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BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?

GUEST,ollaimh 24 Jul 11 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 24 Jul 11 - 05:05 AM
gnu 23 Jul 11 - 05:45 PM
Wesley S 23 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM
Ebbie 23 Jul 11 - 03:39 PM
gnu 23 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Eliza 23 Jul 11 - 02:38 PM
Wesley S 23 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM
Justa Picker 22 Jul 11 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Jul 11 - 02:57 PM
Wesley S 22 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Jul 11 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,livelylass 22 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,livelylass 22 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM
gnu 22 Jul 11 - 01:35 PM
wysiwyg 22 Jul 11 - 10:40 AM
Becca72 22 Jul 11 - 09:08 AM
I don't know 22 Jul 11 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Jul 11 - 04:13 AM
gnu 21 Jul 11 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,999 21 Jul 11 - 07:16 PM
ranger1 21 Jul 11 - 06:53 PM
open mike 21 Jul 11 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Jul 11 - 04:08 PM
Ebbie 21 Jul 11 - 03:27 PM
gnu 21 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Jul 11 - 02:52 PM
Becca72 21 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM
gnu 21 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
Bill D 20 Jul 04 - 09:55 PM
Don Firth 20 Jul 04 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 20 Jul 04 - 06:17 PM
Wesley S 20 Jul 04 - 05:21 PM
DougR 20 Jul 04 - 04:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Jul 04 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Jul 04 - 10:32 AM
Phil Cooper 19 Jul 04 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Mudcatter 19 Jul 04 - 08:30 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jul 04 - 06:15 PM
Rapparee 19 Jul 04 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Larry K 19 Jul 04 - 02:42 PM
Don Firth 19 Jul 04 - 01:35 PM
Wesley S 19 Jul 04 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 19 Jul 04 - 01:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 04 - 12:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 04 - 12:00 PM
InOBU 19 Jul 04 - 11:47 AM
Alex.S 19 Jul 04 - 11:29 AM
Rapparee 19 Jul 04 - 11:12 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 01:22 PM

well having been a busker , and a very successfull one, half my life. i have a mixed reaction to beggars. they do often try to take your busking spots and generally have much consideration for the musicians. and i have learned the hard way you never give money to beggars anywhere near where you busk--they will come back again and again and tell all their friends, moreover they often make much more than buskers on the same spot--and in toronto all the subway beggars i knew had disability and a subsidized apartment. sort of makes the busker who is trying to malke the rent quite pissed off that the beggar can't find his own spot.

on the other hand i give money to beggars often, especially here in the maritimes where they are not so ubiquitious and usually really are broke do to problems often beyond their control. i do it while travelling too.

occasionally you find one or two who do get it, that you are working a spot and will wait untill you are leaving to beg--i'll help those guys.

however in toronto most of the subway beggars are substance abusers and mostly fairly young and strong men, because they intimidate threaten and assault the old , handicapped and women who try to beg in the subway--so remember if you give money to toronto subway beggars you are helping a bullying cartel--and yes they do have organization.

it's no accident that old lady on the street at dundas and yonge doesn't beg in the subway--and she destreves the help. she has several handicaps , is seventy and supports a granddaughter--but the toughs in the subway never let her down there.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 24 Jul 11 - 05:05 AM

If I were one of the unfortunate people begging in the street, I think I would feel humiliated still further to be laughed at and made the object of a joke.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 05:45 PM

It sure does with me. I do not tell other people what is funny, what they can or can't say... or any other form of censorship... THAT is truly sickening... and VERY childish.

BTW, drive careful near the hospital... big money if you hit a crip.

Come on? It's a JOKE. Lighten up eh? Life is too short to walk around with a stick up yer ass. Unless it vibrates and the feathers on it shimmer brightly in the light when you come.

Or is that just me?

Too far? NEVER! If you don't laugh, change the channel.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 04:03 PM

OOOOOOhhhhhhhh.....

