Savannah Police Department Announces Fall Campaign for Give Change That Counts
Wednesday, September 15th, 2021
The Savannah Police Department has announced their fall campaign in support of the county-wide campaign Give Change That Counts which aims to reduce the need for panhandling by establishing day centers throughout the area. Throughout September and October, SPD will be collecting goods at each precinct and encouraging donations to help fund the start of day centers which will provide a respite for those in need. They will also be helping distribute information cards and hanging campaign posters in high-traffic areas to help educate the general public on why it is important to not give directly to panhandlers but the campaign that helps on a larger and more sustainable level.
Captain Shamonica Badie of the Savannah Police Department stated, “We know how destructive it can be to give directly to panhandlers both on the street and at camps around town. Giving to panhandlers directly is well-intentioned but does not help solve the problem. It can exacerbate substance abuse, create trash and waste areas increasing public safety issues, and do not provide the sustainable help they need. These people are in need of resource centers where they can pick up goods, food, and a connecting with to those who can help.”
Along with accepting donations, SPD will be providing education segments on their social media platforms. Segments will include officers interviewing Give Change That Count's representatives, information of where donations will be utilized, and how the public can help.
This pilot project is a part of a nationwide initiative called Streets to Stability which aims to create long-term sustainable solutions to reduce panhandling and those experiencing homelessness in cities throughout the United States. The Give Change That Counts campaign will take place throughout Chatham County and Savannah from May until October 31st, 2021.
The campaign is an initiative led by the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless with collaboration and financial support from Chatham County, the City of Savannah, and major economic development groups including the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce/Visit Savannah, Savannah Downtown Business Association, Savannah Downtown Neighborhood Association, Savannah Economic Development Authority, Savannah’s Waterfront, and the Tourism Leadership Council. The day centers that will be established throughout the area will act as safe havens and resource centers for those in need.