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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2003
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    1,724

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    I've given food, occasionally a few coins if I have them (I don't carry cash so :: shrugs:

    But years ago when the collections guy at a company I worked for told me a story of how he saw a family of 4 (mom, dad, little kids) on the corner of an intersection in on the south side of 35 in early summer (read: HOT). They were begging, "Family in need" etc.

    He thought it was pretty rough that the kids were out there, so it had to be legit, right? He went to the gas station next to the intersection and bought them some milk, water, crackers. Took them over to the family. Dude and Mama FLIPPED OUT, screaming at him about how they didn't need food, they needed money, and all kinds of just vile stuff, profanities, really freaking out.

    Always makes me wonder.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    ....in a classroom in Fl, by the ocean
    Posts
    3,682

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    I dont mind passing food and water though my window. I don't think many crack/heroin/drug deals/sex worker will take a ham sandwich as tender for a fix.



    Quote Originally Posted by Heinz 57 View Post
    I'm leery of giving out food because even then, those with substance problems can go trade their earnings for whatever fix they need. :/ It is quite sad.



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,318

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    There are a couple of regular panhandlers that I see, and I don't give to them.

    But otherwise, if I have cash on me and I can get to it in a non-compromising manner, I will give a few bucks (don't want my purse to get lifted). I always hand out a smoke or two.

    I figure there but for the grace of God go I.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2004
    Location
    South Park
    Posts
    3,114

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    "Why lie... I need a drink!"

    That was the most truthful sign I saw held by a panhandler...
    A friend told me I was delusional. I almost fell off my unicorn.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,179

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    And see, that's what I hated about losing my compassion. All these stories about people scamming.
    We actually had a guy working for us who like to tell tales and he told us when he was a little younger and working in the Forest Service as a seasonal firefighter he and his buddies went to the nearest town and started panhandling for money, for beer for a good drunk of course. They only asked for quarters to call home - but one guy had a real heart rending story and made out big time. As they were leaning up against the pickup one of their marks saw them and started to chew them out for taking advantage of people's good nature - so they tossed him back his quarter. It was a great story but it chilled me.
    We weren't sad to see that guy move on.

    OP, I think you did well. Sometimes it is just the right thing to do.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2008
    Posts
    2,775

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    Never. Too many years in too many cities, seen too many violent homeless and had too many nasty encounters. I'll donate to charity, but nothing that encourages panhandling.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,032

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    Better to give to someone that really needs it than be worried about being scammed for a few bucks.

    My husband is the one - he goes to cash in the bottles, but gives them to the needy looking family. He goes in for a quick Chinese lunch and comes out with a chow mein for the guy at the door. He never misses an opportunity...
    I'm the shy one, but I did find a bit of contraband in the form of a pack of cigarettes in the truck the other day (my husband is supposed to have given up smoking) - so I gave it to a fellow outside the rec centre. He was so grateful - and I felt I was contributing to his early death.

    We make it a rule to never pass by a Salvation Army kettle.

    We have a nursery and can use help - but nobody has ever showed up.

    I buy diapers for the mums with babies - they are so expensive.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    1,857

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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    I pulled into a gas station a few years ago and a woman my age asked me for 5 bucks for gas, she and her 2, under age 10 kids were running away from her abusive ex boyfriend. I told her to pull up to the pump and I would fill the tank. She said she was driving from Ocala to Daytona, a 2 hour trip and I wanted to make sure she got there.

    She actually told me the cash would be better and all she needed was 5 bucks. I said, "how is 5 dollars in gas going to get you to Daytona?" I repeated for her to go to the pump and I would FILL her tank.
    NOPE! She walked away from me. She wanted that 5 bucks for something other than gas . To top it all off, she had her two kids in the back seat making sad faces at people walking by. Mind you this was at 6am as I was picking up a coffee to go to the barn.

    I walked into the store inquired about the woman outside and the lady behind the register said they are there every other week or so.
    I've never had him approach me, but apparently there is a guy who does this at a gas station near my house. Begs a few dollars off people "so he can get home", but never actually uses it for gas.



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2007
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    4,948

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    I am in San Francisco every day (aka pan handler mecca). To say I have become jaded regarding pan handlers would be an understatement. From run of the mill filthy addicts, to those with elaborated stories....

    I have watched food I have given be thrown away one too many times. (seriously, more than 5 times I have watches food I was planning to eat be thrown away! Can't buy booze with a burrito!)

    The sign about "just" getting laid off... On the same corner for 5 years.

    Seeing my local corner guy in the line at the grocery store, stocking up on $10 bottles of wine.

    I am through, I will never hand out money or food on the streets again. I would consider donating to an outreach group.

    At least around here there are many services available. Guiding those in need to a professional service will help them more than a handout.

    And we have what they call "chronic homeless". Some of these people are offered FREE apartments which they refuse! Preferring the "freedom of the street"!

    I know not all cities are crawling with scammers and drug addicts, but that is an overwhelming majority in SF.

    That whole give a man a fish vs. Teach a man how to fish thing.
    Last edited by Appsolute; Apr. 4, 2013 at 12:26 AM.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    84

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    We donate to St Vincent de Paul at my church, but we never do handouts.

    My dad's boss at his former job used to be big on handouts. One day he saw this guy who had one of those "will work for..." or "Looking for work.." signs and he was getting handouts. My dad's boss pulled up next to him and basically offered him a job, but the guy turned it down saying "no I just need some money." Now my dad's former boss doesn't do handouts much anymore.

