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BS: I gave money to a panhandler!

Bee-dubya-ell 24 Apr 13 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,gillymor 24 Apr 13 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Grishka 24 Apr 13 - 02:00 PM
Ed T 24 Apr 13 - 02:59 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM
gnu 24 Apr 13 - 03:24 PM
Ebbie 24 Apr 13 - 03:43 PM
Jack the Sailor 24 Apr 13 - 04:08 PM
kendall 24 Apr 13 - 04:16 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 24 Apr 13 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Eliza 24 Apr 13 - 04:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 13 - 06:13 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 24 Apr 13 - 07:17 PM
kendall 24 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM
Elmore 24 Apr 13 - 08:57 PM
Ron Davies 24 Apr 13 - 09:12 PM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 13 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Recently Poor 24 Apr 13 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,gillymor 24 Apr 13 - 10:52 PM
Kampervan 25 Apr 13 - 02:46 AM
gnu 25 Apr 13 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Apr 13 - 06:05 AM
Jack the Sailor 25 Apr 13 - 06:23 AM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Apr 13 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,kendall 25 Apr 13 - 07:11 AM
Becca72 25 Apr 13 - 07:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 25 Apr 13 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Apr 13 - 01:27 PM
GUEST,Lavengro 25 Apr 13 - 02:47 PM
Art Thieme 25 Apr 13 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Mark 25 Apr 13 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Eliza 25 Apr 13 - 03:56 PM
kendall 25 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM
ChanteyLass 25 Apr 13 - 10:10 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 13 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,Eliza 26 Apr 13 - 03:47 AM
kendall 26 Apr 13 - 06:17 AM
John on the Sunset Coast 26 Apr 13 - 10:52 AM
Elmore 26 Apr 13 - 11:09 AM
ChanteyLass 26 Apr 13 - 10:20 PM
Ebbie 26 Apr 13 - 10:50 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Apr 13 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Eliza 27 Apr 13 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,CS 27 Apr 13 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Eliza 27 Apr 13 - 01:17 PM
Roger the Skiffler 28 Apr 13 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 Apr 13 - 04:38 AM
GUEST,Eliza 29 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM
Stilly River Sage 29 Apr 13 - 12:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Apr 13 - 12:13 PM
GUEST,Recently Poor 30 Apr 13 - 12:59 PM
gnu 30 Apr 13 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Eliza 30 Apr 13 - 02:55 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Apr 13 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Recently Poor 30 Apr 13 - 03:05 PM
gnu 30 Apr 13 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Recently Poor 30 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 30 Apr 13 - 06:07 PM
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Subject: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 12:38 PM

I am a skinflint, a tightwad, a heartless SOB who has never given money to a panhandler before in my life. I figure most guys holding up signs saying "Will work for food" really won't. Try it. Open the car door and say, "Get in! You can mow my lawn and I'll feed you lunch!" See how many takers you get.

But this guy yesterday was holding a sign which said "Will NOT work for food, but WILL accept verbal abuse for spare change!" I opened the car window, handed him $5.00, told him he was a fucking genius, and chuckled all the way home.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 01:49 PM

Sounds like money well spent.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 02:00 PM

Good service. We can mow our lawns ourselves, but there is a real market for verbal-abuse-accepters. For full satisfaction of the abuser, the accepter must of course give the credible impression of feeling abused - that is why politicians no longer qualify. Why not open a brothel offering accepters by the hour?


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Ed T
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 02:59 PM

Some folks on here accept the same on some Mudcat threads for free:)


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM

I once gave a fiver to a homeless bloke in London because he looked remarkably like George Best!

Takes all sorts

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: gnu
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 03:24 PM

BWL... love it. Saw a pic on Facebook of a guy with a sign asking for donations to pay for going to punch Glenn Beck in the mouth. Now there is a GREAT cause!

Last time I gave money to a panhandler, he looked in BAD shape and his sign read "Trying to get home to TO". He was sitting out of the way and never looked up. I handed him a donation from Mum and one from me... he never looked up. I hope he made it home. Next lottery draw, I won my money back.

