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Old 11-08-2011, 05:13 PM   #61
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I am seeing more and more "regular" looking people asking for money. It was the first time yesterday that I saw someone with such a small baby (I never got close enough to her to see if it was in fact a baby she was holding or some wooden log wrapped in blanket.

I would think you can get government assistance especially when you have small children like that, but what do I know? (I should go back again tonight and read the sign..)

Or am I just being conned? (I'd rather prefer to be conned in this case.) I hear regular people becoming homeless or end up living in a car, etc, so maybe this is a sign of recession seeping through our neighborhood?

Kind of disheartening.
Right after Hurricane Katrina, my supermarket developed serious problems after dark with drug dealers doing business by the front door. So, we now have a rent-a-cop and real law enforcement both hanging around the front door.

Although there were plenty of legitimate panhandlers at the supermarket right after the storm, the constant law enforcement presence due to the drug dealing seems to have put an end to panhandling at that location.

I have been approached by panhandlers at gas stations, at the gym (!), and so on. I usually ignore them since most here do not appear genuine. For example, the one at the gym was drinking bottled water from the machine and was asking for money for Cheetos from the other machine. I don't drink water from that machine because it is too expensive, nor do I eat Cheetos (especially expensive ones from machines), so I didn't feel bad about turning her down.
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:50 PM   #62
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Now that I think about it... NY and London had a LOT of people trying to get money in the subway....
Absolutely true. The two worst cities in the world for subway beggars, AFAIK. And the majority of them have been doing it for so long that they are really good at it.

But there is little need for that in most places. Where I live, there are many places that will give free food (groceries) to anyone who asks. I support them generously, which is why I'm not bothered when I refuse a panhandler.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:20 PM   #63
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Many if not most of the homeless street beggars have mental problems. I feel sorry for them, but how do we solve this problem? They cannot function like normal people, and cannot take care of themselves.

I don't think many would be so cold-hearted to want to shut down the soup kitchen to let the above starve, but beyond providing them with food and shelter, the latter they may refuse due to certain requirements and rules that they do not comply with, what else can we do? Do we lock them up in mental institutions?

And then, there are the not-homeless but scam artists who tell of heart-breaking personal catastrophes that leave them stranded. They have more clean-cut appeal, hence have good credibility. These do not ask for coin changes like the homeless street beggars, but can get more from a smaller number of passers-by. In a youtube video, I saw the story of a young woman who stood at a freeway off-ramp with a sign saying "Stranded - need money to get home" and told a sobbing story about being kicked out by a boyfriend to motorists and now need money to go 1000 miles home. The cameraman found out that she lived two blocks away in a normal home, went shopping the next morning in nice clothes, and changed into rags to go begging in the afternoon. By stopping and asking the people who gave her money, they estimated that she collected $50 per hour.

I am sure there are families who face financial hardship in this bad economy, but I think they would be appealing for help at various government agencies and charity organizations, and not be standing out in the streets.

My heart really goes out to the day laborers who stand at some street corners or near some Home Depot stores, waiting to be picked up for some menial work. Surely, they are likely to be illegal immigrants, but they are the ones willing to exchange some honest work for a few bucks. Does that count for anything anymore?
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:36 PM   #64
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Very interesting reading for me...living in a small town just east of Nowhere NY in the snow belt may have some advantages after all.
It is very rare for me to see panhandlers in my area. I would guess the extreme cold is not conducive to voluntary beggars (scammers).

I do remember being very rapidly approached in the parking lot of a fast food place when I was on travel to TX for w*rk. I had just gotten out of the rental car. This guy appeared out of nowhere and got right in my face.
I don't scare easily, and I gave him a good dose of Noo Yawker, verbally with a very strong body language stance. He backed off immediately.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:36 PM   #65
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Do we lock them up in mental institutions?
Well, I don't know where you might find a mental institution. Most of them were closed in the 60s in favor of using psychoactive drugs for these impaired populations.

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Old 11-09-2011, 09:02 AM   #66
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Very interesting reading for me...living in a small town just east of Nowhere NY in the snow belt may have some advantages after all.
It is very rare for me to see panhandlers in my area. I would guess the extreme cold is not conducive to voluntary beggars (scammers).

