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What is it?

ReachOut is comprised of a coalition of public, private and non-profit entities who have a common goal: to provide necessary services to Madison’s street community. With the help of many people and the generous financial support of Steve Brown of Steve Brown Apartments, the program began May 1, 2003.

Why is it important?

Panhandling can become a way of life for some. While many people are truly in need, giving spare change to a person panhandling is only a short-term solution. Your kindness may only reinforce negative behavior.

What is DMI's role?

DMI provides public education utilizing brochures, posters and other printed media to raise awareness of area non-profits that assist the street population of Madison in finding treatment, housing and jobs. The program encourages charitable donations to these area non-profits and discourages giving money to panhandlers.

What Can I Do?
  • Give a gift of cash - instead of giving money to panhandlers, give directly to organizations that are trained to help people in need.
  • Give a gift of time - Volunteer your time and skills to organizations that can directly help people on the streets. Madison's service agencies depend on the support of volunteers.
  • Educate others about the ReachOut Program. Request copies of the ReachOut Resource Guide to distribute to friends, neighbors and clubs.
  • Above all, please do not give directly to people panhandling. Data show that the money received from panhandling goes to alcohol, drugs and cigarettes - NOT to food and shelter.
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