Now, the kids at the liquor store who have their hands out at grocery store entrance/exit to go to play volleyball in TO rather than earning it by providing cheap labour for the elderly or whatever?... fuck em.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Ebbie
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 03:43 PM

Just about the most pleasure I've gotten from giving a handout happened outside a restaurant on the Oregon Coast.

I was seated alone at a table when I noticed a young man finishing his bowl of soup while methodically eating all the crackers in the basket. Before he went outside he emptied his pockets and counted out the change then carefully returned it to his pocket.

He didn't look unhappy, just serious and quiet.

When I left, a moment later, I found him outside getting onto a bicycle outfitted with saddlebags, a rolled up tent over them, and covered with road dust. I don't remember whether or not he had a sign but it was evident he had traveled a long way.

With just a moment's hesitation - I didn't know how he'd take it - I got a $20 out and walked to him. I held it out and said something like: You're doing what a lot of us would like to do. Have a happy trip.

The look on his face... Well, I still haven't got over it.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 04:08 PM

I remember as a young teen having sat sweating on the side of a mall fountain with no money in my pocket having waited for my parents to do their shopping for an hour or so, when an elderly couple came up and gave me money for an ice cream. It felt pretty good, not only to have the ice cream, but to know that someone noticed and cared. You did a good thing Ebbie.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 04:16 PM

Utah Phillips told this story. A black guy was standing on a street corner with a home made sign. It was in two pieces, one folded over the other. Top one said What's the greatest nation? When he caught someone's eye he flipped it up and the lower half said DONATION


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 04:27 PM

I don't normally give money to a panhandler, but sometimes will buy a low cost meal for one.

More than once I've encountered the same panhandlers at different locations. One day I saw the same guy at freeway off-ramps about 25 miles apart. I had a gut feeling that this was his full-time job.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 04:32 PM

I always get terribly sad when I see someone begging in the street. Just yesterday there was a poor old man outside Roys shop in Wroxham (Norfolk UK) trying to sell a few pegs. He was dressed a little like a traditional gypsy, but I don't know if he was. What upsets me so much is that people walk past without giving the person even a glance. It must be absolutely soul-destroying to be totally ignored in your need. I had a little chat with him (just about the weather etc) and gave him a fiver for a little card with a few pegs attached. I had tears in my eyes, it wrings my heart every time. To be 'invisible' to society in that way must really hurt. I wished I could have done more, but I don't have a lot to spare. Poor chap.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 06:13 PM

I don't like the term "panhandler". It carries with it a judgement that ,"beggar" doesn't. A beggar might be a phony who is exploiting others, and doing quite well, or a desperate fellow human who in a terrible situation. You try to judge which, and maybe get it wrong or get it right in either direction. But the term "panhandler" makes that judgement for you without thinking about it. It labels the beggar as a con merchant, and the only judgement s whether perhaps they are clever of funny enough to be given a handout.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 07:17 PM

Yet another case of our two peoples separated by a common language. In US usage, "beggar" carries a more negative connotation than "panhandler".


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: kendall
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

A recent newspaper article in Portland says that many of the panhandlers are only feeding their drug habit.I can't enable that.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Elmore
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 08:57 PM

Panhandler told me "I haven't had a bite in 3 days." So I bit him.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 09:12 PM

I left my money in San Francisco. High on a hill it calls to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 10:31 PM

McGrath, it's interesting. My perception of "panhandler" and "beggar" is exactly opposite yours. To me, "panhandler" seems to be a noble calling, almost like a busker - someone who still has a sense of self-esteem. "Beggar" has much more of a connotation of "outcast" to me, even from Biblical times.

All over Italy last summer, I saw female beggars in black garments and veils sitting on the ground against a wall and looking very feeble. On closer look, many of them looked young and pretty under all that clothing. I'd call them beggars.

I was in Egypt in May 2012, and I really don't think I saw many beggars at all - the ones I saw looked truly disabled and miserable. But on the other hand, I was constantly surrounded with young men and boys wanting "baksheesh" in exchange for small favors. they didn't beg for anything, but they sure wanted to get you to have them do things for you. They were even more aggressive than the windshield washer people you see at stoplights in some American cities.

