End Panhandling Now

To end panhandling, we have to end directly giving to people panhandling

Dallas is full of compassionate & charitable citizens

They want to help those in need. However, giving money to people panhandling doesn’t fix problems. In order to truly help those in need, stop giving money to panhandlers and instead support organizations and services that provide long-lasting care.

How is the City of Dallas reaching panhandlers?
End Panhandling Now Street Outreach involves City staff visiting locations where panhandling occurs and attempting to connect the individuals who are panhandling with programming and services. This was developed out of the understanding that many individuals may be panhandling to fulfill basic needs. Staff responds to 311 service requests and requests from community members and schedules visits to the locations where we are receiving reports of panhandling. Additionally, staff proactively visits “hot spot” locations, which have been determined by aggregating 311 reports, Dallas Police Department data, and community feedback, as well as makes regular visits to locations where panhandling has been reported. Outreach staff will attempt to begin a conversation with individuals present that are panhandling to learn more about their motivations to panhandle at what needs they may have. Some panhandlers are willing to talk to staff, and share information on their needs, and experiences, and may readily accepts help. Staff refers these clients to a variety of local community programs, depending on the stated needs. In some cases, staff can to coordinate with the program to have the client picked up and taken directly to the service site.
What has the City learned?
Individuals panhandle for a variety of reasons, but most of those who have engaged with the street outreach staff have expressed that they are fulfilling basic needs, such as food or shelter. Between 70-80% of the individuals engaged by street outreach are considered homeless, however many do not consider themselves to be homeless. An example of this might be an individual who panhandles daily to pay for a motel room and food for the evening. Others might be living in encampments near the areas where they solicit. Among the most common referrals made by staff is to local shelters. Additionally, many clients have shared that their mental health prevents them from getting and keeping traditional employment, or prevents them from seeking social services from shelters. Panhandlers report earning anywhere from $20-$300 daily. The average age of individuals engaged by street outreach is 46 years old.
What can we do to help panhandlers?
Encourage them to seek long-term resources, giving them money is only short-term help. The prevalence of panhandling is a symptom of a lack of opportunity for many individuals. The most common issues that come up are inadequate employment, inability to find affordable housing, mental health and substance abuse. Numerous community-based organizations offer social services programs to address these issues. Donating to a local community organization or nonprofit can help ensure they have the resources available to provide services to these clients and help them to find stable housing, health care, behavioral health treatments, and job training and opportunities.

What to Do…

If approached by a panhandler on foot
  • If a person panhandling becomes aggressive or if you feel threatened, call 911 immediately
  • Keep some distance and be aware of your surroundings
  • Walk with confidence - keep moving towards a public area
  • Don’t open your purse or wallet
  • It’s okay to say “NO”
  • Try not to engage
  • Keep your head upward and don’t look at your cellphone or watch
If approached by a panhandler while you’re in a vehicle
  • If a person panhandling becomes aggressive or if you feel threatened, call 911 immediately
  • Don’t lower your window
  • It’s okay to make eye contact and say “NO”
  • Keep some distance and be aware of your surroundings
  • Move along safely in your travel

Who to Call…

911 Emergency
  • If you feel threatened or harassed by a person panhandling, call 911
  • If you witness a situation where someone else is threatened or harassed by a person panhandling, call 911
311 Dallas
  • If approached by a person panhandling in a non-emergency situation, you can report using the free City of Dallas 311 app or by calling 311

Know the Facts


Panhandlers are homeless


Can provide 3 meals
from the North Texas Food Bank


Can provide 1 hour of
mental health therapy
Up To


Daily earnings

Resources/Other Ways to Give

Please click through the tabs below to see the many great and local non-profits who support or implement programming that can help individuals in need find safety and stability.