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Old 04-30-2013, 08:58 AM   #61
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An interesting story by SumDay. I first encountered aggressive panhandling back in 1976 when I moved from CT to CA. I grew up in a well off suburban neighborhood and never saw a panhandler. After a few encounters on the street I figured out what was going on and stopped giving. For a few years I would answer the door to solicitors but then got tired of listening to them and stopped doing that too. I only give to established charities.

What is interesting is not that there are still panhandlers out there but that someone is still unaware and surprised about it. I guess this comes with living in an urban area for so long. The information age hasn't leveled the playing field everywhere.

SumDay did the right thing calling the police but shouldn't have given the $. Live and learn and I am glad no one was seriously robbed or hurt.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:14 AM   #62
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My parents live in a small Arkansas town and are only approached occasionally in parking lots. It is frustrating to my mom that my dad will always give some $$, but his response is always, "if they are lying, that's on them, not me."

Yesterday, DH and I were shopping in Little Rock when a nicely dressed young man walked out of a shoe store, shopping bag in hand, and asked for money for a meal. One of the few times I have felt no guilt in saying no.

I read DH some of the posts on this thread. Panera Bread customers this morning must wonder what could be so darn funny. Atlanta Chicago Sheboygan (or something like that) ....love it and hope to pull it off.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #63
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In my final months of working back in 2008, a coworker/friend and I often went to eat lunch at the food court of the Newport Center Mall in Jersey City, New Jersey (near my office). The food was mediocre at best but it was quick and convenient in bad weather because we did not have to go outdoors to get there.

But a few times there was a panhandler going from table to table begging for money which made an already somewhat unpleasant experience even more unpleasant. So on the way out of the mall I stopped by the mall's management office to complain. I gave them a description of the man and they said they would take care of it. Never saw another panhandler there again but was happier to ER a few months later and never set foot in there again!
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:53 AM   #64
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Yesterday, DH and I were shopping in Little Rock when a nicely dressed young man walked out of a shoe store, shopping bag in hand, and asked for money for a meal. One of the few times I have felt no guilt in saying no.
He could at least make an effort not to be so obvious! Talk about brazen.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:39 AM   #65
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Yesterday, DH and I were shopping in Little Rock when a nicely dressed young man walked out of a shoe store, shopping bag in hand, and asked for money for a meal.
Circa 1970 I returned to school in Toronto.....evenings, and in the summer I loaded freightcars.....got off the bus, after a long hot sweaty day, tired and dirty, and a young guy, wearing a leather jacket I couldn't afford, asked me for 'spare change'.

I was impolite to him.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:04 PM   #66
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One Christmas eve I had been working on the farm all day, and was dirty and grubby. This is in Florida, so it was like another beautiful sunny day. Late in the afternoon, I got in my old farm truck and ran to the local McDonalds to grab something to eat. Stopped at the drive thru...got in line...placed my order. When I got to the window, I handed the girl a few dollars. She smiled at me and said, the lady in front of you paid for your meal. Merry Christmas. I was totally stunned (and a little embarassed), but it left a lasting impression on me. Now I often do the same during the holidays, and if I sense the car behind me is a mom with a couple of youngsters, or some elderly folks, Ill do the same. However, I will not give to panhandlers, ever.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:18 PM   #67
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Good for you! I suspect that such modest gifts ('random acts of kindness') provide you with much more satisfaction than if you spent the money on some trinket or other: see generally Dunn et al., "Spending money on others promotes happiness", 2008, 319 Science 1687.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:51 PM   #68
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A few years ago, coming home from the grocery store, a beggar at an intersection asked for some money. I told her I had food and gave her some yogurt. She clutched at it like it was the first meal she had had in days.

I remember this well because, a few weeks later, her picture was in the paper. She had frozen to death in an alley.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #69
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A few years ago, coming home from the grocery store, a beggar at an intersection asked for some money. I told her I had food and gave her some yogurt. She clutched at it like it was the first meal she had had in days.

I remember this well because, a few weeks later, her picture was in the paper. She had frozen to death in an alley.
Terrible event. Doesn't your city have shelters? Here, a woman who wants in one can almost always get in.

Ha
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:02 PM   #70
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Great...a guilt and recrimination free response...."I'd love to help you, but it's above my operational grade".
No no, you got it 180 degrees wrong. Some others had posted that they thought the wrong people were picking up free food, and wouldn't contribute any longer. My point was in support the concept of continued giving to the food bank because you don't know anything about the people you may be judging. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:09 PM   #71
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Terrible event. Doesn't your city have shelters? Here, a woman who wants in one can almost always get in.