But when I see a panhandler, especially one with a good shtik (what's the word Utah Phillips used for it?), I almost feel an obligation to give something. A buck seems too cheap nowadays, so I like to keep five dollar bills on hand. Most of the panhandlers I give money to, are people I've come to know. They often offer to do work for me, but I don't usually want to take the time to find work for them and supervise them. For a long time, I tried not to do it when my boss the nun was with me, because she works with homeless people and homeless workers are always telling us not to give to panhandlers because they'll buy drugs and alcohol with your money. But my boss the nun caught me once, and she said she can't resist giving to panhandlers, either.

I live outside a small town (10,000; and in the process of trying to reform the county jail, I've come to know most of the homeless people on the north side of town. I feel I have an obligation to them, so I often stop and talk. Most of the time, they don't ask for money, but they enjoy the conversation. So do I.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Recently Poor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 10:49 PM

For what it's worth, there are a lot of people out there, including some of your friends and family members who are having a hard time these days. Few, if any, are panhandling, but many to most of them are in pretty serious trouble. Mortgage or rent may be past due, heat and water may be in danger of being shut off, kids may not have clothes, and food may be in short supply.

The thing is, you probably know about this already. Give a call, stop by for a couple of minutes. Don't give a handout, but maybe you've got something in the garage that would be useful, or maybe you can watch the kids after school and save the cost of childcare, Maybe you can give a ride, or run an errand, and maybe you know someone that needs some part time help, a couple days a week.

And maybe none of this will change things much, but it could help, and it could show somebody that, even when they're down on their luck, you still care about them.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 10:52 PM

About 20 odd years ago I was walking down a sidewalk in Ybor City on Christmas day heading for a restaurant when an old, and apparently homeless man, got in front of me and extended his hand without speaking. I looked in my wallet and found only twenties. I thought, what the hell it's Christmas day, so I handed him one. The enormous, toothless grin he flashed at me is forever emblazoned in my memory.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Kampervan
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 02:46 AM

The thought of being conned by giving money to someone doesn't really worry me.

If they con me then that's their shame, I know that I was trying to do the right thing.
But if I fail to give to someone who is desperate and really needs the money, then that's my shame.

Be charitable and think the best of people. You'll probably be right more often than you're wrong.

K/van


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: gnu
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 04:31 AM

K/van... well said.

I had a very eerie experience several years ago. I walked from a corner store to my truck. As I was closing my door, a man of 60 or so "suddenly appeared" (I hadn't noticed anyone near) and he was walking toward me. I was startled, unnerved. His hands were slightly outstretched such as when one is about to speak. He had several days of stubble growth and a bewildered, frightened look on his face. My reaction can only be described as "panic". I started the truck and reversed quickly, pretending to just see him for the first time and our eyes locked for an instant. He looked at me with a look of PLEASE help me. I continued my escape hastily.

I immediately began to question myself and became upset with my actions. I told myself to go back over and over but I kept "running away". I can still see his face vividly. It bothers me to this day. I was not even a mile away when I realized who he looked like... me... he actually looked like me. Perhaps that what was really startled me?

Shame? Yeah, big time.

As for buskers, they always get my coin, even if they play as poorly as I. >;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 06:05 AM

GuestRecentlyPoor, you are quite right. A person struggling to get by could easily be just an ordinary human being fallen on hard times. We have a food bank in Dereham (a small town in rural Norfolk) and most of the churches round here contribute non-perishable food for them. It gives out a three-day supply to people in crisis with absolutely nothing to eat. It's astonishing and very distressing to think that such a thing could be needed in the 21st Century in a developed country. Not since the end of the War has such a need been revealed. Even a 'junkie' or alcoholic can't be judged, as we can't know what drove them to their predicament. It just distresses me no end at the poor person's degradation to have to ask strangers in the street for help. Swallowing their pride to go begging must be agony for them. That's why I have a lot of time for the Salvation Army. They seem to exert themselves for the poor, work which can't be easy or pleasant, and sometimes downright dangerous. I admire that.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 06:23 AM

Panhandlers on the lots of businesses and on highway medians are trespassing hurting business and slowing traffic. I can't bring myself to condone that. When I give to the poor it is through an organization like the Salvation Army.

