Panhandling is not inherently illegal. The City encourages residents to respond to panhandlers with a respectful but firm “No.” All of our partner organizations as well as law enforcement concur that giving money to panhandlers does more harm than good, and may encourage panhandling and support illegal activity including drug use. Responsible options for generosity include volunteering with or donating to any of the local organizations which work to solve homelessness in our community. If the panhandler is aggressive and you feel threatened, then call 911. You may also dial 211 or visit www.connectriverside.org for additional resources for helping those in need, including information about Community Mission of Hope and other front-lines relief organizations.
For more information about the Responsible Compassion Program please visit our website: www.responsiblecompassion.org
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The City has a three-prong approach to dealing with homelessness that focuses on Collaboration, Coordination, and Communication:
We Collaborate with partner organizations like Community Mission of Hope and Temecula Community Pantry to provide services and a path to self-sufficiency to those who are currently in need.
We Coordinate with law enforcement, City staff, and other agencies to provide a continual, visible, and physical presence to deter illegal activity.
We Communicate with residents and businesses to educate the public about well-intentioned actions which may unintentionally contribute to unwanted or illegal behaviors which negatively impact quality of life in our City. At all stages, the City leverages strategic partnerships with established agencies, consistent with our commitment to fiscal responsibility.
The causes of homelessness are many and complex, and include large-scale socioeconomic factors as well as personal risk factors including mental illness, disability, and lack of a family or social network. In our work with other organizations, we have identified four broad categories of at-risk individuals:
1.Those who desire assistance in regaining self-sufficiency
2.Those who suffer from mental illness or other conditions which inhibit reasoning skills
3.Those who refuse help and choose to lawfully live outdoors
4.Those who refuse help and may be engaging in unlawful activity The City directs its efforts at providing resources to those who are willing to accept help, partnering with regional organizations to address the causes of homelessness, and deterring unwanted behaviors.
Since 911 is for emergencies only, it helps to understand when to call and when NOT to call. An emergency is any serious situation where a law enforcement officer, fire fighter, or emergency medical help is needed right away. If you are ever unsure of whether your situation is an emergency, go ahead and call 9-1-1. The 9-1-1 call taker can determine if you need emergency assistance and can route you to the correct location.
Examples of when to call 911:
Do NOT Call 911: