Author Topic: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?  (Read 35043 times)

FreeWheel

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Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« on: October 04, 2014, 12:08:51 PM »
Or beggars? I sometimes do. My favorite was a man with a cardboard sign saying "Need Money for Food" At his side was a dog. The dog's sign said "Me Too!"


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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2014, 12:23:43 PM »
There were three younger homeless guys with a sign by the freeway that said "Hungry Hungry Hobos" It made me laugh and I had just left the store, I gave them a 6 pack and it seemed like it made their day.

MoneyCat

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2014, 12:28:50 PM »
Nope.  I don't give money directly to panhandlers, because I want to make sure it is going to actual good use.  I give to charities that provide meals and shelter for the homeless and I give to my church's soup kitchen.  I also donate some extra produce from my garden to my church's food bank so the needy can have some fresh vegetables.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 12:35:13 PM by MoneyCat »

tracylayton

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2014, 12:32:30 PM »
Sometimes. But this past week, when I stopped to get gas two young men about 25 approached me and asked if I could possibly pay for a gallon of gas. They looked panicky and worried, but they looked able-bodied enough to provide their own gas so declined. While I was pumping my gas, I started to rethink my decision...and thought maybe I will pay for $5 of gas and they can pay it forward. Before I even finished pumping my gas, they came out laughing and drinking 2 big gulp sodas and started pumping gas in their car. I think they had the money all along, but were hoping to find someone to sucker.

lemanfan

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2014, 12:40:49 PM »
When travelling in the USA it has happened.  In Chicago an man who was dirty and sober came up to me at 9 AM and said "I'm homeless and hungry, can you please help me out" and I did. 

In my own country, I don't normally do it.  My country has recently been almost "overrun" by panhandlers from from Romania and Bulgaria, I pass up to ten on my ten minute walk to work in the mornings.  It's impossible to help them all, so I instead donate rather generously to a local charity that helps both these "EU migrants" and local persons who've fallen on hard times (including women shelters etc). I wanna help, and since personally know persons involved in this charity I know the money comes to good use.

Most panhandlers here in my country just sits and begs - many that I've encountered in the USA are much more agressive in their begging.

dmn

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2014, 12:52:50 PM »
I generally don't, because those in need can access the government-run welfare systems, which are pretty generous in Western Europe. I cannot help but wonder why some beggar is not eligible for help -- and many of the possible explanations boil down to voluntary lifestyle choices which I do not wish to support.

Instead I donate to charities where I know the money is being put to good use to help people in really poor countries.

Janie

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2014, 01:15:40 PM »
no

shitzmagee

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2014, 01:29:58 PM »
I've given money to beggars 4 times in my life. The first 2 were lessons. Lesson 1: I gave money to a lady who approached me in a store parking lot asking for money for the bus. The next week I saw her in the same parking lot with a different story. She probably made more as a beggar than I did as a student at the time. Lesson 2: DW and I were walking down the street at the end of date when we were approached by a guy asking for money. After lesson 1 I had always said no, but we didn't feel safe in this particular situation so I gave him some cash. I didn't want to end up like Bruce Wayne's parents.

The 3rd time was an older guy sitting on a flower box along the street with a card board sign that said "Fuck you, give me a dollar." I couldn't resist this guy's mind control so I gave him a dollar. And the 4th was a guy sitting at busy intersection with a sign that said "I bet you can't hit me with a quarter." There were so many quarters being thrown at him that I felt that he deserved something a little softer.

Sarita

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2014, 01:47:14 PM »
On occasion, if I feel like it is legit.  I prefer to offer food, if I have it with me. 

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 02:02:13 PM »
Nope. There is a huge racket for panhandlers in my city and it's been in the news about how most of them are able-bodied people that have houses/apartments (news team followed several "home" to nice houses or luxury apartments) that go in teams to work the corners of busy urban areas. They make way more money than working.

The genuine homeless are usually transients or mentally ill/substance abusers that can't work regular jobs, and I don't want to encourage begging in the streets (it's not safe and giving money directly might mean it is spent on drugs or alcohol).

