'Feeding addictions': Police department urging residents to say 'no' to panhandlers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 16, 2013: A 'panhandler' with a sense of humor solicits handouts at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf district, a popular shopping, entertainment and restaurant complex. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images) 

Police in Ventura are urging residents to say "no" to panhandlers.

The Ventura Police Department took to Facebook, writing that "giving money to panhandlers may feel good for a moment, but cash is often spent on feeding addictions."

The department said that giving money to panhandlers supports their ability to live on the street rather than providing them permanent help.

Ventura Police encouraged residents to instead, give money to charities that provide meals, medical attention, case management and housing services that get people off the streets and focused on long-term solutions.

"Reducing homelessness requires all of us to say, 'No,' to panhandlers, which will help create a cleaner and safer environment for everyone," the department wrote.

They also provided resources encouraging residents to learn about alternative ways to support the homeless.