    Scammers at busy intersections can get 100+ dollars a day if they "work" hard enough for long enough on other people's charity. But donating to organizations and shelters is a good way to make sure your money/food is put to good use.
    Of the heart-aching, hard-working, hope-having, horse-loving and horse-less variety. We are a sad species indeed.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    ...right where I want to be
    Posts
    1,618

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    I've given cash and/or food, and other times nothing. Depends on what my gut instinct is.

    Many years ago I lived at the oceanfront where there was a decent sized group of homeless people. One particular guy "Ron" would always be out front of the grocery store reading a paperback. For awhile I took him books and we struck up a relationship of sorts. Never gave him cash, I was too broke myself. One night DH was grocery shopping with me and decided to get Ron a burger and fries from BK. When he handed Ron the bag, Ron politely gave it back and stated he was a vegetarian and would prefer we just give him cash. Right.



  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2012
    Location
    Wairarapa New Zealand
    Posts
    345

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    There are a few around our CBD and most have mental welfare issues - we do have a social welfare system with state support and most of these people are known to them already. Just cant cope with modern society. They dont make eye contact and look really "down".

    When I buy my lunch (not often as I dont get out of the office that much), I always buy 5 Deli sandwich packs and bottles of water. As I walk past, I drop off a pack and bottle at each person. The smiles they give just light up my day. (I also really appreciate that roast beef sandwich that I have for lunch.)

    Others give cash or food. A woman dropped off a hand-knitted jumper for each long-term street person. She looked as hard as rocks in her "power suit" but obviously had a good heart.
    Still Working_on_it - one day I will get it!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2004
    Location
    ...right where I want to be
    Posts
    1,618

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    Quote Originally Posted by lcw579 View Post
    Nobody decides that on a career in begging. They are driven to it.
    Not always. Back when I was in high school (eons ago) a friends dad walked out on his family and six figure job to live on the streets. Got himself a corner and worked it for years then just disappeared. Around the same time we had a local homeless guy everyone called the "Great Bridge Bum". I used to make sure I had a few bits of change to give him. Never understood why it made my Mom so mad till years later I found out he had family that was willing to take him in he just wasn't Interested. He passed away awhile back in a local retirement home. Newspaper did an article on him were he talked about how much he enjoyed his days living free.



  14. #54
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    11,811

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    Quote Originally Posted by War Admiral View Post
    Seems to me like you should either give with a pure and loving heart or not bother giving at all... Judge not lest you be judged... Just sayin'....
    I thought I did!
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  15. #55
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    Greenville, MI,
    Posts
    11,811

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    It is sad I know that there are people who will scam and take advantage of peoples good hearts. Like I said I live in a very small town, and to the best of my recollection I cannot remember ever seeing anyone standing around with a sign in my little town. But there is always a first. I don't know, like I said, I just felt compelled to do it. still do not regret it.
    I will say it is nice to see all the good hearts on COTH!
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    1,221

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    I don't give to panhandlers. Many of the local intersections have "regulars" that probably make more money than I do. What I DO do is donate to the local food bank and kitchen. They do great work and feed many people who wander for a good meal, or moms and kids down on their luck who need some groceries. I feel my donations are truly helping. I also bring 5 lb. dog food bags there.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,051

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    Either the "bums" have changed or I have. There used to be a colorful bunch of scammers mixed in with those who were truly lost (old folks, mothers with kids). I just dont see the same types anymore, just the young scammers.
    I used to talk to them, know their stories, kind of found them uplifting, as in "all is well, there's jane doe at the corner and everything is okay in the world".
    It takes all types to make a village and I felt they had their place.
    But I dont see them anymore.



  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2004
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    1,028

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    I have little bags in my car that have a dollar, a pamplette from the local shelter, a granola bar, and a small bottle of water. I hand these out. I figure it's not my job to know why the person is standing on the side of the road when I drive by asking for my help. I just give them the bag. Surprisingly, I don't give away nearly as many as I thought I would.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2006
    Posts
    807

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    I'm really impressed by how thoughtful so many of you all are in terms of having ready made items to give out.

    I tend to give to people who are not asking.

    In my neighborhood (metropolitan area) there is a family who goes through the trash for recycling items (cans/bottles) to return for cash.

    They are NEAT and INDUSTRIOUS. Every bag they open is tied up and replaced where it was lying originally. I have never seen them ask for money. Because of this I have gone up to the mom and given her cash when I have it.

    Otherwise I'm not big on giving out cash. I've known too many substance abusers in my life and prefer to help those who are already helping themselves.

    I also donate to musicians or performers who are playing on the streets. I buy street art. So many talented people trying to make an extra dollar or two.



  20. #60
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2012
    Location
    La La Land
    Posts
    478

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    We dont normally have panhandlers were we live. Seeing one is a rare occurance. But one time on an intersection there was a guy with a sign that said Flat busted broke. It was cold and blowing and very very nasty out, and his sign was wet and crumpling, and he was freezing. So we pulled up and gave him our last 5 dollars, as things were tight for us at the time. But I never looked back except to think gosh I wish we had more to give at the time, and I hope he is ok.

    We also help a neighbor guy out from time to time. He lives in a garage and is poor. So we give him food, clothes, and cat food for his cat. We also nuetered the cat for him. Just stuff like that. But I worry about him in the winter, and if he is warm enough.



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