Panhandling is not an uncommon occurrence in the USC Community, which encompasses the University Park Campus and the North University Park Area. Since some of the panhandlers are aggressive,  it can impact the quality of life and sense of safety for the entire community.
Though many people who give money to panhandlers do so of their own volition, they may not realize the adverse effects of their direct donations to the panhandler on society.
  • Don't let your money possibly be used for drugs or alcohol.
  • The best way to help is to contribute to the charity of your choice or to one of the organizations listed below.
  • Please call the police if you feel threatened or harassed.
  • Walk with confidence - the streets of the City belong to all of us.
The Department of Public Safety is asking you to say 'NO' to the panhandler when approached for spare change. If you feel obligated to help the panhandler, please know that there are alternatives to giving them funds. You can donate your time/money to a local charitable organization that offers them a variety of services including meals and shelter.
Do not allow USC to continue to be a resource for the panhandlers. If we all make an extra effort to say 'NO' to the panhandlers, together we can decrease, if not eliminate, the problems associated with their constant presence. With your help, we can make the USC Community a safer and more secure environment in which to live and learn.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000. For emergencies call (213) 740-4321.
The following are local charitable organizations where you can donate either your time, money or both to help minimize panhandling in our community.
St. Mark's Lutheran Church (323) 731-2157
St. Mark's Lutheran Church offers a variety of volunteering opportunities for the community to get involved in. The church serves food to needy families, Tuesday and Friday afternoons. There are playground games and tutoring on Tuesday afternoons. They work with teenagers on Friday evenings. There is preschool daily, working with small children. They also accept kind donations. Please contact Pastor Brian Eklund for further information.
USC Student Volunteer Center (213) 740-9116
The USC Student Volunteer Center is a student-run program under the division of Student Affairs that offers exciting opportunities in the public and community service in a variety of areas in the immediate community. The Volunteer Center organizes several public service projects, identifying volunteer opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, and houses an extensive database with over 200 entries of service agencies that offer volunteer opportunities to USC students. In addition, the Volunteer Center works with the class "Community Service" offered by the Division of Social Sciences. Although the University sponsored organizations are only available to the faculty, student, and staff of USC, the database is accessible to everyone.