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Old 11-07-2011, 07:24 PM   #41
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On the way home from the grocer, I go by a corner where people beg. I always offer food and they almost always take it. I recall vividly when one woman greedily snatched some yogurt out of my hand when I offered; it was as if she hadn't eaten for days. A few weeks after that incident, I read about her death from exposure.

That said, one out of six Americans now live in poverty. Maybe they're all faking it and secretly drive BMWs but the poverty rate has definitely increased.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #42
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That is so funny to me. They allow panhandling on Sundays because?
I guess Sunday is a tilthing day.
It has something to do with newspapers being legal to sell on the streets on Sunday? Some old law. It's being challenged. However, whats so funny about banning the panhandling? Did you miss the point? People are sick of it.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #43
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Another classic besides the "need money for gas" is the "need money for bus ticket". I just need $10 to get home, I just got out of the military, can you help a vet?" "No, how about a buck or two, spare change anything to help?"

I don't know if the beggars realize that no one uses cash anymore these days (at least among my 20- and 30-something peers), but "I don't have any cash" is a perfectly passable lie in general to get them to leave you alone.

Although I wouldn't be surprised to hear my lie countered with the retort "that's ok, I accept plastic too".
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:53 PM   #44
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Although I wouldn't be surprised to hear my lie countered with the retort "that's ok, I accept plastic PayPal too".
Updated it for you...
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:55 PM   #45
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Here we have Real Change, a weekly newspaper that mostly homeless people can sell. They pay 35 cents for a paper they sell at $1. These people are usually to always clean and sober appearing. I think if they were not they could lose the privilege of selling it. The paper is typical urban progressive, so not exactly to my taste, but I buy one a week anyway.

One black guy who sells them at Trader Joe is a real performer- and I mean that as a compliment. He has more friends than anyone else in the city I think. He is always upbeat, he is emotionally warm- and all this from a guy who sleeps on a peice of cardboard. But he is enterprising. He got some shop owner out in the North City to allow him to sleep in a protected spot, in return he sweeps the area every morning. He's got some girlfriend, and on his days off they take a bus to see a movie somewhere at a $1.50 matinee.

Another woman that sells Real Change I have known for a few years. Recently she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I suppose she could be conning me, but she is down to what looks like about 85 pounds on a 5'6"frame, and she can hardly beath, so I think she is for real. She says they won't operate on her until she weighs 90#- so I bought her a case of one of those liquid meals. When I don't see her for while, I fear that she is dead, but so far she always shows up again.

If I walk 1/2 mile, I will be panhandled 4-5 times, if I am walking where there are a lot of stores and people. I am alway respectful to these people because they have life that I could hardly imagine dealing with.

I don't encounter aggressive beggars often at all, and if I do I keep walking.

Ha
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #46
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I carry around a box of pop top cans of beans & franks, spoons & a napkin. So far I get thanks and mostly the folks eat it immediately. I will not give money. Once I got the fellow with the gas can asking for money. I took him to the gas station and filled it up and said thanks, as I pulled away I saw him dumping the gas can out in the bushes. No money from me eve again. We have a food kitchen in town I support, no one needs to go hungry.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:37 PM   #47
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I carry around a box of pop top cans of beans & franks, sons & a napkin.
I know exactly how you feel. When my kids were young I often wanted to give them away, too...
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #48
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I've been hit up for the gas can thing and just need a few dollars for bus fare and so on countless times. I used to give, so maybe I still look like a mark. I'm not nearly so generous now. I've been assaulted and threatened when I was giving, and I've seen people I thought I was helping turn up drunk or drugged out the next day. I'll give through a recognized charity, but the one on one threats and intimidation have put me off any street donations. Last night I got approached inside a fast food restaurant by someone going table to table. First time I saw that. He didn't get what he wanted from the shocked diners, so he cursed us all out and left with rude gestures and sound effects.

I'm sorry for the hard life these people must have, but I don't feel like I have to take care of them or support their criminal behavior. I'm unhappy to be approached and asked to do so every time I venture out in public.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:59 PM   #49
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Good quote in the 20/20 video: Compassion without logic.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:00 PM   #50
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It has something to do with newspapers being legal to sell on the streets on Sunday? Some old law. It's being challenged. However, whats so funny about banning the panhandling? Did you miss the point? People are sick of it.
I was laughing about the panhandling being OK on Sundays. I was actually sure it had something do with Sunday being the church day.

I guess you missed my point.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:27 PM   #51
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Here we have Real Change, a weekly newspaper that mostly homeless people can sell. They pay 35 cents for a paper they sell at $1. These people are usually to always clean and sober appearing. I think if they were not they could lose the privilege of selling it. The paper is typical urban progressive, so not exactly to my taste, but I buy one a week anyway.

