MakeChangeNOLA aims to take a sympathetic approach to the growing number of panhandlers in New Orleans with the understanding that not all panhandlers are homeless and not all homeless individuals are panhandlers.
According to UNITY’s most recent data, some 1,200 individuals in Orleans and Jefferson parishes are homeless and in need of additional resources to secure and maintain safe, affordable housing.
United Way will annually distribute funds collected through Make Change NOLA to four local nonprofit organizations focused on reducing homelessness and treating substance use disorders and mental illness:
“It is important for the public to know that many people who beg in the streets are not homeless, that they may suffer from addiction, and that giving them money directly could actually be counterproductive, UNITY encourages giving to organizations that take strategic, evidence-based approaches to reduce poverty, hunger, homelessness, addiction, and unemployment. Make ChangeNOLA supports organizations with a strong track record of service in the community.”
- Martha Kegel, Executive Director of UNITY