I have been approached at a gas station or the like, and those are almost guaranteed to be a scam "I ran out of gas" or "I need money to buy my kids food" type of scam... I tell them sorry I don't have anything and get the hell out of there (I'm a short female and feel a bit threatened anyway when some stranger approaches me like this). I have gone in and told the management that there is someone begging in their parking lot and they call the cops (it is illegal in the city limits and usually not permitted on private property anyway since it scares away customers). You do NOT want to encourage that sort of begging/scamming since there have been assaults and thefts that start out like that in my area. I had a coworker that was going to give a guy some money in a Walgreens parking lot (his story was his car broke down), and as she started to look into her purse, the guy got close, grabbed her purse, shoved and pushed her down pretty hard, then took off. She was bruised up pretty bad and really upset, so I don't let anyone get near me.

Since I can't tell if they're genuinely in need or just scammers, I give to a local homeless shelter and charity instead.


totoro

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 02:07:50 PM »
No.

Not to say I haven't but in recent years I ask if they'd like something to eat and buy it.  I've seen other people do this too and it not be very well received.

Joel

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 02:34:30 PM »
No. There are too many welfare programs out there that exist to take care of them.

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 02:36:46 PM »
Nope, Vancouver has a crazy amount of resources available to help anyone who actually needs/wants it, including housing options, drug treatment, food, education, showers, clothes, and job training/placement. I'm not interested in supporting anyone's drug habit.

For the people capable of working, we also have several labour/temp agencies where literally the only thing you have to do to get a job is walk in the door - they provide you with steel-toed boots, ear plugs, hard hat, bus tickets, etc. You don't even need to be particularly strong, since lots of construction sites just need people to do menial shit like wiping down surfaces to keep the dust levels down. Paid the same day, and at a decent hourly rate - when I did it about seven years ago they were paying about $13/hr for totally unskilled labour, higher if you had any skills or training.

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 02:41:35 PM »
I did on the strip in Vegas once.  The guys sign said " need money for alcohol research" was with a big group and found it hilarious and seemingly honest so we did! laughed my ass off.

Catbert

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2014, 02:49:56 PM »
Never.  I also don't sign petitions or make charitable donations on the street.  I don't want to encourage behavior that disturbs the quiet enjoyment of (my) life.  In the same vain I'm no the Do Not Call List and neither buy nor donate from people who come to my door.  (Girl Scout cookies are an exception.)

My favorite panhandler story.  DH was at a bakery near a large public hospital.  A very skinny and sick looking man came up holding a ziplock bag of medicine containers.  He told DH that he was just discharged from the hospital and needed $2 bus fare to get home.  DH (then recently retired with time of his hands) offered to drive the man home.  Very quick back peddling about why he needed to take the bus.  Last seen hitting up others for $2.


lemanfan

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2014, 03:10:53 PM »
I generally don't, because those in need can access the government-run welfare systems, which are pretty generous in Western Europe.

I have no experience of Switzerland, but up here in Sweden the public welfare system is not really available for foreigners and most beggars are apparently Roma from Bulgaria or Romania - and their government doesn't really help them at least not abroad.  I sure they have a pretty rough life if they rather beg on the other side of the continent than stay at home...  Since they are EU citizens, they are free to travel here without permits, but they are not covered by Swedish welfare.

(but I still prefer giving to charities who help both these "migrant beggars" and others in need).

highcountry

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2014, 03:13:24 PM »
I give money for street performance. If a sign makes me laugh I classify them more with buskers and the like, and consider it to be worthwhile. This isn't common, though. I will give food. There was one point where I was working at a hole in the wall noodle joint in a town with a lot of beggars, and I would occasionally package up food that would have been tossed and go find someone to give it to, after work. that was as much about food waste as it was about charity, though. I once bought lunch for one of the permanent homeless in the same town. It was the end of the month and the need was pretty obviously legit. I do t care why she ran out of benefits (likely alcohol addiction contributed) she was hungry at that point.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2014, 04:18:10 PM »
I don't... my city and the surrounding areas are also inundated with "professional" beggars who make more money than I do.

Neither of these are my stories, but both have had influence in my decision to not encourage panhandlers...

1.  A teacher of mine was sitting in a Burger King, watching a panhandler in scruffy clothes beg in the snow.  It was cold, and it was December.  People stopped every couple of minutes to hand him money.  It's hard to know how much money he collected, but before my teacher left the restaurant, a super nice Cadillac stopped, the panhandler hopped in, and they drove off. 

