Panhandlers - Slight rant.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Leareth, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #1
    I am fed up with people nagging me for money everywhere I go.

    I live in a so-so part of town, dress in basic clothes - tshirt and jeans no big logos, I am obviously a student. yet I still get asked for spare change.

    Just this Wed a guy got mugged by a panhandler at the entrance of a church
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070803.wbcbeaten03/BNStory/National/home
    for being a nice guy. I am glad the caught the bastard who did this but unfortunately they wont do much.

    The panhandlers/beggars in this city have gotten too agressive. I am not a petite person - 5'8" and can benchpress 230lbs ( and look it) yet these people bug me, then threaten me for money. I cannot imagine what a normal woman must feel like.

    I do not give money to these people. When its a street kid/teen I will offer to buy them food but not give them cash- about 50% they tell me to F-off the other 50% they accept and thank me for it.
    When its an obviously capable young male I do not ever give them anything.
    I am a student - I do have a roof over my head, and food on my table but I do not think I should have to support these social parasites. Why should I hand a guy my money that I work for every day. I have a dept for my student loans, I work three jobs yet they want me to give them money and then swear at me and call me a selfish bitch when I don't?

    I am not the only person walking on the streets that gets treated that way. The constant verbal and sometimes physical abuse heaped on by these panhandlers has gotten ridiculous in the last few months. I cannot imagine what tourists coming to this city feel like. This city is known for being relatively friendly but these panhandlers are ruin it for everybody including themselves.

    Ok end rant.

    Ps I have stopped giving donations to the food bank because the lines are so long and the people so aggressive that those who really need the food get pushed aside and never get in. I now donate stuff to specific organizations that make home deliveries to single parents and seniors.
     
  2. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #2
    It's highly probable that many of the panhandlers are mentally ill, so they're a big part of the issue. The homeless throughout the world are a sad situation. There will always be poor no matter how much we try to help. You have to draw the line somewhere. Seems the ones you have come across have made your decision easier! :( :eek:
     
  3. Leareth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #3
    That is part of the problem I have - they are not the mentally ill. Those guys stay in certain parts of town and generally are very quiet in their begging, if you say no or ignore them- they leave you alone and try with the next person, its the guys who just came out of the welfare office with their monthly cheque and start harassing people. Agressive younger males. and I do mean aggressive. They will come into the local coffee shops/supermarkets and bully/threaten the customers, push stuff over, swear alot. when the cops show up, they are nice and polite and deny it happened - they security cams show otherwise.

    These guys are not homeless - some live in better housing than me. And seriously how many beggars do oyu see driving newer ( less than 2 years) cars?
     
  4. TheQuestion macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    Location:
    Location is relative, no?
    #4
    My worst experience was when one panhandler saw me give money to another, and then was like a pack of wolves stalking me!
     
  5. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a

    SuperCompu2

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    MA
    #5
    Theres a homeless man in my city who walks around with an Elvis suit on. (obviously mentally challenged)

    I usually feel badly, but the ease of getting a job in the city is such that I divert my feelings. Even a temp agency is better than nothing, and they'll take anybody!
     
  6. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #6
    I hear you, there is a sudden surge of bums in my town (which is an upper middle class place). It's the same 3 people which all hold signs written in the same handwriting, and everyday they all have new clothes. I think they are all working together...
     
  7. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #7
    Here, I feel bad for the people who can't speak english real well. My parents get calls all the time from hispanic people who speak little or no english, and have to turn them down. Happened today in fact. I just feel bad for them because who knows how many other people will turn them down for thier language skills?:(
     
  8. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #8
    I don't see many regular tramps here, they're all selling the "Big Issue" now. Which isn't good for them since the Manchester Evening News is now free and distrobuted from vendors placed all over the show. None at all in Oldham, theres 1 woman who sits outside the Co-op in Uppermill but again - she sells the Big Issue.
     
  9. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #9
    Yup, I've never been harrassed for money in Manchester city centre (and I've been working here for 2 months now) by beggars. Big Issue sellers, sure, but thats different as you know where the money's going.

    London, however, is a very different story. There are beggars everywhere. Still, I've never once felt threatened by them.
     
  10. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Round Lake, IL
    #10
    If someone is begging for money to buy food, then I only offer to buy them some food. If they have a friend with them, I offer to buy food for their friend too.

    I never give money to someone standing alongside, or in the median of a road, as I don't want to encourage them to stand in such dangerous places, and I figure they'll just use it for drugs/alcohol.

