SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Every summer thousands of tourists make the trek to Saratoga Springs.
While that means a boost for local businesses, it also brings an unwanted increase in something else.
“Because we have a lot of tourists and we have a reputation of having wealth in this community there’s been an increase in aggressive panhandling this spring,” Mayor Joanne Yepsen said.
Mayor Yepsen wants to put an end to it.
“If they’re getting the money in their hands directly, perhaps they’re going to buy drugs or alcohol. That is not healthy and is not helpful. What we need to do is help those who need the help the most.”
By teaming up with the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, they came up with an idea for a drop box.
“We certainly know that people come down to the track and have a good time and even win a little bit of money,” Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce, said. “They’re out on the streets of Broadway and they want to do something good with that. This is a way they can make that happen.”
By putting your money into the drop box, it goes directly to non-profit organizations and charities that help those in need.
The drop boxes are painted by the Saratoga Arts Council, a handful has been set up throughout the city.
“This money is going to go to help the homeless and, hopefully, one day end homelessness here in Saratoga.”
Security measures are being taken to make sure that someone doesn’t break into the drop boxes. Many in the community have cameras set up through the downtown area that can be monitored.