Ask the Chief

What can be done to help people who are asking for money on the side of the road?

You don't have to go very far or do a lot of traveling to see people who are sitting on the side of the road asking people for money.

These individuals are often holding a sign that explains their hardship while asking for your generosity and help.

Sometimes it is homelessness.

Sometimes it is because their vehicle broke down and sometimes they are in need because they can't find employment.

So...what should you do when you encounter these individuals?

The answer to that question depends on many things that include safety, your ability to help and the resources in your community.

Generally, I tell people to contact Law Enforcement and ask them to perform a "Welfare Check" on the individual.

This type of check is done whenever a person's health and safety is a concern. What most often happens is an officer will make contact by asking the individual about their circumstances and what they are needing in ways of assistance.

Then, the officer will determine if there are any government or community based programs that could offer help.

For example, in Minneota I have access to the Salvation Army who can provide temporary shelter in a hotel, basic food and living provision and bus tickets or travel assistance.

I also have a good relationship with local clergy and business leaders who have demonstrated a willingness to help when I have called upon them.

In addition to these services, I may contact Western Mental Health and Southwest Health and Human Services in Marshall.

However, even with all of this there are still times when I make purchases out of my own pocket to help someone. Finally, I try to always remember the saying, "There but by the grace of GOD go I."

Minneota Police Chief Bill Bolt

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492