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When Helping Hurts

Provide Real Change, Not Spare Change

They can be seen on freeway ramps and street corners, homeless with signs reading, “Hungry, please help.”

Don’t Give

“If you give a dollar to a panhandler, often you are funding the local liquor store or drug dealer,” says Don Worrell, CEO of the Mission. “Most people want to help, but they don’t know how to do it wisely. What homeless people really need is long-term help, not spare change.”

One formerly homeless man described panhandling this way, “People would drive up and give me a ten dollar bill. They were being good-hearted in trying to help, but I used their gift to buy alcohol.”

Worrell says winter can be a dangerous time to give cash or blankets to individuals on the streets. Someone intoxicated might accidentally stumble into a fire built to keep warm; or develop a false sense of security under a blanket while freezing to death during the night.

Be a Part of the Solution

“The holiday season prompts many people to give to others in need,” says Worrell. “By supporting the Mission, you become part of the solution to homelessness.”

Nashville Rescue Mission has been helping the homeless and needy in Middle Tennessee for almost 55 years. Help begins with food, shelter and clothing and continues with counseling, spiritual guidance, job training, education and most of all hope. Now, more than ever, we place an emphasis on individual recovery programs that help people resolve the issues leading to homelessness with our residential recovery programs for men and women.

With your help we can do more than save a life, we can provide a new one.

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