To me the terms panhandler and beggar are interchangeable.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 06:30 AM

I don't think 'panhandler' is known in UK. It makes me think of me preparing the dinner in the kitchen! And 'beggar' is rather perjorative. I can't think of a word which describes the activity but avoids being a little insulting. I like Kampervan's view that you give in good faith and most of the recipients are genuine. If not, it won't kill you to have given in vain. I used to work with prisoners, and one or two were very scathing about beggars. They said it's much more dignified to steal and burgle than to beg. Couldn't quite follow their logic on that one!


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 07:11 AM

Joe, Utah used the word "Gaff".

Our republican governor, Paul LePurge, came out of a fancy restaurant and was accosted by a begger. He said, "Can you spare a dollar? I haven't eaten in three days." LePurge said, "I wish I had your will power."


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Becca72
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 07:20 AM

In certain parts of Portland (ME) there are literally people begging on every corner. You see a variety of signs and messages. The reality is there ARE jobs to be had in the area but they make more money begging on the street. I'm sorry, but I work my butt off at a full time job and am currently having to save up to put a new exhaust system on my car. I also live paycheck to paycheck. I'm too busy trying to take care of myself without giving hand outs to our overwhelming population of drug addicts.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 01:18 PM

What I have noticed recently is the preponderance of young women of apparently East European or Arabic origin who seem to have a 'minder' in tow. I noticed it a lot in Manchester but saw it for the first time in Skipton last week. The 'minder; always seems to be a dodgy looking character of the same origins, quite possibly a husband or brother, who seems to take the money off the girl every so often. Not sure what is going on or if I should be worried but it does seem odd.

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 01:27 PM

One prisoner I worked with was a long-term heroin addict. He told me that nearly every beggar in Norwich was an addict, and the moment I handed one a few bob, he'd be off to get a 'wrap' (ie heroin in a paper twist). He knew most of them personally and thought I was an absolute twit to give them anything! I have in the past handed one a sandwich and a hot coffee, but he didn't look too delighted with that, so maybe the inmate was right. (By the way, his words were a bit stronger than 'absolute twit'!)


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Lavengro
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 02:47 PM

@Ebbie & Eliza

Ebbie, I really like that story, those moments when we connect at a truly human level are a joy.

Eliza, as for "invisible" great minds think alike......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_AZmBT4wWI


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 03:30 PM

Kendall,

I used that line for years, but I also, eventually, lost weight!

I hope, good sir, that things are fine as they can be.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 03:43 PM

I pay my annual "panhandler tax" - a donation to the Salvation Army. I don't feel guilty at all when I pass them by - they all know where the soup kitchens and the missions are if they are desperate.

When he sees a panhandler with a dog, a friend of mine has been known to give them a can of dog food. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 03:56 PM

Oh dear Lavengro, I've just watched your link and it made me cry it really did. It breaks my heart to see people walking past ignoring the poor man. I think it must be almost as bad to feel a total outcast as to feel hungry and cold. I've seen such things (and far far worse) in W Africa, mothers with children literally starving in Senegal, disabled youngsters in Accra, Ghana, prone on the ground dragging their useless legs along by their arms at the roadside, all with that terrible hopeless expression. It isn't just money they need, it's people caring and being concerned. They need support and friendship.I feel totally powerless to do much except pray and offer a little money and a kind word.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: kendall
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 07:37 PM

Old men with gray hair are long out of the job market. Otherwise, I agree with Becca72.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 10:10 PM

I donate to homeless shelters and food banks annually. People begging at intersections scare me. I am afraid that if I reach out to give someone some money, the person might grab my arm and try to open my car door, pull me out, and drive away! Yes, I know I have a lurid imagination: I read mysteries. In a shopping center parking lot one day, a woman approached me as I walked to my car. She said her car was almost out of gas and she needed to get to somewhere in a short amount of time, she had no credit cards and was almost out of cash. She asked me to "loan" her some money so she could buy gas. I hesitated, then said, "If you follow me to the gas station and put a couple of gallons of gas in your car, I will pay for it." She turned and walked away.

Does it bother me that I am not helping some people who may need it? Yes, but I can't tell who does and who doesn't.