It's a JOKE. A big funny ha-ha joke. Like a joke about a cripple or a retarded kid? Well then - that makes everything OK.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 03:39 PM

I too thought of it as a joke. Nice (well, maybe not so nice) word play on the bug spray.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 02:39 PM

No, he shouldn't be ashamed of making a joke. There is no joke that is too far. The fact that you didn't believe him should have been a clue that it ws a joke. I didn't laugh, but I don't judge... unless it's a really piss poor joke, of course. Even then, I TRY to just judge the joke. If that's what you were doing, I apologize.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 02:38 PM

I agree with Wesley S. That sort of attitude is heartless and cruel. I do hope, Justa Picker, that you never find yourself in need, because it can happen. Why not try some empathy and compassion instead of condemnation?


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 02:32 PM

Picker - I respect your music - but I can't respect a human that feels the way you do. You have no idea how some of those people got in the position that they find themselves. It could just as easily be you on that street.

I don't belive that you actually carry a can of bug spray. Because that would be assult. You should be ashamed of yourself.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Justa Picker
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 06:09 PM

In answer to the question posed, I carry a can of Raid or Deep Woods (F--k)"Off"


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:57 PM

I have been known to get a hot coffee (in a polystyrene cup) for a beggar in the very cold weather. Many must have had hypothermia last winter, it was grim!


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:55 PM

I knew a man that regularly carried $5.00 gift cards to McDonalds. That way if he ran into someone claiming to be hungry he could hand one out and feel pretty sure that someone would be fed.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:48 PM

You're right, livelylass, it's all relative. I saw a terribly thin mother sitting in the dirt begging in Dakar (Senegal). Beside her were two small babies. They were skeletal. I can't forget the look of empty hopelessness in her eyes. I naturally gave her all the cash I had, but I suspect it was HIV and the children looked beyond help. That was real and dreadful need. But addicts also suffer, who are we to judge?


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM

"They said the last thing they wanted were bloody sandwiches or a Coke. They wanted dosh for a heroin wrap, or enough to get a bottle of cheap cider."

Quite Eliza! A lot of alcoholics don't even eat food after a certain stage. Still, if I buy a wino booze, I'll get them a pasty to go with it anyway. It's their choice whether to eat it or not, and I'm not making a judgement about their lifestyle either.

As for other parts of the world, agreed.
Talking about "poverty" in a country where no-one starves, unless willfully, is a joke.
My mother (who raised me as a single parent on benefits) used to scoff at the grey faced pitiful images of "poverty" that they would put in newspapers.
We weren't well off by a long straw (all my clothes were hand me downs and we never went on holiday) but we weren't in "poverty" either. And there was even enough for her roll ups!


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM

Many of my Prisoners used to laugh when I talked about begging. They said the last thing they wanted were bloody sandwiches or a Coke. They wanted dosh for a heroin wrap, or enough to get a bottle of cheap cider. But other beggars may of course be in different circumstances. I have seen the most appalling things in West Africa, which make our own beggars look like kings.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,livelylass
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM

Agreed Gnu, I prefer not to judge when giving a few bob. If someone needs a drink or some chemical, then that's what THEY need. Like you, I prefer honesty, and I often get it for some reason too, maybe I look approachable that way? So I'll buy booze for a wino if asked (it's not expensive enough for me to say "sorry, no change") "by the grace" and all that. Though as often as not, a smile and a chat is as welcome as anything. Just saying 'hello' and treating a bum the same as a "normal" person can make a difference, which of course they are! Though it's a shameful reflection of our society's values, that so many prefer to forget it.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 01:35 PM

90 cents short and asked for exact change... gosh.

