We’re all aware of the wonderful work the Coalition for Compassion and Justice has done in providing a night shelter for homeless people in a form that Prescott hasn’t had before. But a “homeless” friend clued me in on something that people may not be aware of: the CCJ shelter charges $3 a night to stay there. That makes sense; they have the same kind of expenses — utilities, etc. — that everyone else has. But many of the “panhandlers” around town are essentially trying to amass the $3 they need for a bed that night.
Instead of meters or collection boxes – are we going to pay someone to collect, account for, and distribute that money? How about vouchers for part or all of a night’s stay at a shelter? These could be like coupon books, sold, say, as a book of five for $5. If someone asks you for money, you give them a coupon. They can’t buy a drink with it, only a bed, which gets them off the street. The vouchers could be sold by churches, charities, and businesses. Why not try it?
Carol A. Hubert
Editor’s Note — The Prescott Valley Police Department is working on a “Better Bucks” program to do just what you are referring to. Visit https://goo.gl/4xyNn1.