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Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 02:26 PM   #1
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Panhandlers -- not again!

A couple of funny situations involving panhandlers. To be clear... I am not deriding the homeless!

About 18 years ago I lived in Atlanta. I stopped at a convenience store to get gas. While I was filling up, a man approached me with a sad story. He pointed to his truck and indicated that he was almost out of gas and left his wallet at home. He put the tap on me for $3 for gas... Enough to get home. I thought to myself... seems sincere. It could happen to me. So I gave him $3 and continued to fill my car up. About the time I was finishing filling the car, I looked up and saw the guy exit the store with a 6 pack. He quickly tossed it in his trcu and took off. I wanted to chase him down and shove the beer cans up his @##. However, I just chalked up to experience.

Another story.

I work downtown an get approached from time to time by panhandlers. I got off work one day and was heading for the parking garage. A guy approached me with his sad story (I kept walking). He proceeded to follow me. He explained that he just needed $20 dollars for gas. He had driven into the city from another town (about 120 miles away) and ran out of gas... and had no money. I am thinking are ya stupid or do ya think I'm stupid. Oh, I left out one small detail... The guy was drunk.

Finally... This happened to me yesterday. I needed to get gas on the way to work. As I was driving in, I was thinking about work and missed the gas station I normally use. By the time I remembered, I was going through an area a town that is, shall we say, quite run down. Anyway, I spotted a gas station an stopped to fill up. I was filling my car up and low an behold someone pulled up to the pump behind me. Next thing I knew, I heard a voice behind me. A young guy about 22-25 exclaimed can you help me, do you know how to use this... He is holding up a credit card (maybe a debit card). I quickly think an say no but the lady in th store can, then turned back to filling the car. He walked in the store, walked out and drove off. I am thinking either the card was bad or stolen. If it was stolen, what did this clown think... that I was going to swipe the card for him. If it was bad, I suspect he would have given me his sad story and hit me up for a loan of $10... which of course he would promise to pay back.

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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Man... I have MANY stories....

I had someone like you when I was young... came up with a gas can and pointed to thier car and were out of gas.. gave them a couple of bucks... came out the store maybe 30 minutes later.. they were hitting up someone else for more money...

While in London, there was this guy who lived on the street around the corner.. he parked himself right next to an ATM machine.. so he KNEW you had money when he asked I saw him there there the whole 14 months I lived there...

While in NY, we got panhandled all the time... they would get on a subway car and give a sob story... well, one guy got on and said 'HI' to everybody.. nobody looked up... he said it again... nothing.. he started to get mad and started to yell about how rude we were... nothing... then went into his sob story... nothing.. got even more mad... I just wanted to tell him you will not get anything if you piss of your 'marks'... but just sat there until he wen to the next car at the next stop...

There was this lady from New Orleans that was here in Houston.. she came up to our table at lunch with her hands held out like the Allstate commercial (you know both together like she is holding something....)... she said something and I said, 'we are not interested'... she got mad and started to yell and scream and say we did not know what she wanted... someone else pointed out that she came up begging and we don't care about YOU... man, that got her pissed off even more... she was stomping around and yelling and threw things around... was making a fool of herself for about 5 minutes...

I have only given to that one guy... I learned quickly...
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 03:07 PM   #3
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Similar story. Last year on 95 at a rest stop in DE: A guy asks me for money supposedly because out of gas and money. Just needed a bit of gas to get home. Gave him 5$.
Five minutes later noticed others doing the same thing to new cars arriving at the rest stop.
Another guy gives me the same story after I came out of the restaurant! Needless to say the answer was NO.
The place was swarming with panhandlers asking for cash for gas. I am still thinking I should send a letter to some authorities in that state to limit this problem.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Here is the type of pan handling that irks me!

We have a Billionarie Sports owner of the MN twins that has been trying get a New Stadium built, so that it will double the value of the team he owns. Despite cutbacks in healthcare and education for the poor over the last 4 years, our GOP governor just signed a sales tax increase for our our County. (despite his No Tax Pledge before he took office) that will raise $500 million dollars for the Billionaire.

Please, Please just let me give my money to someone that needs it!
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Here is the type of pan handling that irks me!
I agree... The same thing happened in our city. The city and county spent about $1B to build two new stadiums football and baseball. The football owner threatened to leave if it was not built. Both owners got sweetheart deals.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

I volunteer with my local help center and have been doing this for 5 years. Not only do we have help available for people in our area, but have telephone numbers for people that call out of our county.

