What former Mayor Gavin Newsom couldn't seem to accomplish, perhaps Spot can.
We were both puzzled and thrilled to read this morning that former Supervisor-turned-homeless-czar Bevan Dufty had big plans to finally combat the aggressive panhandling that perpetually turns tourists off to San Francisco.
And the dog lover has decided that puppies will do the trick. Starting Aug. 1, Dufty is going to start giving panhandlers exactly what they want: money. He'll be handing out $75 stipends to panhandlers as well as cute puppies in need of loving home.
Dufty is convinced that this plan -- called Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos (WOOF) -- will help both puppy, who needs a home, and panhandler, who needs money.
If they can do all of this, then each panhandler will get as much as $75 a week, as well as several training
sessions and all the dog
food, toys, leashes, and vet visits they need.
And in case you are wondering, a $10,000 grant from Vanessa Getty will be financing the program for now. Dufty says he'll seek more philanthropic donations along the way.
"I'm tired of pushing people around. You can make it difficult for people to panhandle, but ultimately they're just going to go do it somewhere else," Dufty told the Chron. "Why not try to meet their needs for income in a way that helps the city and its animals?"