks Great Falls along with many other community stakeholders are deeply involved in working towards a safer, more vibrant downtown – with Coins for a Cause being a major tactic in this endeavor.
NeighborWorks Great Falls chairs the Downtown Safety Alliance, which created the Coins for a Cause program. The Great Falls Business Improvement District manages the program; giving 100% of donations to direct homelessness service providers. To date, over $2,400 has been donated to the Great Falls Rescue Mission, the YWCA, Opportunities, Inc., the Grace Home and the Great Falls Police Department Volunteer Program.
The program originally started in 2012 with nine collection boxes downtown, and has grown to over 20 locations in the past six years. New this year are eight blue boxes attached to light poles on the 400-500 block of Central Avenue. The Great Falls Business Improvement District provided the funding for the boxes and the marketing materials were generously provided by Speaking Socially Media Management.
Be sure to look out for updated collection containers at these, and many other, locations:Dragonfly Dry Goods, Cassiopeia Books, Feather Your Nest, Taco del Sol, Kaufman’s Menswear, Ferrins Furniture, Bert & Ernie’s and Hi-Line Climbing Center.
Donating spare change to Coins for a Cause helps to curb panhandling, support local organizations, and provide assistance to those in need. Learn more about panhanding and the Coins for a Cause program by clicking here to check out the Great Falls Police Department video about panhandling.