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Ann Arbor Aims To Discourage Giving To Panhandlers

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ANN ARBOR (AP) – A public awareness campaign aimed at discouraging people from giving to panhandlers in Ann Arbor is expected to launch in mid-June.

AnnArbor.com reports that a task force this week recommended starting the “Have a Heart, Give Smart” campaign.

The campaign is expected to encourage people to stop giving money to individuals on the street and instead make donations to local human service agencies.

It aims to target substance abuse and mental illness problems among some panhandlers.

Homeless and others asking for money are a common sight in downtown Ann Arbor. Backers of the effort say they’re not seeking to eliminate panhandling altogether.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night on changes to the city’s solicitation ordinance to prohibit panhandling in more areas of the city.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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