One black guy who sells them at Trader Joe is a real performer- and I mean that as a complimant. He has more friends than anyone else in the city I think. He is always upbeat, he is emotionally warm- and all this from a guy who sleeps on a peice of cardboard. But he is enterprising. He got some shop owner out in the North City to allow him to sleep in a protected spot, in return he sweeps the area every morning. He's got some girlfriend, and on his days off they take a bus to see a movie somewhere at a $1.50 matinee.

Another woman that sells Real Change I have known for a few years. Recently she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I suppose she could be conning me, but she is down to what looks like about 85 pounds on a 5'6"frame, and she can hardly beath, so I think she is for real. She says they won't operate on her until she weighs 90#- so I bought her a case of one of those liquid meals. When I don't see her for while, I fear that she is dead, but so far she always shows up again.

If I walk 1/2 mile, I will be panhandled 4-5 times, if I am walking where there are a lot of stores and people. I am alway respectful to these people because they have life that I could hardly imagine dealing with.

I don't encounter aggressive beggars often at all, and if I do I keep walking.

Ha
That reminds me of this one time - About 10 years ago, my SO and I were at a local dive bar and this homeless guy showed up and sat next to my SO and ordered a drink. I've seen it several times downdown asking for money from people. His hair and clothes were dirty and smelled (he was probably in his 40's), but he had a brand new pair of sneakers on. I was a little apprehensive, but this guy was happy and very cordial. My SO and he started talking. (Well, my SO was just listening.) He said he was an alcoholic, tried rehab but it didn't work. He has been on the street for a few years. His parents lived in Milbrae and he did visit them once a year. His brand new sneakers were a gift from his sister. He did in fact sleep on the street and he said he knew exactly how much vodka to drink when he is sleeping (he said he kept a quart of vodka with him) so he won't get sick (something about withdrawal symptoms.) Actually, he bought my SO a drink! (My SO said, no, let me buy, but this guy was insistent.) I saw this guy a few more times downtown after this meeting. I gave him money every time and my SO did the same thing. He didn't recognize either of us though. He disappeared after about 6 months. I hope he is OK.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:38 PM   #52
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Long time residents of NW Portland may know this story: a family that lived up the street from up the street from us permitted a homeless man to find shelter in their garage. He was harmless and often kept an eye on their children as the years passed. The mother contracted a then untreatable cancer and eventually succumbed. When a wake was held he was included, the caterer almost kicked him out until others intervened. He was a fixture in the neighborhood. Several years later he was murdered by another homeless man and the neighborhood gathered for his wake.

Not all homeless or beggars are liars and cheats. Sometimes they are lost souls.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:38 PM   #53
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Good quote in the 20/20 video: Compassion without logic.
I like Ethics without compassion myself.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:10 PM   #54
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One more thing I was glad to get rid of when I ERed 3 years ago was the panhandling I encountered in New York's Penn Station as well as the nearby subways, PATH trains, and, later, when I worked in Jersey City (New Jersey), the food court at the Newport Center Mall.

There were many nooks and crannies in and around the subway stations in which homeless people set up. Sometimes, however, they blocked stairways, either with themselves or with huge piles of their junk or spilled food which made parts of the stairways impassible, causing bottlenecks for the commuters trying to get up or down the stairways in the stations. Then there was the stench of themselves and their food which was sickening, especially in the summertime when it got really hot in the stations.

On the subways, there would be an assortment of panhandlers, even though it was illegal on the subways or platforms. Most were not very aggressive but sometimes they were, with or without the stench. The commuter trains were usually free of the panhandlers because of the many conductors but when the trains were in Penn Station with the doors open for several minutes being boarded before departing, there were some panhandlers with their "stories" of needing a few dollars to get a ticket to get home. Yeah sure. I never saw anyone give them any money.

Meanwhile, at the Newport Mall's food court, it was not uncommon to have panhandlers go from table to table begging for money. This violated Mall policy, and when I was on my way out of the mall I sometimes stopped at the Mall management office and gave a description of the panhandler so their security team could find him and throw him out.

Just glad to be rid of that part of my annoying commute (along with all the cell phone yakkers on the trains, but that is for another thread at another time).
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:45 AM   #55
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I've been hit up for the gas can thing and just need a few dollars for bus fare and so on countless times. I used to give, so maybe I still look like a mark. I'm not nearly so generous now. I've been assaulted and threatened when I was giving, and I've seen people I thought I was helping turn up drunk or drugged out the next day. I'll give through a recognized charity, but the one on one threats and intimidation have put me off any street donations. Last night I got approached inside a fast food restaurant by someone going table to table. First time I saw that. He didn't get what he wanted from the shocked diners, so he cursed us all out and left with rude gestures and sound effects.

