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City panhandler program makes strides in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, MO (AP) – Two months after the idea was first introduced to leaders in Springfield, Missouri, the city’s new plan to help connect panhandlers to job opportunities and other resources is taking shape.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that two informational meetings were held May 22 for volunteers to help with the eight-week pilot program, Wheels to Work.

The program was created by the city and partner organizations like the Council of Churches, Crosslines and One Door, in response to an increased number of complaints about people who stand by busy roads asking for food and money.

Buses will stop at six target intersections to pick up panhandlers who then have the opportunity to shower, eat a hot meal, do laundry and search for employment.

The city hopes to start in June.
Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com