I do remember being very rapidly approached in the parking lot of a fast food place when I was on travel to TX for w*rk. I had just gotten out of the rental car. This guy appeared out of nowhere and got right in my face.
I don't scare easily, and I gave him a good dose of Noo Yawker, verbally with a very strong body language stance. He backed off immediately.
Haven't seen it, because I have no compelling reason to visit, but my old hometown apparently has such a problem with crystal meth and oxycontin that there are now street hookers walkers. This is a town of around 4500 people...
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #67
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Right after Hurricane Katrina, my supermarket developed serious problems after dark with drug dealers doing business by the front door. So, we now have a rent-a-cop and real law enforcement both hanging around the front door.

Although there were plenty of legitimate panhandlers at the supermarket right after the storm, the constant law enforcement presence due to the drug dealing seems to have put an end to panhandling at that location.

I have been approached by panhandlers at gas stations, at the gym (!), and so on. I usually ignore them since most here do not appear genuine. For example, the one at the gym was drinking bottled water from the machine and was asking for money for Cheetos from the other machine. I don't drink water from that machine because it is too expensive, nor do I eat Cheetos (especially expensive ones from machines), so I didn't feel bad about turning her down.
During my only visit to NO, I was accosted on Bourbon Street by a couple of punks trying to shine my tennis shoes. We finally shook them when we ducked into a shop.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:35 AM   #68
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My heart really goes out to the day laborers who stand at some street corners or near some Home Depot stores, waiting to be picked up for some menial work. Surely, they are likely to be illegal immigrants, but they are the ones willing to exchange some honest work for a few bucks. Does that count for anything anymore?

I guess you don't have anywhere as many as we do...

There is a section of road where the day laborers (and yes, most are illegal) line up... about a one mile section that has HUNDREDS of them sitting around... the place is trashed out and the shop owners have to live with it... from what I understand, their rate is $10/HR, so it is not like they are being cheated...

They have made it so we do not want to take our business to any of these shops... so yes, I can complain about them also...

PS... this is not at a Home Depot... just close to the apartments where they live...
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #69
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During my only visit to NO, I was accosted on Bourbon Street by a couple of punks trying to shine my tennis shoes. We finally shook them when we ducked into a shop.
Oh, well, Bourbon Street.... I wouldn't even count them as panhandlers. They were just trying to score some money off the rich tourist. You're lucky they didn't bop you over the head and steal your wallet once you went around the corner. That was smart to duck into the shop and get rid of them.

I haven't been to Bourbon Street for decades, actually. It's not my cup of tea (or, er, bourbon? )
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #70
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Here in Canada I see homeless people living in the street yet there are shelters the take them in and feed them as well as give them a roof over there head........for free. Only problem is there are conditions and restrictions such as, help out in the kitchen, clean up etc, yet some still decide to live on the street since they say "there are too many restrictions". Sooooooooooooo they beg for money. Tell me if I understand this correctly, our taxes pay for there free food and shelter and if they decide they don't want to help out I should give out more money to them on the streets so they can live a different lifestyle. Am I missing something?

Oh Please!
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:19 AM   #71
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Oh, well, Bourbon Street.... I wouldn't even count them as panhandlers. They were just trying to score some money off the rich tourist. You're lucky they didn't bop you over the head and steal your wallet once you went around the corner. That was smart to duck into the shop and get rid of them.

I haven't been to Bourbon Street for decades, actually. It's not my cup of tea (or, er, bourbon? )
Bourbon Street is the place where I tried to leave a bar at about 4:30 one morning to walk back to my hotel. People shouted, "NO!", a couple of them actually threw themselves between me and the door.

Explanation: "You'll never make it. They'll find your body somewhere after the sun comes up."

So I went back to partying.

But by 6 I decided I had enough. My hotel was only a block away, I had to get ready for my 10 am meeting, and I had a gun. Obviously I survived, but that moment when half the bar rushed to keep me from going outside was just way too weird. I've felt safer leaving bars in Matamoros or Piedras Negras at 4 in the morning (wasn't carrying a gun there).

The panhandlers on Bourbon Street are very aggressive, but at least they offer some entertainment. The stuff they come up with to con money out of tourists is hilarious. "Mister, I bet you $20 I can tell you what the last thing you take off is before you go to bed." Answer: "You take your feet off the floor. Now give me my $20!"

