As it turns out, soliciting money on the street can be a lucrative pastime, bringing in anywhere from $30 to $300 per day of tax-free income. As such, there are individuals who call themselves “urban campers” who make their living through panhandling – many of whom actually have homes.
It is widely known in the homeless community where someone can go in Fresno to receive a free meal – in fact, with little effort, an individual could receive as many as six square meals a day in Fresno for free. This number increases as additional community groups offer meals apart from those served on a daily basis at the Fresno Rescue Mission, Poverello House, and the Community Food Bank.
There are many organizations who open their doors and offer services to individuals seeking help. Check out our community partners page for a list of organizations offering services to the homeless and/or anyone in need.
While helping people get off the streets is a critical and necessary first step in the transformation process, the factors leading someone to homelessness are multi-faceted and must be addressed in a holistic way. Besides permanent housing, individuals will need wrap-around supportive services such as: a medical home (primary care), mental health services, classes in addiction & recovery, life & job skills training, personal development, & advocacy support, which may include: SSI, General Relief or Veteran benefits, to help them get stable in the long-term.
Each homeless person has a different story, so it is impossible to make general statements that apply to every situation. However, from anecdotal experience and testimonies of those working directly with the homeless population and those recovering from homeless, we know that most of the money given out to panhandlers is used to fuel drug addictions. Money is rarely the kind of aid needed to help a homeless individual achieve REAL CHANGE, but through the personal help and guidance of trained professionals, such as that offered by established organizations in Fresno, REAL CHANGE can happen.
Bartering is a prominent practice within the homeless community, and virtually anything can be exchanged in return for cash or drugs.