Connect People with County Resources
Refer people who panhandle – or anyone you see who may be in need – to our critical services, including food and shelter. Print and share the Human Services Handout, available in multiple languages:
County Services for People in Need
We can help if you or someone you know needs information and/or referrals for emergency food, shelter, clothing, transportation, health care, employment or legal assistance.
Learn more about county resources available for those in need:
- Entry and Referrals: 703-383-8500
- Emergency Services: 703-573-5679
We can help if you or someone you know is experiencing issues related to mental health, substance use or a developmental disability.
We can help if you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness and is in need of care for chronic health conditions, prescriptions, and/or dental and eye care.
We can help if you or someone you know being impacted by intimate partner violence. This 24-hour hotline provides support, information, and referrals to counseling, shelter, and treatment to victims of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and stalking
Many people who panhandle need a variety of essential materials and assistance. This can include food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, behavioral health care and medical care.
- Donations of cash will not help solve the underlying reasons why someone panhandles.
- Unfortunately, there are individuals who may use false stories to solicit money and assistance from residents.
Helping to connect people who panhandle to Fairfax County services opens doors to fulfilling a multitude of needs they may have (which often cannot be resolved with small cash donations); It also helps to ensure that valuable resources and assistance are being directed to those in need.
The Law and Public Safety
Asking for money is a protected act under the First Amendment, allowed in public areas such as roadway medians.
Our Police Department receives thousands of calls related to people who panhandle, which range from concerns for the person seen panhandling to fears about a suspicious person at an intersection.
- Officers will intervene when people engaged in panhandling commit traffic offenses or engage in criminal activity.
- Officers will refer people who panhandle to available county human services but cannot force them to receive services.
Donate or Volunteer
Consider donating to one of our nonprofit community partners dedicated to assisting our residents in need:
Consider volunteering your time. It’s far more than doing a good deed, it's a way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make professional contacts, socialize and, importantly, have an impact on your community.