Apparently the con men are all recently released from the state farm at Angola, and after a certain hour they stop conning and start robbing. Thus the attempts to keep wayward tourists alive by preventing them from leaving the bar at 0430.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #72
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My heart really goes out to the day laborers who stand at some street corners or near some Home Depot stores, waiting to be picked up for some menial work. Surely, they are likely to be illegal immigrants, but they are the ones willing to exchange some honest work for a few bucks. Does that count for anything anymore?
I believe I have shared this story on here before. We were out shopping for the day with our family. My observant six year old asked why that group of men were standing next to Lowe's. I said they are looking for work for the day hoping to earn enough money to feed their family and pay for their needs. We finish our shopping and go to Walmart.

On the way out of the walmart parking lot, there is a presumably able bodied person begging for money in the middle of the walmart driveway. My daughter then asks if she is looking for work like the other people at Lowe's. My response was "no, she just wants some of your money and isn't looking for work".

Good life lesson for my daughter (work hard if you want money, don't look to others for handouts). Although in reality, I bet the beggar got more money than those looking for actual work. The day laborers may not have been hired at all, hence earning $0 for the day. The walmart beggar at least got something.
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Old 11-09-2011, 04:19 PM   #73
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Haven't seen it, because I have no compelling reason to visit, but my old hometown apparently has such a problem with crystal meth and oxycontin that there are now street hookers walkers. This is a town of around 4500 people...
There have been several busts (recently) of meth labs in sleepy little towns in upstate NY. Small towns seem to be the location of choice, the type with big open fields and a building that looks rundown from the outside.

The reason I did the brass Noo Yawker thing with this guy was based on something I learned from a retired cop who taught a self defense class.
A meek woman wil always be robbed and/or abducted.
A strongly stanced loud mouth woman has half a chance to
a) draw attention from passersby (witnesses), and
b) make it look like it ain't worth the trouble to try to drag her away.

Panhandler or not, I treat any type of space invasion as a threat and respond accordingly, at loud volume and with aggressive body language. Better I go down fighting on the spot than as a victim.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:34 PM   #74
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Maybe there should be a certification program for panhandlers. They have an interview and if they can show that have a legitimate reason for begging, they get a card that they can wear around their neck. I'm half serious.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #75
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Maybe there should be a certification program for panhandlers. They have an interview and if they can show that have a legitimate reason for begging, they get a card that they can wear around their neck. I'm half serious.
Actually Al, I think this is a great idea . I would gladly give money to people in real need but how can we know if it's a scam or they really need the money ?
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:54 PM   #76
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Actually Al, I think this is a great idea . I would gladly give money to people in real need but how can we know if it's a scam or they really need the money ?
The ones who die on the street from starvation are the ones who needed the help. I guess i'm just a naive guy from a small midwest town. I had no idea there were scammers pretending to be in need. I guess those who are really in need will be left with just one option, commit a non-violent crime so they can go to jail and get food and shelter. Either that or die. Some will probably chose to die free rather than be locked up.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:14 PM   #77
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The con artists were in Thailand too. They began with "Excuse me, do you speak english? Well, I've just lost my passport and..."

Its a growth businesss
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:17 PM   #78
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Actually Al, I think this is a great idea . I would gladly give money to people in real need but how can we know if it's a scam or they really need the money ?
In Seattle, if they are selling Real Change they qualify.

Real Change News | About

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Old 11-10-2011, 03:21 AM   #79
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The con artists were in Thailand too. They began with "Excuse me, do you speak english? Well, I've just lost my passport and..."

Its a growth businesss
I recall, sometime in the 1980s, reading in an English language Saudi newspaper of a female beggar in Makkah/Medinah with something like 200,000 riyals (around 3 riyals to the dollar at that time) on her.
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:53 AM   #80
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Maybe there should be a certification program for panhandlers. They have an interview and if they can show that have a legitimate reason for begging, they get a card that they can wear around their neck. I'm half serious.
In South Florida there is a network of people at busy intersections that solicit funds. They have printed handouts (newsletters?) and carry large colored ids around their necks. They also wear t-shirts with the name of an organization that supports homeless.
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