A PRACTICAL WAY TO HELP THE HOMELESS FIND WORK AND SAFETY

...So, raise your hand if you've seen somebody in your city standing on a corner, holding a sign like this. I think we all have. If you're being honest, at least one time, have you wondered if they mean it? If we offered them a job, would they really take it? And what would that job mean to them in their lives? Well, this is a story about what happened in my city when we decided to find out, when we decided to think differently about panhandling, and lift people up through the dignity of work. 

We call it, "There's a Better Way." We call it There's a Better Way because I believe there's a better way to get the money you need than panhandling on the corner. I believe there's a better way to help your brothers and sisters in need than handing a few dollars out the car window. We know there's dignity in work. We also know that people are much more likely to invest in themselves if they believe that their community is willing to invest in them first. And because we're all wired to be kind and compassionate, it always feels good to hand a couple of dollars to someone that is in need. But if you talk to panhandlers, many of them will tell you that your few dollars don't necessarily go towards feeding the body, they go towards feeding an addiction. There's a better way. 

Richard J Berry
Mayor of Albuquerque
2017

(TED Talk)