Resources there for those in true need

Published 8:04 am Monday, August 7, 2017

“No.” The word is a very small one but it is also among the most powerful in the English language. Perhaps more than any other, “no” has a clear meaning that leaves little room for ambiguity or interpretation.

The word is often difficult to say to children when they ask for something. It is also challenging to utter to someone in apparent need when they are asking for help, but that is exactly what a vital human service organization here in Clark County is urging residents to say to panhandlers and others begging for money.

This issue seems to have grown in recent months, likely tied to changes in laws in Lexington other communities that now restrict panhandling.

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Individuals on the front lines of helping those in need have seen firsthand that many of the people seeking help are less than truthful about what they need the money for and often decline any assistance that doesn’t include cold hard cash.

That has led Clark County Community Services to create hand-out cards that will be available in the community and can be given to someone who is seeking help. The cards won’t provide any financial assistance but it will connect individuals with organizations that offer significant resources when it comes to food and shelter.

More than 30 free meals are served in Clark County each week and more than 60 shelter beds are available. True help is there for those in need.

This is a bold step for Community Services and one that could open them to criticism by those who misunderstand or fail to see the big picture. We applaud this organization and all its partners for taking a stand and helping us all make the right decision.

As the director pointed out, giving someone a handout is often more about making you feel good rather than helping the individual. If that person truly needs assistance, connecting them with the organizations that can provide it is the most valuable gift you could offer.

It starts with saying no.