Since DH works downtown, he is approached quite often. I made up some business sized cards with phone numbers for the, ummm less fortunate. This works well for him.

However, there is now a litter problem. :
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 05:51 PM   #7
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinaco
I agree... The same thing happened in our city. The city and county spent about $1B to build two new stadiums football and baseball. The football owner threatened to leave if it was not built. Both owners got sweetheart deals.
We got you beat... new football stadium.. then new baseball stadium and then new basketball stadium in only a few years...

We had a 'vote' for the football stadium, but it was worded that we create a 'sport authority'... well, that body had the ability to build the other two without going to the voters!!!

So I am with ya... a waste of tax money for the rich.. and I could care less if we had any of the teams here even though I root for a couple of them... I can root for them if they are in another city...

BTW, I have only been in the football stadium for a college bowl game and the basketball for a concert... once each.. never been in the baseball in 5 years (maybe 6 now...)
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

I only did this once, and it was a long time ago. I was with a group of friends and a panhandler was making a bee line for us. I quickly approached him and asked him if he had any spare change. He was taken aback and didn't know how to answer. My friends were greatly amused, as was I at the time. For some reason now, I don't find it that amusing.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-17-2007, 08:16 PM   #9
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

If I come upon a homeless person rummaging through a dumpster, I have pulled out a $10 bill and have said "excuse me sir, I think this fell out of your pocket"
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 06:34 AM   #10
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Homeless sometimes panhandle. They are in a sad fix.

Panhandlers are not always Homeless. For a fairly large number it is a scam and easier than working


I have a friend who has a good response for panhandlers that approach him for money. The usual ploy is: "can you spare some money so I can get something to eat". He replys, the homeless shelter is X blocks away on Y street. You can get a hot meal and bed there.

Sad story. THis fellow was approached not too long ago and he gave the panhandler his stock reply. The panhandler said he did and they kicked him out. Of course who know why. Some of these unfortunate people have mental illnesses, and a small subet are just rowdy bullies and trouble makers. Most are down on their luck, or have trouble with alcohol or drugs.

I feel sorry for the people who are down and out. But it is often hard to tell the difference between those people and the "I panhandle because it is easier than working" crowd.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 07:27 AM   #11
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Here is the type of pan handling that irks me!

trying get a New Stadium built, so that it will double the value of the team he owns. Despite cutbacks in healthcare and education for the poor over the last 4 years, our GOP governor just signed a sales tax increase...
Amen, brother. If the sports nuts want a stadium so bad, stop griping about the cost of tickets, parking, and a snack, and instead get off your butt and take on a direct deposit every month from your checking account into the coffers of the fat cat team owners.

What makes people who support such taxes think average citizens should fund your habit/obsession?!?!?! I have a hobby, too, but I don't expect the State to freakin' sponsor it.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 07:42 AM   #12
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Chinaco...

You are right... there are some who do it to get money and not have to work... two stories...

Once, I used to drive by this intersection all the time. There was a man there missing the bottom half of one leg... on crutches... he was there every day during afternoon rush hour. Got LOTS of money (I almost alway saw someone give his a bill every time I was at the light... say 30 lights per hour or more... ).. well, one day I see him hobbling over to this car under the freeway. This guy gets out, hand this guy his leg... they both jump into the car and drive away... scam all the way...

Another was the guy out with 'will work for food'... a reporter in town went to a few of these guys to offer them a job... NONE wanted to do any work... they looked at him funny... he did some panhandling and had a low of $20 per hour and a high of (I believe) $100 per hour... more money than they could make working...

As long as there are idiots that will give them money, there will be beggers...

OH... almost forgot about the lady who sat at the bus stop for three months... she started with a small bag of stuff... only left to get cigs and food and go to the bathroom... it was just outside our building, so I asked what she did at night to the property manager.. he said she slept under our overhang next to the door... we would call the police but they did nothing.. people kept bringing her all sorts of stuff.. her stash kept getting bigger.. people dropped off food and clothes and MORE BAGS to hold this stuff... and she had about 10 kids that could take care of her... could not get rid of her at all... finally she did something 'inappropriate' and the police told her to leave... she has not been back...
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 08:19 AM   #13
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRiP Guy
Amen, brother. If the sports nuts want a stadium so bad, stop griping about the cost of tickets, parking, and a snack, and instead get off your butt and take on a direct deposit every month from your checking account into the coffers of the fat cat team owners.

