CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The next time someone approaches you and asks for money, say no, according to a local organization.
The Charlotte Rescue Mission says giving money to panhandlers isn’t helping the problem, with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department echoing the same sentiment.
"If you are panhandled, just say no. Keep walking," said officer Russ Faulkenberry.
Panhandling is legal during daylight hours but forbidden once night falls.
"It's certainly an issue," Faulkenberry said of aggressive panhandling, which is illegal and the main root of the campaign to quit giving money to people standing on corners.
"We want to say yes to compassion, no to panhandling, and we want to say yes to helping people to get services that truly help them where they are," said Tony Marciano, founder and CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
CMPD and Charlotte Center City Partners are also participating in the event, which is aimed at encouraging you to strike up a conversation with panhandlers and tell them to call 211, a hotline which steers people in the direction they need.
Panhandlers in Charlotte are known to collect between $100 and $200 per day, which can add up to more than $50,000 per year.
Advocates say the majority of that money is feeding the addiction and if people keep contributing, the issue may never improve.
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