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“Handouts Don’t Help” campaign invites a different response to panhandlers

Local elected, faith-based leaders, law enforcement, and the business community unite to advocate for a safer, more effective response to panhandling.

Posted on October 26, 2022 2022Health and Human ServicesHomeless InitiativeNews and Events


Pictured L to R: Deputy Tammy Bozarth, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Tiffany Marsitto, HEART; Police Chief Kirk Wilson, City of Lone Tree; Council Member Marissa Harmon, City of Lone Tree; Douglas County Commissioner Abe Laydon; Will Carpenter, HEART; Capt. Darren Weekly, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; Mike Waid, Douglas County Community Foundation; Greg Matthews, HEART

What if the next time you encounter a panhandler in Douglas County, you could notify a special team of responders who will immediately direct help and services to that individual, their children, and their pet right where they are?

What if rather than giving money to the individual, you redirected your financial generosity to the Douglas County Community Foundation, who will distribute the funds to local non-profits currently helping the unhoused in Douglas County?

Your municipal and county elected officials, faith-based leadership, law enforcement agencies, and business community are united in the new “Handouts Don’t Help” signage campaign that invites a shared approach to panhandling, activating a direct system of support to those in need. The signage campaign is the product of the multi-agency  Douglas County Homeless Initiative.

Placement of signs throughout unincorporated Douglas County began October 25 featuring the message: “Handouts Don’t Help” and “Give Safely through DouglasHasHeart.org” “For help call HEART your compassionate law enforcement team @ 303-660-7301.”

“We recognize that our residents are compassionate, and panhandling is not illegal, however handing money out of a window in traffic is not only unsafe for all involved, it simply encourages more panhandling in a particular area,” said County Commissioner and Board chair Abe Laydon.  “Now, our compassionate citizens can give directly to a trusted resource, the Douglas County Community Foundation, and where there is an urgent need, such as a child or pet in a median, or an unsafe situation, our citizens can call HEART, the Homeless Engagement Assistance Resource Team, which is a compassionate navigator paired with law enforcement to ensure issues are immediately addressed,” Laydon said.

Financial contributions will be directed to a fund managed by the local Community Foundation who will distribute 100% of your donation to the four non-profit organizations in Douglas County serving the homeless in our community:

For additional information about HEART, the Douglas County Homeless Initiative, or information on the signage campaign email [email protected] or call 303-660-7301.


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