To live in Dayton is to witness a lot of homelessness, panhandling, drug use and mental illness. It’s natural to want to do something to try to help people who appear to be in a distressing state.

Giving to food banks, soup kitchens and charities definitely helps.

Another option is to keep the Street Card for those in Homelessness handy. It lists the United Way Helplink number. If the person appears to be lucid and approachable, you may want to either give them a copy of the Street Card or ask if they’d like to call 211 to ask about emergency shelter, crisis counseling, mental health services and help with addiction.

Many people who appear homeless carry phones and can make the call. If you are alarmed about the person’s situation, calling the non-emergency number 937-333-COPS or Officer Shana Newell and her crisis team might be a better solution. Her team includes a social worker trained in helping the homeless, addicted and mentally ill. 937-333-1251, [email protected].

If someone wanders onto your property and you’re concerned for your safety, please do call the police so a trained officer can assess the situation.

Volunteers are putting Street Cards into the three mini food pantries in South Park (Nathan/Burns, Bonner/Oak and Theobald/Clover). Thanks for being a good neighbor by keeping your eyes on the street and caring about others.

Related posts