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The Real “Change” Campaign

Real "Change" Road Sign

Each year the police department receives hundreds of complaints related to solicitors and homeless individuals. In response, we developed a non-traditional law enforcement approach to better address these issues. Hours of interviews with solicitors were conducted by specially trained officers. We worked with non-governmental agencies in our region to create a community-oriented policing model to best meet the needs of the individual and community.

The traditional approach to solicitors is to quickly move the individual from the street or arrest them for violating the city ordinance. These methods had no long term success in reducing the problem.

What we know is that most solicitors suffer from a mental illness and/or addiction. Solicitors admit almost all their money is spent on illegal drugs and/or alcohol. They also admit the number one reason they solicit in our community is because of how quickly they can make large amounts of money to support their habits. If motorists quit giving, they would quit coming!

We cannot arrest our way out of this problem. These individuals need real “change.” This campaign aims to provide the solicitor the support and resources they need while educating the community that it is against the law to solicit in the roadway and that your donation to a solicitor goes directly to support his/her addiction.

We appreciate our motorists’ generosity and want you to be part of our Real “Change” Campaign! We encourage you to direct your generosity to organizations in our area that are trained in the best ways to use our resources to effect real “change.” The link below will direct you to the St. Louis County Continuum of Care (CoC) list of partnering agencies that help address homelessness in St. Louis County.