The Fort Wayne Rescue Mission launched the "real change, not spare change" campaign in an effort to raise awareness of panhandling and homelessness.
WFFT's Brooke Welch was at Saturday's 5th annual South Side Fest, and has more information about the campaign.
We've all seen homeless people holding signs before, so how do you react when you see someone holding a sign?
"Maybe whisper a little prayer. If I'm lead by the Holy Spirit, I'll give them money."
"Um, I pass by."
"I'll tell them, I'm going to take you to get something to eat. I'm not going to give you no money."
Saturday at the South Side Fest, the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission launched a new campaign, "Real Change, Not Spare Change." CEO Donovan Coley explains why."Individuals will throw a buck or two. but what individuals need is a sense of hope. They also need to be empowered, they need real resources."
Coley says we need to start helping the next generation now. "We're calling the community to action. We're saying that that man, who is holding the sign, was a little boy or little girl at some point. So there are some challenges that that individual was facing, even when they were children."
Tamarra Govan-Washington was homeless for two months with five kids. "First of all it was by the willingness of me wanting to get out of that situation. And it wasn't that iIput myself there, but I wanted to get out. But unfortunately, at that time financially iIcouldn't get out."
Govan-Washington now has eight kids, and learned about programs saturday at South Side Fest to help her family. "We're on the poverty level, but we're blessed where we are. We're maintaining. but the Wellspring program, it's free. Your kids go to summer camp. They have free after school programs. The Habitat for Humanity can get you a home built. It's pretty interesting."
If you would like to get involved in the campaign to help the homeless without enabling, you can contact the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.