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Panhandling Education

staffpick_panhandlingDowntown Cincinnati Inc., along with our many partners including the Cincinnati Police, Hamilton County, Mayor's Office, and Strategies to End Homelessness has launched a program to address panhandling in the Central Business District.  To panhandle is to stop people on the street and ask for money or food. 

We are taking a proactive, three-pronged approach to reduce panhandling: outreach, enforcement, and education.

DCI employs two full-time Social Services Outreach Coordinators who connect people who are genuinely in need with services. Call Chico Lockhart at (513) 266-7135 (weekdays) or Derek Chance at (513) 260-9888 (weekends and weeknights) to speak to them if you see someone in need. Click here to see a video featuring Chico Lockhart working downtown. 

Contact the Cincinnati Police if you see aggressive panhandling or feel threatened at (513) 765-1212 or 911.

Discourage giving money that often feeds drug and alcohol addiction. 

Here is what you can do to help:

Donation Station-12th and VineGive money to one of the Donation Stations at Fountain Square, Washington Park, the 12th & Vine parking lot, on Sixth Street near the Contemporary Arts Center, and at The Banks. These bright yellow repurposed parking meters collect money that will be used to offer enhanced outreach services to those in need. Donation Stations can accept contributions in the form of coin or credit card. 

Distribute the Services and Programs Pocket Guide to those in need. This guide lists over 40 resources available to help panhandlers including food pantries, crisis hotlines, shelters, and health services. Downtown Ambassadors each have a supply of Pocket Guides.  They are also available at the Visitor Center on Fountain Square.

When approached for money, politely say "no" or "sorry". Call the Downtown Ambassador Hotline at (513) 623-3429 and request assistance for someone in need. 

Give to organizations that help people in need. Listed below is a sampling of agencies and organizations ready to help. 

Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women
(513) 562-1980
Provides basic human services for women of the Greater Cincinnati area who are experiencing homelessness

Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment
(513) 381-6672
Medically monitored detox center

City Gospel Mission
(513) 241-5525
Provides programs and services in four areas: food and shelter, recovery, at-risk youth and job readiness and placement

David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men 
(513) 721-0643
Provides basic human services for men of the Greater Cincinnati area who are experiencing homelessness

Freestore Foodbank
513) 482-3663
Provides food and services to people in crisis

Interact for Change
(513) 458-6680
A full-service philanthropic organization that applies a fresh, bold approach to charitable giving, including for heroin addiction

Strategies to End Homelessness
513) 263- 2785
Provides a centralized emergency shelter hotline, homelessness prevention, street outreach and housing services

United Way of Greater Cincinnati
513) 721-7900 or 2-1-1
Leads and mobilizes individuals and organizations to help people measurably improve their lives.


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