I'm sorry for the hard life these people must have, but I don't feel like I have to take care of them or support their criminal behavior. I'm unhappy to be approached and asked to do so every time I venture out in public.
You just reminded me of a couple of things...

Yes, the guy who goes from table to table in a fast food place... the ones I see most are deaf and are selling pens... I am there eating and reading my book and I see a hand come from the side... scares the heck out of me if I had not seen them before...

As for the verbal assult.... this reminds me of a time when I was in NY... there were people who would get on a subway car and sing or do something and then go around and try and get money... this one morning this guy comes on and say 'HI' in a loud voice... nobody pays attention... he tries it again and again... then starts cursing at everybody since they were not paying attention to the guy... I think it took him two more stops to figure out that nobody cared what he said....

Now that I think about it... NY and London had a LOT of people trying to get money in the subway....
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #56
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One more thing I was glad to get rid of when I ERed 3 years ago was the panhandling I encountered in New York's Penn Station as well as the nearby subways, PATH trains, and, later, when I worked in Jersey City (New Jersey), the food court at the Newport Center Mall.

There were many nooks and crannies in and around the subway stations in which homeless people set up. Sometimes, however, they blocked stairways, either with themselves or with huge piles of their junk or spilled food which made parts of the stairways impassible, causing bottlenecks for the commuters trying to get up or down the stairways in the stations. Then there was the stench of themselves and their food which was sickening, especially in the summertime when it got really hot in the stations.

On the subways, there would be an assortment of panhandlers, even though it was illegal on the subways or platforms. Most were not very aggressive but sometimes they were, with or without the stench. The commuter trains were usually free of the panhandlers because of the many conductors but when the trains were in Penn Station with the doors open for several minutes being boarded before departing, there were some panhandlers with their "stories" of needing a few dollars to get a ticket to get home. Yeah sure. I never saw anyone give them any money.

Meanwhile, at the Newport Mall's food court, it was not uncommon to have panhandlers go from table to table begging for money. This violated Mall policy, and when I was on my way out of the mall I sometimes stopped at the Mall management office and gave a description of the panhandler so their security team could find him and throw him out.

Just glad to be rid of that part of my annoying commute (along with all the cell phone yakkers on the trains, but that is for another thread at another time).

Had not read your post when I posted my previous.... yes, this brings back the memories of the smells... the other one that I can remember is the piss.... these guy would piss anywhere... so a lot of the subway areas smelled horrible...
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #57
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I volunteered at a homeless shelter for several years and learned a great deal about the homeless. Some of the same shelter residents at night could be found out begging during the day.

We never gave them money at the shelter but we would give them vouchers, food, toiletries, gloves, and the like. I do the same thing when I see them on the streets. If they are not scammers, they will appreciate it.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:34 PM   #58
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I almost always give a buck or two when asked. I can afford it and it makes me feel good.

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Old 11-08-2011, 02:52 PM   #59
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I was laughing about the panhandling being OK on Sundays. I was actually sure it had something do with Sunday being the church day.

I guess you missed my point.
I guess I did miss your point about Sunday being church day. I was thinking that finally people are so sick of the panhandlers that they want them out of sight but since Sunday is on the books about legally selling newspapers, they had to leave that day open to permit those sales. Others have mentioned that the newspaper for the homeless is being ramped up as an assistance tool for the needy. I'm sure they will find a way around the law to expand the newspaper sales.

Others have mentioned that the beggars are getting agressive. One of these days a panhandler will run up to some car and get his a** shot because he was charging the vehicle. It's probably happened already.
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Old 11-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #60
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I guess I did miss your point about Sunday being church day. I was thinking that finally people are so sick of the panhandlers that they want them out of sight but since Sunday is on the books about legally selling newspapers, they had to leave that day open to permit those sales. Others have mentioned that the newspaper for the homeless is being ramped up as an assistance tool for the needy. I'm sure they will find a way around the law to expand the newspaper sales.

Others have mentioned that the beggars are getting agressive. One of these days a panhandler will run up to some car and get his a** shot because he was charging the vehicle. It's probably happened already.

Or worse.... this happened a long time ago (maybe 20 years) where a panhandler killed someone... the guy was being aggressive and this guy did not acknowledge him and walked past... the panhandler hit him at the base of his head with something and killed the guy... I don't think they caught the panhandler either....
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