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    your take on panhandlers/homeless

    i know the homeless problem is more prevalent in some parts of the country versus others, i went to ohio last year and hardly saw any but in my neck of the woods there are droves of them, one on every corner with a sign, in front of the grocery store and post office entrances.

    are they really down and out, are they just lazy, are they in a rut they just cant get out of or are they scamming us? lack of jobs is not the issue here, im seeing help wanted signs on just about every fast food and retailer around here. im really irritated seeing these 20 and 30 somethings begging for money.

    there is 1 older homeless man that we have taken to and give him a little food and money every month or so. he is on the same corner every day, never misses a day even if its downpouring. the first time we gave him food we find out he isnt even an american, he's from mexico and doesnt speak english, if it were up to me i wouldnt give anyone anything
    retired in 2009 at the age of 39 with less than 300K total net worth

    #2
    We've discussed this here before. I'll see if I can find the old thread.

    The homeless problem and the beggar problem have some overlap but are not one and the same. Not all homeless people are out begging and not all beggars are homeless.

    John Stossel did a report on this years ago:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA1NXKBigJk

    I live and work in a region with a lot of homeless people and beggars. It's easy to say, "Why don't they get a job?" but it isn't always that easy. First off, it's very hard to get a job when you're homeless. Employers want employees who are dependable and will show up for work on time every day. Not so easy when you live on the street or bounce around from sofa to sofa among friends. Employers want workers who will show up clean and presentable. Kind of tough when you don't have access to running water or laundry facilities. Many homeless folks have mental health issues or physical disabilities that limit them. Transportation is frequently a challenge. And not having a permanent address itself is sometimes disqualification from obtaining employment. If you don't have any legal ID, good luck getting a legit job.

    Personally, I never, ever give to beggars on the street. I prefer to support organized charities rather than giving to individuals.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      bumfights

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by rennigade View Post
        bumfights
        What?

        I have no idea what that means or how it addresses OP's question.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          I give to beggars frequently. Who am I to declare them lazy?

          I've done a fair amount of work with homeless people. The overwhelming majority have mental illness, often combined with addictions to drugs and/or alcohol.

          I've been blessed with a rich life. It doesn't move my financial needle to give beggars a $5 bill here and there.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
            I give to beggars frequently. Who am I to declare them lazy?

            I've done a fair amount of work with homeless people. The overwhelming majority have mental illness, often combined with addictions to drugs and/or alcohol.

            I've been blessed with a rich life. It doesn't move my financial needle to give beggars a $5 bill here and there.
            Although it doesn't have much of an impact on you financially, if they are battling addiction you aren't doing them any favors by giving them cash.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by StormRichards View Post
              Although it doesn't have much of an impact on you financially, if they are battling addiction you aren't doing them any favors by giving them cash.
              It is not for me to judge them and their situation. If someone is asking for a few dollars I generally oblige.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                It is not for me to judge them and their situation. If someone is asking for a few dollars I generally oblige.
                Many, like myself, don't view it as an issue of judging. It just isn't helpful if they use that money to get drunk or high.

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                  #9
                  The majority of homeless people have very serious mental illnesses, with families completely powerless when attempting to get them back on meds/the help that they need. It is very very hard to have a someone committed against their will, even if they are displaying overt signs of psychosis. I was told by one mental health care worker that they need to be within 48 hours of death to be involuntarily committed for longer than 48 hours. This is something I have dealt with in my own family and it is beyond horrible.

                  I do give to panhandlers when I have the cash. I don't care what they do with the money- that cash will impact their life FAR FAR more than mine.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                    What?

                    I have no idea what that means or how it addresses OP's question.
                    Years ago someone made a series of videos about bums getting paid to do stunts. Just do a youtube search...it was controversial. The creator was on dr phil and phil kicked him off the show.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by rennigade View Post
                      Years ago someone made a series of videos about bums getting paid to do stunts. Just do a youtube search...it was controversial. The creator was on dr phil and phil kicked him off the show.
                      Lovely . Thanks for sharing that.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Snydley View Post
                        The majority of homeless people have very serious mental illnesses

                        I don't care what they do with the money- that cash will impact their life FAR FAR more than mine.
                        I guess this is where I'd disagree. I fail to see how giving cash to homeless, mentally ill, addicts (one or more of those things often apply) impacts their life. If I care about those causes, I think it's far better to give my money to organizations that provide services to those populations. Donate to a local shelter or food bank. Support mental health services in the community. Give to a drug treatment center. Stuff like that.
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree with most statements about the difficulty in the homeless problem that is incredibly high in the area I live. addiction/ mental health are not easy fixes. The MOST important question in this area in job interviews actually are
                          #1. will you show up and #2. do you have reliable transportation... seriously.
                          With that being said news shows sent out reporters that clearly showed many on the corner with the signs are not whom they appear to be.
                          I knew a person who chose this as her job. She parked her car grabbed her sign and made more on some days more then if she was doing a 40 hour job, depending on the generosity of those who passed her that day.
                          She liked that she was " her own boss, picked her hours and days off and does not pay taxes"
                          it is hard to tell who you are giving your money to but in the end it is your money so if you believe you are helping someone or just think it is the right thing to do, the don't be surprised if things are not as they seem.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Smallsteps View Post
                            it is hard to tell who you are giving your money to but in the end it is your money so if you believe you are helping someone or just think it is the right thing to do, the don't be surprised if things are not as they seem.


                            The old man that we have been giving to is so appreciative when we give to him, especially food. He opens up the bag like a kid on Christmas morning and can't say thank you (or gracias) enough, frantically waving goodbye to us as we drive away. That alone was enough for me to give again....
                            retired in 2009 at the age of 39 with less than 300K total net worth

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've never given cash directly to a panhandler. There are other ways to help.

                              Sharing "good deeds" makes me feel uncomfortable because I was raised to believe that such acts should be done in secret with no regard for recognition from society, but because this is a fairly anonymous site I suppose I'll go ahead and share.

                              When I worked in downtown Seattle and frequently came across panhandlers, I'd carry a booklet of McDonald's "coupons" that were good for a free small hamburger or $1 toward anything on the menu so that they could get a hot cup of coffee or whatever. I also purchased "Real Change" newspapers from the street vendors even though I didn't usually read it, I just liked that it was a legitimate opportunity for the homeless to earn some money.

                              I've donated personal care items and magazines to drop-in hygiene centers. I've donated household items to a place for people transitioning out of homelessness. And I gave a cash donation to a non-profit that aids the homeless in honor of a formerly (briefly) homeless family member's birthday.

                              And unless they have a crazed sort of look that makes me think they are high or having an episode, I don't look away. I make eye contact. They are no more and no less human than me.

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