~S~... for some people, all they have left is their addiction(s). Also, as a Catholic, I was taught to give anonymously and without caveat. The only time I have ever spoken of any of my charity is in this Café for dicussion or when the subject was bugging me.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 10:40 AM

I try to remember the hard year when groceries came out of the pittance I could raise selling underground newspapers on the corner, and then I help as I am able. But I also help by personally paying the lunch counter for the coffee/snack/lunch/whatever-- because I am not into subsidizing addictions.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Becca72
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 09:08 AM

Gnu - in my case the guy had some change in his hand already, he was just 90 cents short. The fact that he told me straight out what he was going to do with it struck a chord with me, too. I appreciated the honesty. AND it was almost 90° at 8pm and he looked like he could really use that beer! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: I don't know
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 04:22 AM

I don't give money but a few weeks ago I was with my daughter & her friends when we passed a man with his dog begging in a doorway, my daughter & one of her friends were so upset at the sight they went into a nearby shop & puchased 4 tins of dog food (ring pull cans) & some dog biscuits & took them back to the man. He was gratefull but said the dog would be eating better than him, they left it at that.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 04:13 AM

I was on a double decker bus in Manchester, UK the other day when an apparition appeared on the lower deck. He was in his 40s, bearded, dishevelled and on crutches. He addressed the whole lower deck thus:

" Look, I'm just like you - I've even bought a 49p bus ticket (waves ticket in air). But I'll be honest with you, I'm a recovering alcoholic and I've been sleeping rough, but now I've found myself a place in a hostel in Salford [Manchester's twin city]. But now the government have cut the subsidy and I'm having to pay £200 a month - and I can't afford it. Please can you help me out?"

Most of the lower deck studiously ignored him so he shook his head ruefully and said, in a pitiful voice, "you give up hope". Someone gave him a quid.

I thought: "Nice try, asshole. But I couldn't help but notice that you went up and down those stairs, on those crutches, on a moving bus, pretty rapidly!"


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 07:47 PM

999... there but for the grace of God go I... so true, and frightening. Shit does happen... so true, and frightening. I save my empty juice bottles and such and put them in a plastic bag in my truck box. When I see a guy reaching in a dumpster with his ass in the air I stop and give him the bag. I know that don't really cut the grass but it's something.

One of the other things I do is, when canned veggies and fruit and soup come on sale real cheap near harvest time, I buy extra and take it to a soup kitchen. I do NOT leave it in the soup kitchen box at the grocery... I bring it to the soup kitchen. I have seen people buy one item and then lift stuff from the soup kitchen box and put it in their nice newish van.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 07:16 PM

If I figure they're for real, I give what I can. Shit happens in people's lives, and there but for fortune ...


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: ranger1
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 06:53 PM

I was eating lunch at a place called Stone Soup one day and an obviously homeless kid came by and asked what the specials were. The kid working behind the counter told him what they were and how much. The homeless kid went through his pockets and realized he didn't have enough and left, but not before the kid working told him to come back later, that they might knock off another couple of dollars. As I was cashing out, I asked the employee if the first kid was homeless. "Yeah, and he's got some mental health issues, too" was the reply. I told him to add the price of the sandwich onto my bill. He was shocked, and admitted that if I hadn't done it, he would have. I told him to hang on to his money for the next one. The kids who worked at Stone Soup were formerly homeless kids who were offered a shot at a culinary arts program. The food was nutritious, filling and cheap. Too bad it's no longer in business.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: open mike
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:16 PM

I suppose that it would be good to tell them about Utah Phillip's story about having a good gaff.

http://www.centaur.org/utah/why.html


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 04:08 PM

Although not in agreement with his sentiments, I used to laugh at Rab C Nesbitt, the Scots layabout on TV, when he came across a beggar in Glasgow. He always shouted "Away and Worrrrk!"


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 03:27 PM

In Juneau, Alaska, it is not illegal to pan handle. It is illegal, however, to pressure someone or to impede their passing or to be aggessive in some way. This is a small town (30000) and there is a homeless shelter two blocks from me on a busy street. I give or don't give on an individual basis. When I'm walking my dog I usually don't have any money on me- and I tell them that. When I'm by myself I may give them a dollar or two. I too - as noted by someone else above - keep loose money in a pocket instead of a wallet or purse. This way, not only do they not have any idea of how much or whether I have money on my person, they can be pretty sure that I keep spare money ready to give away.

Incidentally some of the homeless here have a saying that I like. It is poignant to me- as one man told me one time: When you are homeless, Death is a constant presence. Often when I part from a homeless person, they say "Be safe." I tell them the same.

