Columbians are compassionate people and we give our spare change to panhandlers because we want to help. Many issues can be at the root of panhandling however, and giving someone cash may prevent them from getting the help they need.
The Loop is teaming up with the Heart of Missouri United Way, the Basic Needs Coalition, and The District to put the emphasis on real change, not spare change. We're working together to address problems of homelessness, food insecurity, and behavioral health--and we need your help to create this change.
Now help is just a text away.
The United Way has established a dedicated fund to help the Basic Needs Coalition in their efforts to combat homelessness, food insecurity, and substance abuse. And because the United Way is donating all administrative costs, the funds will go to help people in need. Even better, it's as simple as punching a few numbers on your phone.
Simply text CHANGE to 40403 to make a secure donation.
Often, we want to help someone but don't know where to start. That's where the United Way's 211 line can help. Trained professionals will offer people assistance with basic needs, housing, health care, job training, support for seniors and children, and more.
People who need help can dial 211 to speak to a trained professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY (1-866-385-6525) and multilingual services are also available. If you are using a cell phone dial (800) 427-4626. Calls are confidential and free.
Visit our website at www.changeforcolumbia.com to learn more about our partner organizations and ways to help. You can even download graphics for your own website or social media pages--so make sure you like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/changeforcolumbia.
Businesses along The Loop have small, pocket-sized cards with the 211 number on them that you can give to someone in need. We also have cards and posters here in our Parkade Plaza office if you'd like some.
Panhandling can be the result of many things but together, we can help bring real change to people in need.