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The Salt Lake City Mission this week launched a new campaign aimed at reducing panhandling in the Salt Lake City area.

The goal of the campaign, called "Support Salt Lake Street News Vendors, Not Panhandlers," is to curb panhandling by empowering the homeless to become vendors selling the "Salt Lake Street News," according to a spokesman for the nondenominational Christian mission.

The program sponsors are asking the public to make donations of at least $2 or more for the paper to help the vendors in their efforts as independent agents marketing the Street Newspaper.

The mission program has empowered more than 265 homeless people by giving them an avenue to generate an honest income, which can help them get off the streets, according to Brad Jaques, spokesman for the Salt Lake City Mission.

The information, contained in the street news, advocacy, and self-expression, continues to help overcome ignorance and creates opportunities for "real change, not just spare change," he said.

"This is a grass-roots movement to help the homeless and the less fortunate of Salt Lake become self-employed, become motivated and live a better life," Jaques said. "The homeless are not helpless when you have the Salt Lake Street News."