Councilman wants to create program to help panhandlers find work - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Councilman wants to create program to help panhandlers find work

Instead of giving panhandlers money, people could hand them a card to help them find work. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Instead of giving panhandlers money, people could hand them a card to help them find work. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Councilman Vitalis Lanshima said he first needs to find a non-profit to partner with him to launch the project. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Councilman Vitalis Lanshima said he first needs to find a non-profit to partner with him to launch the project. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville Metro Councilman proposed a plan to address the growing number of panhandlers on the streets of the city.

"At a point in my life I was told that I could only make a living out of panhandling, but I believe there is dignity in work," Councilman Vitalis Lanshima said.

Councilman Lanshima wants to empower panhandlers to earn money for themselves by encouraging people to donate to a non-profit, instead of giving cash directly to panhandlers.

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When asked for money, people would give the panhandler a business card instead.

The business card would include information on how they can work for the day to earn that money.

"We have to invest time and our resources into solving this problem right now so that we don't have this problem in the future," Lanshima said.

He said us similar programs are working in other cities.

K Kroencke spends a lot of time in the downtown area and often offers meals to panhandlers instead of cash.

"I think it would be extremely beneficial because there's a big homeless population here in Louisville and it would give these people a sense of purpose and something to do," Kroencke said.

Jefferson Community and Technical College student Warren Winburn said during his daily walk from school to the TARC stop on Broadway he is asked for money at least two or three times.

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"It's a sad reality in such a great city," Winburn said. "I think this would definitely show who is working for the money, who is in the dire need for it."

Development of the program is in the early stages.

Lanshima told us the first step is to find a non-profit willing to partner with him.

He hopes to start the program in his district and eventually grow it to serve the entire city.

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