As for people buying booze instead of food with the money I give them, I figure that's not my concern. I have enough bad habits of my own without worrying about those engaged in by others.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 02:59 PM

90 cents so he would have enough to buy a beer... ya can't buy a beer here for that (near double but it's Canuck beer so....) but the fact that he said it was for a beer would mean a lot to me. Honesty goes a long way with me.

Say... I bought a few beers this afternoon and there was a teenager standing in the foyer of the liquor store with a soccer ball with the "top" ripped open. No uniform on. He said hello. It was a nice day and he wasn't mowing lawns or trimming hedges or helping old ladies across the street. He was bumming money supposedly so he could play soccer. The little shit didn't even get a "hello" from me. I wanted to stop and give him shit for being such a lazy low-life... aggghhhhh!


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 02:52 PM

This is a difficult one. The prisoners I used to visit assured me that they had often begged, pleading homelessness and hunger. They were actually dossing round a mate's, and the money was always for drugs. One or two said they used an old sleeping bag on the street to pretend they slept there. However, I'm too softhearted to walk by. I usually find something for a street beggar, and very often money returns to me in strange ways. Eg a skirt I bought in Primark last week turned out to be £10, not £16 as it said on the ticket. I'd just handed £2 to the Puppet Man (always outside Primark) and £2 each to a pair of E. European musicians who looked hungry and ignored by the passers-by. So Someone was watching! Last winter, the terrible cold must have been a torture for the homeless and the poor.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Becca72
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 02:21 PM

I had a gentleman approach me a couple of nights ago as I was getting out of my car to go into my apartment. He introduced himself and asked if I could give him 90 cents so he would have enough to buy a beer. He was very personable and I gave him a dollar. He promised to do good for someone else when he got the chance; this was his comment through no prompting from me.
Now, it was before dark (I'm a woman and live alone, ya know) and it was right in public view (there were other people in the parking lot) and I live on the next street over from the police station so I took a chance and met a pretty interesting person for my troubles. Had the situation been different I might just have said "sorry" and gone inside. It's really about the vibe I get from the person.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

The current thread about charities brought this, which I almost posted on that thread in addition to what I posted, to mind...

I know that giving money to "bums" (of which there are many types) is frowned on by some people so here is what I mean. I was walking Mum into a grocery store last Friday morn and we passed a young man sitting hunched up against the wall next to a pallet of potting soil. He looked bad... sunken eyes (didn't look up to make eye contact), tattoos, unkempt and dirty hair, dirty face, scrawny, dirty clotes, a plastic bag of belongings, and a sign scrawled with "travelling, Thunder Bay, broke." (Thunder Bay is 1664 miles from me.)

When I got Mum inside she asked what the sign said and then said she should have given him some money. I said I intended to but wanted to get her in the store first. She gave me $20 and asked if it was enough. I nodded. As I went outside I had a $10 bill and the next largest was not in the cards. I gave him the $30 and he almost started to cry. He said "Thanks man. You're a good man." I said "You are too. Get yer ass to Thunder Bay." I could hear him crying as I walked away.

I told Mum what I just told you, except for the "Get yer ass to Thunder Bay." and she said it made her feel good and she should have given him $50. I said that it made me feel good too.

When we came out, he was gone.

That night, I won $20 in the Lotto Max. Saturday night, $10 in the Lotto 6/49. It only cost $7 to make three people feel good. "Cast thy bread..."?

Hmmm... bread... I shoulda bought him some grub too but it didn't occur to me at the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 09:55 PM

well...I guess it depends on whether they are clever or not!