At separate times I briefly took in two young women for a month while they got back on their feet after bad experiences. Both were acquaintances of my sons, but he was not romantically involved with either, though I think one had a crush on him. I bought one of them monthly bus passes so she could seek employment and shared my food with her. She had no money so I gave her a minimal allowance so that If she needed to use a restroom while looking for jobs she could buy a cup of coffee at a fast food place instead of using the rest room and walking out. The other still had a little money in a bank account and didn't need these things: she just couldn't afford a place to live. having he here cost me little--just paying for higher energy bills. Would I do it again? Probably not. My financial picture has changed since then.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 12:44 AM

Manuel dropped in at the end of Bible study one Monday a few weeks ago. He got out of jail on Friday, and had to get a GPS ankle bracelet installed at the Probation Office - not the probation office across the street from church, but the one that was a 45-minute drive away. So, I offered to take him, since there was no way for him to do it on the bus in the 90 minutes he had. We first stopped for him to check in at the transitional housing where he was going to be living, and then on to the Probation Department. He asked me for my phone number. I hesitated, but gave it to him. He called a couple of times, mostly to say hello.

Then as I was driving away from Bible study about three weeks later (last week), he called me while I was driving. His landlord's company had been evicted, with all residents, from the transitional housing. I was going past where he needed to go, so I gave him another ride. And then he didn't have any money, so I gave him twenty bucks.

Manuel seems to be a really nice guy. I can't imagine what got him into jail - his explanation was a little sketchy. It's one thing to give money to a panhandler, but giving a ride or renting a motel room are a big step further - and giving your phone number is a commitment.

But then, if somebody needs help, what can you do? I feel a lot better when I get past my inhibitions and just help the person.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 03:47 AM

Joe and Chanteylass, Kampervan and others, you are all extremely kind and loving people by the sound of it, and if only the rest of the world were like you, no-one would be needy. But I do relate to what Chanteylass says about having to be careful. A woman on her own (or even a man on his own) is at risk of attack and/or robbery, rape or even murder if one is in a dodgy part of town. I've often found (may be coincidence) that not long after I've given a few bob to a needy person, a bit of money comes into my hands somehow. Either I have a small win at the village Bingo, or I win a raffle prize, or I get a Tesco credit reward, something of that sort. I like to imagine that God and/or the Universe is watching and taking care of me!


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: kendall
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 06:17 AM

Chanty Lass, more than a few men have lost their watches to thieves posing as beggars on the street.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:52 AM

For those of you who do not like the use of the word 'panhandler', you'll hate the following sub-head of a local news article.

"Police say the accused stole wheelchair to use while he was panhandling." (Glendale (CA) News-Press, April 26, 2013)

A man has been arrested arrested for stealing the chair from a person unable to otherwise have mobility in order to use it as a prop for his own begging. He denies the accusation.

Please note this is not meant to indict all beggers/panhandlers; I only even noticed it because it is current here at the 'cat.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Elmore
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 11:09 AM

A few years ago in Boulder, Colorado I saw a sign put up by the city which read, "Aggressive Begging Not Allowed." Seems fair.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:20 PM

Eliza and Kendall, thank you for your affirmations.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 10:50 PM

Panhandling in Juneau Alaska is allowed, even if not condoned. However, if the beggar (bugger?) is aggressive he gets yanked up short very quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 03:29 AM

Off-topic I guess, but the worst 'aggressive begging' I've ever encountered was last year in Vancouver. We were pursued and abused by beggars constantly in the Canada Place/Gastown area, and they even hung around our hotel entrance on West Georgia. Even Cairo beggars don't behave in such a threatening way.

Why do the City Fathers allow a wonderful part of a lovely city (an area which earns the city a great deal of tourist-money) to be made so threatening and uncomfortable for visitors?


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 07:11 AM

After posting that I've often received a bit of money from 'The Universe' when I've given a beggar some help, I was astonished (and very pleased!) to get my Teacher's Pension Statement this morning. Apparently it's gone up by quite a bit every month, starting on Monday. That poor old gypsy man selling pegs has brought me good luck!


