Proposed website could help the homeless receive public donations

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City Councilmember Ron Menor says he has a new way to get help to homeless without them having to panhandle or beg.

“So in that regard, I developed this idea to set up a City website to facilitate public donations to the homeless,” Menor said.

Donors can specify who they want to donate money to.

If they don’t have anyone particular in mind, they can also search by geographic location for a person to give to.

Multiple donors can support the same person or a homeless family and donors can be sure their money helps in the right way.

“The website would also include contact info for the service providers, so that if people would want to make donations to a homeless individual or family, they would be able to do so,” Menor said.

But how will those in need access the website?

” Under my proposal, a homeless individual or family would have to work with a homeless service provider. And a homeless service provider would assist the homeless individual or their family to get their requests for donated items posted online,” Menor said.

“The idea to create nonprofits are important and I think that if the City wants to partner that way that would be great,” Institute For Human Services Executive Director Connie Mitchell said.

Mitchell believes the proposal could also create new opportunities, even connecting low-income families to landlords who might be willing to overlook poor credit.

“We have a lot of homeless people already and many people are moving out so they don’t have appliances that are necessary to live in a new place,” Mitchell said.

Menor doesn’t know yet how much it could cost to run the website.

If the City Council approves the measure, the site could launch by the end of the year.

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