Today, on my way to the store, I passed 3 within 4 blocks, standing in the median of a busy street (Rockville Pike, in Montgomery County, MD.,north of Wash DC) They held signs that said "homeless"...or variants thereof. They all looked able to work, but how am I to judge? I usually do NOT give randomly to people holding signs when I would block traffic to do so.. 'Sometimes' I do when walking, if I can size things up...but once in DC I gave some change to a youngish guy in DC with a sad story...and 2 hrs later, was approached by the same guy, who was now reeling and mumbling on whatever he had bought with earlier handouts.....kinda makes me reluctant.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 07:50 PM

The occasional times I've been between jobs and tried to make use of the state employment agency, I found it essentially useless. I have a fair potful of marketable skills (complete with substantial experience), some of which generally draw fairly decent pay, but all the state employment agency ever had was entry-level stuff, and not much of that. I found I was a whole lot better off operating by word of mouth. I let as many people as possible know I was looking for a job and gave them a run-down on what I could do and what I preferred to do. If I couldn't find a job on my own, it wasn't long before some friend gave me a call, said, "Call this number," and a few days later I was working again.

It's kind of tough if you've been working at a good paying job and then you get laid off because your company didn't get the government contract they expected. It happened to me and 67,000 other Seattlites in the early Seventies. Things got pretty damned skinny around these parts for some time. I was very lucky because while my former Boeing co-workers were competing to find work where there was no work, I learned that a local classical music radio station had an opening for an announcer (I was a regular listener to the station, that's how I learned about it). I applied for the job, and because I have a pretty good speaking voice (years of singing) and because I was the only one of several dozen applicants they'd interviewed who could read a list of composers' names without bitching them up, I got the job. These days similar "local Depressions" are happening all over the country because of companies closing plants in various localities and shipping jobs overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor. Then the only jobs available in the locality involve wearing a paper hat and throwing hamburgers out the window at passing cars for $7.16 an hour (in Washington State; $5.15 in most states; $2.65 in Kansas; and some states have no minimum wage), often for only four hours a day. And in some areas of the country, there are not many of those jobs left either. They've either all been filled by skilled workers, both blue and white collar, whose jobs have been "outsourced" and/or because the fast-food emporiums are closing because many of the folks in the town can no longer afford to eat out, not even "Happy Meals." It's called the "ripple effect" (as distinct from "trickle down").

Due to the nationwide net loss of jobs (Bush talks only about jobs created, ignoring the substantially larger number of jobs lost) in communities here and there around the country, there is an increasing number of people living in their cars, in abandoned buildings (should they be so lucky) under bridges, or in cardboard packing crates, not because they are lazy or because they can't work, but because they a) can't find a job when there are no jobs (not even the state employment agency can list jobs when there aren't any), or b) even if they have found a job, it only pays enough for them to eat or pay rent, but not both.

Not as bad (yet), but surprisingly similar to the Thirties. . . .

Simply telling people to go to the state employment office is very glib, but it isn't very realistic.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:17 PM

Last time I tried to get a job through a state employment agency I had one of those long-continued beaurocratic experiences. My last job had been as a bookkeeper, and they told me they'd call me if they had any bookkeeping openings. I said I can do other things, look at my job history. They said yes, but we still have no jobs.

I went back later. Repeatedly. Each time they said there weren't any bookkeeping jobs, & each time I said I can do other things, and they'd say Mm.

They were doing what the regulations required & had no interest in actually fnding me a job.

I finally found a job on my own before my savings ran out, but if I hadn't I'd have been on the street with people advising me to go to the unemployment office.

There were times later in my life when I had a wife and kids and no savings and was probably less than four paychecks from the street...

There are more kinds of beggars than addicts and wealthy frauds.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 05:21 PM

But Doug - That's not always practical. I had a conversation with the director of a local night shelter and I asked about the residents. He said a large share of them have mental or emotional problems or handicaps that prevent them from working. Are there a lot of drunks on the street asking for money for wine ? Sure - but not all of the beggars are able to work a 9 to 5 job. And a lot of these people were thrown out on the street during the Reagan era. But that's another conversation.