Ha
Yes, there are shelters but only enough for ~1300 in cold weather. She also may have had psychological problems or maybe didn't think it would get that cold (it only happens a few times a year). I don't know.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:19 PM   #72
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No no, you got it 180 degrees wrong. Some others had posted that they thought the wrong people were picking up free food, and wouldn't contribute any longer. My point was in support the concept of continued giving to the food bank because you don't know anything about the people you may be judging. Sorry for the confusion.
I was just pulling your leg....hence the winky face emoticon.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:17 PM   #73
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I almost never give cash to panhandlers, but if asked for money to buy food, I sometimes offer to buy the person something to eat. The first time I ever did this, the man nearly inhaled the sandwich I bought him. Either he was a very good actor, or he hadn't eaten in a couple of days. The advice around here is not to give cash to people begging on the street, because it really doesn't help them overcome whatever brought them to that point. However, I figure you can't hurt anyone (or at least not much) by buying them a sandwich and a piece of fruit, or some hot food on a cold day.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:05 PM   #74
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I almost never give cash to panhandlers, but if asked for money to buy food, I sometimes offer to buy the person something to eat. The first time I ever did this, the man nearly inhaled the sandwich I bought him. Either he was a very good actor, or he hadn't eaten in a couple of days. The advice around here is not to give cash to people begging on the street, because it really doesn't help them overcome whatever brought them to that point. However, I figure you can't hurt anyone (or at least not much) by buying them a sandwich and a piece of fruit, or some hot food on a cold day.
Aren't you concerned that walking with the person to a diner might expose you to other problems?

I wouldn't want to walk anywhere with the panhandlers downtown.

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Old 05-01-2013, 02:56 PM   #75
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Aren't you concerned that walking with the person to a diner might expose you to other problems?

I wouldn't want to walk anywhere with the panhandlers downtown.

Ha
I didn't think of that. I've only done this a few times and the person was not always with me. I've had a person ask for money outside the grocery store--I went into the store and bought them something to eat, they remained outside. Or I saw panhandlers outside the post office, which is across the street from the grocery store I was headed to, so I bought them something to eat while I was in the store and handed it to them on the way home. I have also done this downtown a couple of times, but there have always been people on the street and in the store or restaurant in addition to me and the panhandler, so it looked pretty safe. I guess I'm just naieve.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #76
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I learned long ago to NEVER give people cash. It's just a bad bad bad idea 100% of the time. The asking for gas money is a classic one. They usually ask for an odd amount (like $11) so it seems like they might have actually put some thought into this and know how much money it will take to get to where they say they need to get to.

I once saw a guy in a parking lot with his car hood up, and when I got out of the car, he asked me if I had jumper cables. I DID, so I offered to help. As I'm hooking them up, he stands very close to me on his cell phone and says, "You mean you won't come tow my car just because I'm a lousy $10 short!" I knew then that this was a scam and that his car would not turn over.

We hooked them up, and he "tried to start his car" to no avail. He then says to me that the towing company would come get him if he just had $10 more; he would take my address down and mail it back to me. I told him that I don't give money to people. He was done with me right then...no thanks for trying, no anything. If I had to do it all again, I would have told him that I was about to call the police but that if a miracle happened and his car started right NOW that I wouldn't do so...I bet his car would have started.

They do this because it works, so you shouldn't feel bad about being scammed. Just don't allow it to happen again. Your cash money should NEVER go directly from you to someone who says they are in need. Give to the United Way, build houses for Habitat for Humanity, give to the local soup kitchen or a church, but NEVER give cash money to a person...never ever ever ever EVER.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:04 PM   #77
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Over the last few years I have spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco's Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods. This area definitely has the highest concentration of panhandlers I have seen in the USA. On several occasions I have offered food, generally whatever was left over from my last meal, when asked for money by those apparently living on the street. No one has ever accepted. This leads me to believe they are just not that hungry.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:12 PM   #78
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Over the last few years I have spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco's Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods. This area definitely has the highest concentration of panhandlers I have seen in the USA. On several occasions I have offered food, generally whatever was left over from my last meal, when asked for money by those apparently living on the street. No one has ever accepted. This leads me to believe they are just not that hungry.
SF was the first place I saw an "honest" panhandler. He was holding up a sign that said: "Need money for beer... at least I'm honest"
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:13 PM   #79
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Over the last few years I have spent quite a bit of time in San Francisco's Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods. This area definitely has the highest concentration of panhandlers I have seen in the USA. On several occasions I have offered food, generally whatever was left over from my last meal, when asked for money by those apparently living on the street. No one has ever accepted. This leads me to believe they are just not that hungry.
That just shows the variety of panhandlers, I guess. I used to travel to Washington D.C. alot, and these bum looking people used to stand outside restaurants wanting your 'doggie bags'. They never asked for money, just leftover food. Of course I never had any, being a traveler and mostly seeing if Guinness really is 'meal in a glass'.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:17 PM   #80
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SF was the first place I saw an "honest" panhandler. He was holding up a sign that said: "Need money for beer... at least I'm honest"
I've seen this guy on Market street! One of the panhandlers in my neighborhood carries a sign that reads: "bet you can't hit me with a quarter!".
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