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#88449 - 03/15/07 05:18 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: stealthedc]
Malpaso Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 817
Loc: MA
I will give food and sometimes old clothes. Many of the street people around here are Veterans. I figure I owe them something.
It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

#88451 - 03/15/07 05:36 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: stealthedc]
el_diabl0 Offline

Registered: 12/31/06
Posts: 301
Loc: NE Ohio
I have given the gloves off my hands before when a homeless man nearly begged me for them. Just yesterday I gave a man a ride after he offered me money to do so. He was carrying a coffee table and needed to go 3 blocks. I was armed at the time so wasnt too worried.

I never give money.
Improvise, adapt, and overcome

#88476 - 03/15/07 09:44 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: NightHiker]
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2822
I've noticed that many do not want help, the smell of booze on their breath and just wanting money gives them away.
I was in college and worked part time at a grocery store pushing in carts. Walked out to the end of the parking lot one day and there was someone standing with a sign "will work for food". I tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the big huge sign hanging in the store window saying "Now Hiring, All Shifts". You rally can't get much closer to working for food than in a grocery store.

#88479 - 03/15/07 10:12 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: Eugene]
MrBadger Offline

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 61
I marked "nothing" on the poll, but that just represents what I hand out of my own personal belongings.

I just gave the last two and a half years to the homeless of San Francisco. I lived and worked in the Tenderloin district, which is the highest per-capita homeless area in San Francisco, at a faith based non-profit org. I worked mostly with meth and heroin addicts, but also experienced my share of crack and alcohol addicts. As a rule I've always stressed to people to NEVER give cash to people on the street no matter how desperate they seemed. It will go to drugs/alcohol 99.9% of the time.

As an organization we used food/clothes/blankets as a type of bait to attract people to us, build relationships with them, then connect them with rehab or other services that they may need. Giving stuff out on the street, no matter how well intentioned, may actually undermine the efforts of orgs who are better able to follow through to help folks. If you feel the need to do something, please donate to a reputable organization. Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Churches, etc.

If you have clothes to donate, please look to Salvation Army as a first choice as their thrift stores employ former drug addicts as a way to reintroduce them into the working world.

And I also like to say that the most valuable thing you can give to someone is your time. Even giving the ten seconds to say: “No, I can’t give you any money, but have a nice day anyway” is worth more than the $10 bucks in your pocket to someone that truly needs help.


#88485 - 03/15/07 11:18 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: MrBadger]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
I was heading home early one day in Manhattan and decided to grab a hot dog from a corner vendor (yep survival food at it's finest) just outside of Penn Station. On the way into the station, a bum sitting by the door spotted me and shouts 'Buy me a hot dog", like he's barking an order at me, with this repugnant glare in his eyes. I walked right past him, taking another bite, saying nothing, but returning his glare.

Another time the wife is driving the family into town, when this wierdo steps out in front of my car waving his arms. I pull the pistol out and put it under my leg while we come to an abrupt stop (I couldn't convince the wife to go around). She rolls down the window and the guy says "You need to give me a ride into town". To which I respond, "Uh, I don't think our dog here is going to let you into the car". The Elkhound/Shepard cross was doing her semi-rabid routine jumping between the back seat and the center console while going off, and I guess the wierdo conceded to discretion. I called the cops on my portable radio as we left.

The only time I will drop coin for a panhandler or beggar is if I have too much change in my pocket and wish to alleviate the load without just tossing it on the ground. You can imagine how often that happens.

Now while in Baghdad, it was routine to give up at least $200 a week in Baksheesh. I preferred giving it to the kids, though I knew their family would take it all for the common good anyways. Sometimes it was a lot of effort to put the money in their hands and get them to accept it. A lot of times they wouldn't unless they knew you well, and you were sincere about it. That felt good, and worthy. I do miss my Iraqi friends something fierce.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#88508 - 03/16/07 02:31 AM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: OldBaldGuy]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Originally Posted By: OldBaldGuy
Most of the panhandlers I see are holding a sign asking for food, work, gas, a ride, you name it, with one hand, and smoking a cigarette with the other. I figure that if they can afford cigarettes they don't need my help...

Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#88510 - 03/16/07 02:36 AM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: stealthedc]
Stu Offline
I am not a P.P.o.W.
Old Hand

Registered: 05/16/05
Posts: 1058
Loc: Finger Lakes of NY State
Add me to the nothing column.
Our most important survival tool is our brain, and for many, that tool is way underused! SBRaider
Head Cat Herder

#88512 - 03/16/07 02:44 AM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: MDinana]
mark161 Offline

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 33
Loc: US
We had a guy in the local area that stood at the end of an exit ramp with a sign will work for food. He would never take the work but would take money or "new" food. The local police did an investagation after he was seen at the end of the day walking across the street to the mall parking lot and getting into his BMW. They couldn't charge him with anything but the IRS did get him for tax evasion for not reporting $100,000.00 in income!!!
The Beatings will continue until morale improves!

#88518 - 03/16/07 04:01 AM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: mark161]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Not long after moving to Vegas, I was heading out of a Home Depot parking lot, waiting at the signal exit. A black man (woman and two kids sitting on the grass in the shade of the sign) was standing with a sign: "Need Work. 20 yrs exp painting".

The truck ahead of me was a beater that had paint drips down the tailgate. I could see the driver lean toward the passenger window and heard him yell, "Do you really want work?"

The black man LEAPED to the truck window, and said, "YES, SIR!"

I pulled around (no traffic nearby) and as I passed them, they were shaking hands. In five years of driving for a living there, I never saw that black man again.

I haven't seen a 'will work for food' sign in years. Now, it's 'pennies help, god bless', but what they want is dollars.

I used to work for an animal-assistance non-profit (we helped pay vet bills). A man called me (second time) for help with his dog, but we were out of money for the month. Ten minutes later, a woman called from the in-town ranger station, saying that he had called from her phone, but was gone. She said he was the guy who had spent the last two years at the end of the freeway exit (signal light) with his husky-mix dog. Her sister worked at the bank on the far side of the interchange, and said this guy would come in four or five times a day to deposit cash. He averaged more per day than the bank teller did.


#88567 - 03/16/07 09:53 PM Re: Street Survivor Poll - Panhandlers [Re: Susan]
ChristinaRodriguez Offline

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 324
Loc: Rhode Island
My experience with college campus panhandlers taught me a few things, and my instincts are no longer to stop and give money.

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