Jul
27

Andrew Stewart: Panhandlers need banks and post office boxes – Opinion – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI

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After reading the Sunday, July 24, story about panhandlers (“They’re Everywhere”), it strikes me that now seems like an apt moment to discuss a genuine solution that is quite tenable. This issue is complex, but a major factor is that many low-income/homeless people are in dire need of two things: accessible low-cost banking that will not rob them via fees, and postal boxes for their mail.Right now, the State of North Dakota, not exactly a deep blue state, is, “as of the spring of 2010 … [the]

Source: Andrew Stewart: Panhandlers need banks and post office boxes – Opinion – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI

At last! Another voice in the wilderness to provide both postal and financial services to those who currently do not have them. No less an authority than the office of the Inspector General of the USPS published an excellent paper last year recommending the reinstitution of modest postal financial services in the communities which our banking “kings” refuse to service and have left behind to be pillaged by the money transfer services.

And this observer adds an additional solution to a problem we have overlooked – addresses for people who do not live in buidings – the good old post box. Why not provide free post boxes for these people so that, for a start anyway,  the public services can reach them. How does someone living “rough” apply for a job when he can’t fill out the “address” line in the application.

A bank account and a mailing address could do marvelous things for those in this community who are struggling to rejoin the “real economy”.

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