    I also don't give money to people wanting to buy gas, it's just a ruse since they figure you'll just offer to buy them food if they asked for money for food. They're usually standing outside of fast food places, and if you ask them to show you their car, they just say "f### you". :rolleyes:

    Basically, I just don't give money. The only exception is the Santa Claus outside of the grocery store collecting for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. I always give up my change for Santa. :D
     
  11. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #11
    In Minneapolis we have a big problem with panhandlers and with people on the street corners with signs. I live downtown and can not make it two blocks with out people asking for hand outs. Whether they need a dollar for the bus, 50 cents for something, a cigarette you name it. A few years ago a Big entertainment complex was build right downtown with a huge movie theater and arcade, only one block away from a movie theater that saw it's demise because of panhandlers and other crime. Now this complex is feeling the loss of customers because people are staying away because of the constant hoarders of panhandlers.


    Edit: I should add that most of the panhandlers in my area either have jobs or make a killing panhandling, including the guy that makes a reported $100,000 a year. His wife drops him off on the corner on her way to work
     
  12. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
  13. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #13
    There are three mentally handicapped homeless people in my town, all well-known by the locals. Everyone I know is friendly to them and they are always well fed and get decent clothes. For other folks, I will offer to buy food if I have funds to spare, but I never give cash. My favorite time was when I was out of town and my friend and I bought five dollars worth of chicken nuggets for a group of crack-heads in an alley behind Wendy's. We had them ask politely for a bite of chicken before we gave it to them, I wanted them to earn the food without degrading them further than their addiction already did.
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #14
    When I was in Prague, it was shocking to me to see people so humbly asking for money.

    I'm way more inclined to give money in a situation like this vs. being panhandled.
     

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  15. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #15
    Wow, when i was in Prague, i saw this guy too! Weird :eek:
    I actually did, he was sitting under one of the towers on the bridge
     
  16. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #16
    I never give money or food to panhandlers, nor do my parents. We used to live in Manhattan when I was little and I was taught not to even make eye contact with them. I know some are druggies looking for money, but I feel so bad walking by people begging for money and I don't even acknowledge their presence. Not that my parents aren't generous- they donate money out of their paychecks automatically, my dad donates blood all the time, and they support local fundraisers and charities.

    I remember the first time I saw a homeless person and realized they were homeless because my parents explained it to me, I was probably 3 years old.

    There are no panhandlers in my town, I think the poverty rate is like 3% or something. I've only seen a hitch hiker in my town 1x trying to take bottles and cans to the bottle/can return.
     
  17. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #17
    In Shanghai, most people who panhandle are disabled or have some sort of injury. Just the other day I saw a man sitting on the street. His entire face looked fake and plastic. In reality it was because he had third-degree burns everywhere. He could barely see the people around him. You couldn't see his eyes. The skin around it had melted and then scarred to form hoods over his eyelids, so that his eyes just appeared to be holes in his skull. He was moaning and it was clear that he was in constant pain.

    There is a theory that these panhandlers in China make a lot of money, and that it's in fact an illegal ring of panhandlers that collects money for organized crimelords. Often the crimelords kidnap poor workers/farmers, purposefully hurt/injure them, kidnap their family, and force them to go on the streets to beg for money.

    The beggers are everywhere. They stalk the subway all day. They ride the subway from one end of the line to the next, making a single pass down the train. At the terminal station, they simply stay on. They stay there all day so they only have to pay for a single ticket. I imagine they make quite a bit of money that way.

    I've seen horrible things though. People with missing limbs, with burns, swollen appendages, missing eyes, blind, deaf, dumb... the list goes on. :(

    I give them money quite often. In China, you're not obligated to. Most people turn away and ignore it. And those who do give give little, since money goes a long way here. I gave 2 RMB to a man with a cane who seemed to have a burned, swollen right leg that he could barely walk on.. this was on the subway. The day I was walking on Nanjing road and saw the man with the plastic face, I couldn't bring myself to go any closer than I already was. I kept walking with the enormous crowd of people. That's China.
     
  18. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #18
    A good trick is to carry around gift certificates for fast food restaurants... it's not great food, granted, but I don't want to give gift certificates for grocery stores because they could just by alcohol there.

    I've had some great conversations with homeless people, though. I know a wonderful homeless man (though he usually has friends whose place he can crash at). He's honestly doing his best (he spends a lot of time doing odd jobs for people), but there are some situations in which it's hard to get steady employment no matter how hard you try.
     
