Miamians Empty Pockets for Homeless

$40 million given out on city streets

In Miami, it actually pays to be homeless.

A new survey says Miamians are giving over $40 million to panhandlers on the streets each year, most of it in the form of spare change.

The survey, done by Zogby International for Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, also found that the change givers were overwhelmingly skeptic that their pennies were of any help to the displaced.

Of the people surveyed, 73 percent said their street contribution was mostly or completely ineffective.

Nevertheless, the Homeless Trust was stunned at the level of charity shown by Miamians.

"We're thrilled and humbled with the level of generosity that the people who live in Miami-Dade are showing toward the homeless," Homeless Trust Chairman Ron Book said. "It confirms what we always have known about the heart of this community."

Book is releasing more figures from the survey later today.

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