Fresno Mayor and councilman seeking support from businesses on ‘Help us, Help Fresno’

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Fresno Mayor Lee Brand and city council member Garry Bredefeld bringing back ‘Help Us, Help Fresno’ initiative but this time they’re turning to businesses. 

“We need to offer real change not pocket change,” Brand said. 

Earlier this month, the Fresno city council was split on putting up panhandling signs in city medians at different intersections across the city. 

“As a father, who had a homeless child, who is now off the streets and is doing great, I share that compassion. It’s very hard sometimes to look at human being who’s suffering an not hand them some food and money to get through the day but sometimes helping can hurt,” Brand said. 

Bredefeld said other cities like Santa Barbara, California, Denver, Colorado and Milwaukee, Wisconsin have taken the same approach of adopting panhandling signs.

“This is simple educating people that you are keeping people in their addictions. You’re keeping them homeless by giving money to them,” Bredefeld said. 

Council member Miguel Arias said business owners can put signs up to help deter panhandling, the only difference is that businesses would be paying for a city sponsored sign.

“This signage does not increase one additional housing unit for the homeless. It doesn’t increase additional drug rehab program. It’s simple signage.” Arias said. 

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