  19. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    they are annoying. I been ask for money by them and say no. They then have pressed the issue like it only a dollar or something like that. I general repeat what I just said or add in sorry I do not having any cash on me which has been both true and other times a complete lie and I have told that lie with over $100 in cash on me.

    Another common thing I will say is sorry I do not have any spare change right now which I consider true because I do not have any change to spare on them.
     
  20. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #20
    I have yet to ever give money. Ever.


    What I have done? Is given food... if I barely touched my food (like if I cut portions off or whatnot) and have a significant amount left, I'll ask and give it to someone who's asking for money. They usually seem v glad.

    One v hot summer day (well over 90ºF), a man asking for handouts at a freeway on-ramp, I offered him an unopened bottle of water. He seemed extremely grateful.

    I have issues giving away money as I'm wary as to how people will spend it, but as far as food and water--- the basics of life? Nah, that I can give to those who seem to be in greater need.
     
  21. Leareth thread starter macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #21
    There is a difference between the homeless and the panhandlers.

    The homeless are homeless for some sort of reason - usually mental illness or spousal abuse. or frankly cannot afford to rent housing here.

    Its the aggressive panhandlers the have a house to go to and drive cars
    but still bother everyone.

    I do donate items and occasionally money to agencies that provide aid directly to the true needy people. It just pisses me off the these aggressive men are giving the rest of the street people a bad rap.
     
  22. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #22
    My friends and I were coming out of a restaurant one day with some left overs. A homeless guy asked for money for food, so we gave him ours. He started complaining that it smelled bad or something and that we didn't have any silverware to give him. You're welcome. :rolleyes:

    On the other hand, I have given some spare change here and there. If they've got some story, I usually don't. Just depends on my attitude at the time too. I have no problem giving to those collecting for (legitimate) charities too, if I have the money.

    There was one time we were going to a club and there was a guy there trying to sell some stuff. Parking was ridiculously expensive, but there was some street parking right in front of him and his friends. I didn't really want to buy anything, but I felt bad for them, and they were being really nice despite turning him down initially. None of the others bothered us. So I wound up giving him $5. Cheaper than parking (his words, not mine). When I got back to the car, he said not to worry, no one had touched it. Then he thanked me, with a very heartfelt thank you, saying I had saved their lives and bought them food for the next week. Broke my heart because I wanted to do more. Those are the people you really want to help.
     
  23. r1ch4rd macrumors 6502a

    r1ch4rd

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    #23
    I've lived in the city center for a year now and never noticed anyone trying to beg from me either. I spend more time avoiding the people trying to offer me compensation for my injuries or convert me to christianity, or that breakdancing kid who takes up the whole of market street!

    If you wander just a little bit away from the center though, say towards the universities, there are a lot more homeless people begging. I think the police must move them along pretty quickly in the center so they have to try a bit further away.
     
  24. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #24
    Haha, him! I keep spotting him, one time some older chap got involved and he was terrible. Everyone booed him off, poor guy!

    It's bad in Spain. In Benidorm, Barcelona and Madrid you can't go out at night without homeless folk begging. Usually holding babies or animals. At least in Paris they have a Big Issue style product to offer (I bought a hat off one of them, overpriced but hey, if it helps).

    I've given food a couple of times but apparently some pretty sadistic people were poisoning food. Apparently it's best to take them somewhere to eat.
     
  25. FrankBlack macrumors 6502

    FrankBlack

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    #25
    For a time, two Boston entities, Store 24 Inc., and Au Bon Pan restaurants, were offering coupons for people to buy, then give to the homeless. The coupons could only be used for food items and non-alcholic beverages. Uh-huh. You probably already know where I'm going with this.

    Did it work? Not at all. Well-meaning people would give the coupons to homeless who were begging spare change, and they would frequently become engranged and either tear up the coupons, or throw them back at the person who gave them.

    I dealt with them, as a young college student back in the 70's. Sometimes, they'd follow you for a distance, demanding spare change, but that was about it. They'd tire and turn to someone else. In the 90's, I started to hear about how aggressive and violent they had become, often stalking people, sometimes swarming people.

    At one point, an enterprising Harvard student started selling T-shirts that read"NO! I Don't have any spare change!" on the front. It was meant to be humorous, but the PC police of cambridge were all over it.
     

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