This homeless shelter director said that most of us are only three or four paychecks away from the street. That's a scary idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: DougR
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 04:24 PM

I tell them that our state has an unemployment office and always accept applications for work.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 02:36 PM

Wesley, perhaps I conflated more than the names. I have a friend who also used to volunteer down at the Night Shelter. I'll ask her what the case was last time she was down there. The Gospel Mission has a reputation for stern christianity, from what I hear (having never been there myself I can only repeat what I've been told). Mission Arlington is near where I work and is a big operation, much of it through a large church. I'm not sure what their policy is.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 10:32 AM

My father recently reached for a dollar to give to a bum, and the bum snatched the wallet out of his hands and ran. Didn't even have the good manners to ditch the wallet somewhere in the neighborhood where it could be returned.

The police here say not to give money to panhandlers, because they just buy liquor with it and cause problems for the residents and businesses where they are. I figure the police should know.

If you want to help, give to a reputable organization.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:27 PM

Quite often I'll give someone who asks spare change or a buck, but I don't listen to the story or say anything. I've been aggressively panhandled and never intend to be in that situation again. I tried to be a nice guy and it blew up in my face.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Mudcatter
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 08:30 PM

I've posted earlier to this thread, but I'm deliberately anonymous right now.

When I was young money was nonexistent. No father, and a mother with multiple children to feed and raise. We were on the Parish, really on the Parish, for our schooling. We often wore hand-down clothes and one of our fears was that the person who had originally owned it would see us and comment on it. Children can be cruel, even if they don't intend to be.

The nuns in the local convent would give us leftover food from their table. I often went into the nunnery yard, knocked, and was given a pan half full of lasagna or casserole, or a fruit dessert, or whatever there was. We ate it, but we felt we had really hit bottom with hand-down food.

Yes, I've been on both ends.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 06:15 PM

In my area there is a small Franciscan friary. Every Saturday evening, they were given the leftover sandwiches and bread from a local supermarket (and it's a very big chain) that were on the verge of expiry date and couldn't be kept over a Sunday, take them into the West End and distribute them amongst the homeless. Since the introduction of more flexible opening hours, these leftover foods have become practically non-existant, because the shop is open more hours and one opens on Monday and doesn't close until Saturday night. It's got to the point where there is no point in distributing because there is just not enough left over to make it worthwhile (I'm talking 2 or 3 where it used to be 20 or 30 a week).

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 03:48 PM

My in-laws have worked at SOME (So Others May Eat) in DC for over twenty years. Church-run, but no preaching; founded by Mother Theresa. Has always seemed to me to be a decent sort of program.

I'll be cleaning out my closet over the next couple of weeks, and I'll donate the clothes to Goodwill or St. Vincent de Paul or the Sally Army -- maybe some to all three, so I can spread the stuff around. Deseret Industries is also here, but they give mostly or exclusively to Mormons, I understand (although their Thrift Store is open to anyone with money).


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Larry K
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 02:42 PM

Someone I knew in Manhattan was coming home late one night and fairly tired.   A panhandler came up and said to her "can you help me out"   She thought about it, but was tired and not in the mood.   She said to the panhandler "Did you cash your welfare check this month?"   The panhandler just stood there confused.   She repeated "did you cash your welfare check this week"   The panhandler mumbeled "yes".   She replied "than I did already help you out this month" and walked away.   The panhandler stood there frozen without a reply.

One panhandler once told me after a friend gave them money "I've got to be honest with you, I am going to spend this on alcohol"   Wow what a surprise.   I would never have guessed.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 01:35 PM

Maggie, that's one of the wise things about the two churches in Seattle that I mentioned. They're just two of a whole group of churches of various denominations on Capitol Hill and the surrounding area that offer a lunch program. They have it set up so they work in rotation, so that every day of the week, at one church or another (all pretty much within walking distance), the people who come can get a good, nourishing, well-prepared meal. Volunteers at each of the churches do the cooking and serving, and it's grown to the point where various food wholesalers make regular contributions of free food.

Knowing that the threat of a sermon will keep a lot of people away, all of the churches have agreed that all they are offering is a good meal. No strings attached. No sermons, no harassment.

And at the Union Gospel Mission and the Lutheran Compass Center downtown (near Pioneer Square), I think they do it the same way. Each of the places has a chapel anyone can go to, but you can have the meal and the cot whether you make use of the chapel or not. No pressure.