What makes people who support such taxes think average citizens should fund your habit/obsession?!?!?! I have a hobby, too, but I don't expect the State to freakin' sponsor it.
Agreed! I'd put "public art" into the same category--should the government (at all levels) really be forcibly taking money from people (including the poor) to host "performance art," build expensive sculptures, etc? I agree these things may be nice and may add to the community's quality of life in some intangible way (as a sports team might), but this is something people can support voluntarily if there is a market for it. Definitley not in the same "essential public good"category as roads, bridges, police. Aunt Nellie proably could have found a good use for her portion of what was spent on that sculpture (or sports arena).
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 08:29 AM   #14
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Agreed on the sales tax / stadium issue ... glad to see some common ground on that one.


Re: the subject, I had a guy hit me up with a similar homeless-with-wife-and-kids story ... seemed more sincere than most, so I gave him a $20. He hits up my wife for the same, two days later. He was working that neighborhood.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Agreed! I'd put "public art" into the same category--should the government (at all levels) really be forcibly taking money from people (including the poor) to host "performance art," build expensive sculptures, etc?
Public funding of art is not even close to offensive as the sports arenas, mainly becuase they don't profit a single individual. - While I am not in favor of public funding of the arts, it's not near as egregious as the sports stadium. Our in town Billionaire, just increased his Personal net worth by about $250 Million by increasing the sales tax.

This is pure dirty greed!
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 09:10 AM   #16
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

I think we have uncovered something here! Scamster Panhandlers are a Nuisance when they hit people up for money.

But is is not near as infuriating as a multi-millionaire or Billionaire wanting to dip their hand in my pocket.

What I find ridiculous is that the voters of our county voted for the new stadiums. I think it had to do with local pride and esteem. The odd part is that many of the people could not afford a football game ticket.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 10:09 AM   #17
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Around 1983 I was walking to the bus station from work in San Francisco. I guy told me he'd run out of money, and needed fare back to San Jose. I gave him $2.

Three weeks later, I saw the same guy and heard him trying the scam on someone else. When he was done I walked near him, and, not recognizing me, he started in with the same scam on me. I said,

"Hey, I know how you feel, I was in your same situation once. I don't have any cash on me, but my wife is in the bus station. Let's find her and I'll give you what you need." So we wandered around until I saw some cops, then I grabbed him by the arm took him over to them, and described what happened.

They said they couldn't do anything, but that I could make a citizen's arrest, which I did. Don't know what the final outcome was.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-18-2007, 03:20 PM   #18
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Several furniture stores in our area are staging going out of business sales (must be those subprime mortgages).......anyway. Several have hired panhandler types to carry "sandwich" boards or signs advertising the sales. Some of these folks look extremely uncomfortable "earning" thier income....some look extremely bored and some probably drive business away from the particular store. One one young lady seems to be always on the cell phone. Anyway, I thought it was a pretty good idea to have them do something useful. The furniture store could have just stuck a sign in the ground.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-19-2007, 02:02 PM   #19
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

I've had a few "drive by" panhandlings. I always just say "no" or "no I can't help".

Once after a local tornado I had a guy approach me with a stroller and a couple of kids explaining that he's now homeless after the tornado. The tornado damage was at least 10 miles away, and I'm supposed to believe this guy wandered up here overnight?

Another time I noted that there was a family of people rotating stoplight begging duty while the others relaxed, ate and made their signs inside a fast food place.

The oddest thing I've seen lately was a guitar-player with an offering hat in Plainfield, a suburb city of Indianapolis. Wha? Moving from downtown to the 'burbs now, huh? He was at a strip mall with a Kohls, Old Navy and some local stores and restaurants.

Also believe I saw a streetwalker in the same area, but only saw her once so maybe she wasn't working or got picked up by the police quickly.
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!
Old 03-19-2007, 03:49 PM   #20
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Re: Panhandlers -- not again!

Panhandlers don't like me:

I usually get the "can you spare some change"?

To which I say:

"Change comes from within, my friend"..............and continue walking..............
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