“End Panhandling Now” van update
LEXINGTON, Ky( WTVQ) – The “End Panhandling Now” van has been operating since May 8th and Lexington city officials say over a hundred panhandlers have taken up the opportunity to make some money.
“Generally, our experience has been positive,” Polston said. “Approximately 90% of the panhandlers asked to work have accepted the job, and their work has been satisfactory.”
The center is on the streets twice a week and picks up 10 panhandlers each day and offers them an opportunity to work for $9 an hour.
Officials say, between May 8 and July 10, there were 166 panhandler pick-ups and hundreds of bags of litter collected, according to the city.
Polston said the Center conducts regular surveys of the number of panhandlers on the street. “In April, before the van operation began, we had approximately 75-100 people panhandling,” Polston said. “Currently, we estimate that number at 15-20.”
Lexington also started a fund drive through www.lexgive.com to support the van program.
They say so far, just over $800 has been contributed.
The United Way’s 2-1-1 program is administering LexGive, and offers those needing help free resource referral.