Pretty admirable, I think. Maybe even a bit unusual.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Wesley S
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 01:11 PM

Stilly - I think you may be wrong about the Presbyterian Night Shelter of Ft Worth. I've been there many times making sandwiches and I don't think they have any preaching there at all. Certainly it's not a condition for recieving a meal. If I'm wrong please let me know.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 01:05 PM

There's a story about one of the big names in jazz. I can't remember which name, unfortuately, but he gave Billie Holiday a hundred dollars when she was on her way down and out. Someone who was watching him said "Why'd you do that? You know she'll just spend it on dope?"

He said "Weren't you ever sick, man?"

Well, it's true, even if it never happened.

clint


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 12:05 PM

Oops--I conflated two places--the Union Gospel Mission and the Presbyterian Night Shelter, both in Fort Worth in the same general area. And they both preach at their clientele.


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 12:00 PM

I agree with what Don Firth said about choosing who to give to, and more often than not recommending the Night Shelter here in town. But there is a price at that shelter--it's in downtown Fort Worth, it's the Union Gospel Night Shelter and they harangue those folks before dinner with their religous beliefs--there is no free dinner at the Night Shelter.

As a matter of curiosity, pretty much knowing the answer but knowing that to test my theory I must come up with some cash, I recently gave a Mexican man a couple of dollars and change (he spoke little English, he said, just enough to convey that he wanted to catch a bus to a specific destination and it would cost this much). No he didn't get on the bus--as I drove from the parking lot he approached someone else. So much for just standing there and catching the bus he said he wanted. There's a law of averages--I probably won't respond favorably for the next few panhandlers I run into because of his routine.

Several years ago I was travelling with the kids (ages 4 and 7 at the time) through the Southwest and we stopped for dinner at a McDonalds in western New Mexico. A big guy approached the side of the car as I was helping the 4-year-old out and started into his spiel. I have to admit that it was quite scary to have him come over when I was alone with the kids--and I was loud and angry and probably pretty fierce when I told him to back away from the car and the never approach someone who had small children. Maybe some other mother traveling alone with small children might feel differently, but I'd be surprised. What a simple matter to grab a child as hostage, and this guy came into my "space"--walked closer than one would normally walk to talk to a stranger in public. I perceived a real threat and I didn't have a weapon except my voice, and I used my fear (disguised as anger to show less vulnerability) to make a scene that he and a few diners probably didn't forget for a while.

Depending on where I am, under other circumstances, if I have a few coins in my pocket so I can reach in without pulling out a wallet, I have been known to drop coins in a cup. In New York City, capital of the panhandling scam, there are some who really look the part. Even if it's a scam, for someone to sit in the filth of the subway and other places with a cup for several hours a day, that's a pretty horrific "job," my coins may lead to addictive behavior, but since I don't know, I have to simply choose to decide whether those coins are truly "spare" or not.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: InOBU
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:47 AM

Oh... Dave the Gnome is right... about the gloves... Genie and I try every year we can to get friends to help raise a little money to buy thermal underwear suits for our neighbors without houses... it is a real survival thing... and has resulted in a lot of fond memories...Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Alex.S
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:29 AM

What do you mean, Rapaire, I thought the money is going to trickle down all the way to the beggers?


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Subject: RE: BS: How do you handle panhandlers/beggars ?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:12 AM

Anything can be misused. And not tipping a waiter who has done his or her job is like not paying the kid who cut your grass or the doctor who cured your cancer. They do a decent job, they desire a decent pay.

Now, I also have to say that I think that the fact that there are beggars and panhandlers at all is a f*ckin' shame (heck, if it's good enough for Dickie Cheney...). The so-called civilized world is too rich and this should not be necessary -- especially for the veterans (and yes, they're there), but also for everyone.

It seems to have gotten worse since the '80s, at least in the US. I don't want to turn this into a political thread, but it seems that was about the time of the soi-disant "Reagan Revolution"....


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