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,CS
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 10:13 AM

"She asked me to "loan" her some money so she could buy gas. I hesitated, then said, "If you follow me to the gas station and put a couple of gallons of gas in your car, I will pay for it." She turned and walked away."

I'm not a fan of being bullshitted like that. I prefer a straightforward approach. If a homeless guy asks me for a few quid which is obviously for booze or whatever (Bums seem to find me approachable in that way!) I will oblige if I have anything in my pocket. I don't judge about addictions, but junkies wearing 'pity me' wan expressions turn me off though. I'm much more likely to give to someone who asks openly for a few bob, rather than someone who's pretending to be dying of hunger - especially when they're all 'alternative lifestyle' uniformed up.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 01:17 PM

CS, I have a fantasy of pulling some photos out of my handbag of some of the pitiful and suffering Africans I've seen and saying (a la Crocodile Dundee) to a Western beggar who's 'dying of hunger' "Look mate. THAT'S dying of hunger. You're just a bit peckish!" But instead I always try to find a couple of bob for the chap.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 11:54 AM

I've seen bumper stickers advertised which say "Will Play for Food: Will stop playing for money". Maybe I should get one!

RtS


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 04:38 AM

A few years ago, the company I was working for at the time sent me to Bangkok for a couple of weeks. The first thing the local management did, when I arrived, was to give me a big wad of money for entertainment and incidental expenses (yes, really!). They must have thought that I had extravagant tastes because there was far more than I could have got through - even if I'd been an alcoholic or (this being Bangkok) a sex maniac!

Anyway, that evening I wandered out of the hotel looking for a restaraunt or a bar. It was a hot, sultry tropical night (par for the course in Thailand, of course). Walking towards me were two women with children in tow. From their small stature and clothing (tan smocks)I think that they were probably tribeswomen from 'up-country'. They looked utterly exhausted and dejected (but were certainly not begging) so I just stopped and gave them some of the money. The look of utter delight on the faces of their children will live with me forever! I often think about them and wonder what happened next ...


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 05:09 AM

Shimrod, how lovely of you! It's true, the looks on the faces of the recipients warm one's heart forever. It's worth far, far more than the money itself, or whatever one could have purchased with it. I think one of the most important virtues is the capacity to pity. Once you feel intense pity, it's second nature to help and succour. People who have no pity in them and can't empathise or feel for their fellows miss out on the joy we all here on Mudcat receive when we give from our hearts. You really have made my day with your story, thank you so much.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 12:20 PM

The panhandling one runs into down here in my neck of the woods can be very unattractive. At the post office recently I parked and walked in; as I exited the building a man slouched past me in a way that looked odd. I drove across the street to the gas station and a 10-year-old boy approached me and asked if I had any spare change. I told him very politely in my mom-voice that panhandling isn't allowed in our town and he shouldn't be doing it. His story was that they ran out of gas near the station. And out of money?

A minute later his large angry mother came over and confronted me, telling me that her son wasn't panhandling. I dismissed her, telling her that it's a bad idea to abuse the people you're trying to hit on and that Child Protective Services would have a lot to say about her activity. She slipped back to her car where she puttered with the window washing for some minutes. I walked into the store where a younger child from the same family was looking as cute as can be and apparently trying to get someone to buy him food. I told the store clerk, they spoke to the woman, and as I drove away, the car was still at the pump and the older boy was again approaching someone who pulled in, dodging behind vehicles so the clerks wouldn't see him. The father was hiding at the post office because the family looks more defenseless without an able-bodied father present.

I called the store and told the clerk they were still at it, and she ought to call CPS, because these parents were training their children to scam and panhandle, and that is not acceptable parenting, even in Texas.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 12:13 PM

I should add that there are occasions when I do contribute money, when no solicitation was made. I shop at a farmers market for peaches every summer, and it is an occasion when one can see the weakness of the WIC (Women Infants Children) supplemental food program. The baskets of fresh peaches aren't included on the permitted foods. Invariably there will be a young mom shopping with small children, who sniffs and admires the peaches, but then has to set them aside, and each year I've paid ahead at the counter and asked the clerk to give them the basket of peaches. The clerks love participating in this and I ask them to not mention it until I'm out of the store. :)

