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Mayor's Corner

Change for the Better campaign aims to help the homeless by supporting local charities

Updated: 5/24/12

The Municipality of Anchorage, the Anchorage Coalition on Homelessness, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Ltd., and several community partners recently relaunched a campaign designed to deter panhandling.

Change for the Better is an educational program - based on research and best practices in other cities - that seeks to deter panhandling through public awareness that Anchorage panhandlers are better served when individuals give money directly to the social service agencies that provide food, clothing, shelter and other living necessities to those in need.

Directing the generous nature of Anchorage residents to those social service agencies, which can best serve the needs of panhandlers, is part of an effective and long-term solution to the problem.

I know people enjoy the instant gratification of giving a dollar or two to a panhandler, or donate just to alleviate their sense of guilt. But that money would be better spent at the various social service programs across the city, of which there are many.

The campaign will utilize tools such as bus signs; flyers in city utility bills; public service announcements; social media; a website; and posters placed inside supportive businesses. The Anchorage Police Dept. will also enforce the city ordinance outlawing giving to panhandlers in the roadway.  A list of participating charities can be found at

Please click on the thumbnail below to print a Change for the Better poster to display at your home or business.

Your $1 can change his life if it goes to the right places 

Spare change doesn't make real change 

Don't feed an addiction 

Give change in ways that actually make change 

A hand out is not really a hand up 

Want to help a panhandler?  Don't give money from your car

    • Mayor's Corner
    • Mayor: Ethan Berkowitz
    • 632 W 6th Avenue, Suite 840, Anchorage, AK 99501
    • 907 343-7100