(Photo by Julie Zeglen)
The city’s Office of Supportive Housing issued a rather modern challenge to Philadelphians last week: Instead of giving your change to panhandlers, text $5 to the city.
But there’s another step, according to OHS spokesperson Joel Avery.
The fundraising goal is $25,000, to be matched by $25,000 OHS has already pledged via the Mayor’s Fund to End Homelessness. Once that amount is reached, a request for proposals will go out asking local homelessness organizations (in OHS’s network or otherwise) for their “brightest and most innovative ways to tackle panhandling,” Avery said.
That means the creation of new programs or the expansion of existing ones that are working.
There’s no set timeline for when the RFP will go out, as it depends on how quickly Philadelphians step up and donate — “the sooner, the better.” Things are off to a modest start: Within the first three days of the campaign’s launch, 133 people had each donated $5, according to Avery.
To donate, text “Share” to 80077.
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