At the grocery store recently I was behind a WIC mom who had shopped so carefully - so many "allowed" things aren't very good for you, processed foods, but she had picked up fresh ingredients, good quality choices to do the cooking herself. She swiped the WIC card and the clerk told her that the system rejected $17 worth of the things she had picked. Her surprised disappointment was clear, and she started to reach into the cart to pick out things to hand back (always a slow operation). I handed the clerk my credit card and asked her ring it up. It was quick - I told the mom that she had made such a great selections in her shopping that I hated to see her not take all of it home.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Recently Poor
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 12:59 PM

There is a special WIC allowance now for fresh fruits and vegetables(excluding, for some reason, white potatoes) Though it is not very much. The Moms should also have a SNAP card(used to be called food stamps) which does allow them to purchase fresh fruits and veggies of all sorts.

They can't get help with soap, toilet paper, or cleaning supplies, which, when you thing about it, are an ongoing expense that is just as necessary as food.

Obviously, there are a lot of people out there begging/panhandling who are just taking advantage, however, the "charities" that serve them tend to give a lot of their money to the people who collect it(how do you think those Salvation Army bellringers get paid?) and a bunch more to their middle class and often over-educated professional staff, so that a relatively small amount of the money you give to
them actually makes it to the people who need it.

All in all, if you give a dollar to a poor person, they get a dollar, but if you give it to a charity for the poor, they get between 20-30 cents.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: gnu
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 02:53 PM

As far as booze and such... if I am at the checkout of the powerhouse aquiring my weekly sixpack of beer... okay, I'll wait... done laughing yet?... and a wo/man in greens sporting a Canuck Flag is there, I tell him her/is money is no good while I am there and pay. Within reason, of course. ALWAYS, I am told, politely, "No. That's okay." but I insist. When thanked, I say, "Yer more than welcome and thank you sir/ma'am." I give to cadets and, if reqired, I ask for coin change at the checkout to make sure I have a bunch - I always hand it to them and say "Here, put this this in for me and thank you sir/miss." THEY have cans with slots for donations... kinda odd because THEY are the ones least likely to pilfer donations.

But those little panhandlers, parents standing next to them drinking Tims coffee, with the ripped open basketballs/volleyballs only get a stare and sneer at the imagery. About a month ago, I asked me buddy Bob what the scoop was on one such lone waif in the foyer as it was a Wednesday afternoon and he looked late teens. Bob said, "Fer F*** Sake! Is he back again? I am gonna hafta call the police this time." I assume he was at one time taught this behaviour by a Tims drinking parent while begging for money to attend a roundball tournament in The Big Smoke. Pathetic way to raise yer chilluns.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 02:55 PM

That's why most of my giving is to my African in-laws, who are really struggling in Ivory Coast. I know that every penny I transfer goes straight to them, for essentials such as a 50Kg sack of rice, fixing their leaky roof on their shanty shack and malaria treatment when needed. I'm so proud to read all these lovely postings of kindness and giving on Mudcat. Blessings on all!


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:04 PM

"however, the "charities" that serve them tend to give a lot of their money to the people who collect it(how do you think those Salvation Army bellringers get paid?)"

I don't know what part of the world you live in, but here in the UK collectors for the Salvation Army are almost always uniformed members and they are unpaid. They give their services free. I know this because my sister is one of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Recently Poor
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:05 PM

Have no idea what you're talking about, Gnu. Except for the sixpack. I understand that...


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: gnu
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:26 PM

RP... Canadian Armed Forces personnel. CAF cadets as opposed to kids of well-to-do parents being taught that begging is okay instead of earning their keep. Pisses me off to NO end.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,Recently Poor
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM

In the US, some of the bellringers are unpaid, but many are paid. It is true that they tend to get minimum wage, and it's also true that they often need the services that SA provides. Canvassers for other charities often get paid considerably better, up to $20 per hour in some cases, and bonuses.


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Subject: RE: BS: I gave money to a panhandler!
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 06:07 PM

I regret the one occasion that I didn't give and probably should have, far more than all the other times I've given and may have been "suckered." I'd rather err on the side of compassion.


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