Dallas to Pay Panhandlers

Earlier this week the Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee heard a proposition from Allan Sims, Dallas’ Neighborhoods Plus Czar, that the city of Dallas should use $100,000 to allocate funds to pay panhandlers $10.37 an hour for their services to do needed manual labor. This plan gives an opportunity for work to people who are in need of them. Since the task-at-hand is not necessarily a popular position people are applying for, who better to get paid for these solid waste department jobs then the panhandlers that are on the city streets.

This plan to clean up the streets of Dallas can be accredited to the success of a similar program in Albuquerque, New Mexico “There’s a Better Way.” Vicky Palmer, the associate executive director of St. Martin’s Hospitality Center in Albuquerque is optimistic about the program. Palmer says, “You’ve got somebody that may have been standing on the corner five days a week. Now they can be connected to a job development program that might get them into a permanent job.” Palmer has stated that since the program has commenced the people accepting these work openings have already cleaned more than 1000 blocks in the city of Albuquerque and so far over 400 people who’ve participated in the program have landed outside jobs.

Sims is looking to the example of Palmer and Albuquerque to help clean up the streets of Dallas. Although there is potential difficulty to get the program started, with the success of the program in New Mexico Sims and Palmer are excited at the opportunity for these panhandlers to get cash in hand with necessary work. Sims says with the approval from the Dallas city council that the program could start in the summer of 2017.