2.  I'm acquainted with a facilities guy at the big convention center uptown.  He told me once that he didn't give money to panhandlers, but if they had a story about their starving family, he would invite the panhandler to go get his family and he would take them all out for a meal.  Not only that, but he would offer to pay the panhandler to help with whatever event setup was going on that day at the convention center.  He said he had been doing this for years.  His offer would usually be met with anger, or the panhandler would say they were going to get family and then never come back.  He had exactly one person take him up on the offer.  Afterwards the panhandler and his wife and older children helped set up a few thousand chairs for something or another.

vern

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2014, 04:49:16 PM »
I used to give spare change until a homeless guy flipped me shit one day for not giving him enough money. 

They all want bills nowadays.  I'm out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OQjlzh279E
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 04:55:12 PM by vern »

Zamboni

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2014, 04:56:16 PM »
No. 

When I lived in the city the manager of the small bakery where I worked on weekends would "cash out" for the guys who sat there on the sidewalk outside begging by counting up their change for them and giving them bills.  On average they made slightly more than double what I was making per day working at the bakery (and they weren't paying taxes either, so even more for them and less for me.)

There is also a disabled older guy here in town who used to beg on the shoulder of a major highway off ramp.  I've seen a lady who is think is probably his wife drop him off several times (they have a very nice full sized sedan.)  It pisses me off that he is there because he often veers so close to the cars that they slow way down and sometimes I end up in a two or three light cycle delay because of it.  Does it suck that he is disabled?  Yes.  Should I hand him a dollar every time I drive by him because I feel guilty about it?  No.

There are several "will work for food" sign people in my Mom's vicinity who panhandle from the medians.  She has made them all offers to help her with some light yard work or house work.  Turns out none of these people will actually work for food.

Giving to reputable charities is the way to go.

Beric01

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 05:42:19 PM »
I used to give spare change until a homeless guy flipped me shit one day for not giving him enough money. 

They all want bills nowadays.  I'm out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OQjlzh279E

Good video!

These people not only don't need money, the money given is preventing them from being productive citizens by showing them how much they can make just begging.

StashDaddy

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2014, 05:57:29 PM »
No, I dont give.  I used to when I was young and dumb.  I can only assume these people panhandle because it pays more than getting a real job and contributing something to society.  On top of that, they pay no taxes, and my taxes go to support their "lifestyle".  If everyone stopped giving them money, we could eliminate this trash from our intersections and public areas.

clarkm04

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2014, 06:00:54 PM »
Not directly.  We donate money to our local food bank.

Most of these people need serious help, but I don't want it to go to drugs or booze, so food banks it is.

Zamboni

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2014, 06:12:59 PM »
I think the video estimates about how much $$$ people begging in busy cities make is spot on.  Bakery sidewalk guys typically made more than $80 per day (and that was more than 25 years ago) compared to my less than $40 before taxes.  And they were all "sit there with the cardboard sign" guys.

Those of you that give to people you see begging on the street, why?  Do you feel better doing this?

Astatine

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2014, 08:09:04 PM »
No, for various reasons.

However, if I see someone selling The Big Issue, I go out of my way to buy it and chat briefly with the seller. The people selling the Big Issue genuinely have issues (ie have been screened by the organisation) and it's considered by them to be a job. ie they're not begging, they're working and that is a very different mindset.


southern granny

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2014, 08:16:22 PM »
I often do.  I recognize that they may be scamming me but I don't want to take a chance that they are truley in need and I didn't help.  I would rather they be in the wrong than me. 

Lian

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2014, 08:31:33 PM »
I used to. But now I donate to a local organization that provides meals, shelter, and other services to help the homeless.

After I was laid off a couple of years ago, I read an article about a young woman who made a pretty nice living panhandling. Never realized it could be a career that paid a decent salary - in a way, standing outside all day for handouts might be hard work. Not an option for me though.

I was also accosted by a man in a wheelchair in a supermarket parking lot. After I described the incident and expressed my guilt in not helping him - worried about my selfish heartlessness, I was told that that faked disabilities were a common tactic. Sure enough, a few weeks later, I saw him running across the street.

I see a lot of panhandlers on almost every corner along my route to work. Are they desperate, or is it truly an easy way to make money?  There are just so many - way more than there used to be just a few years ago.

surfhb

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2014, 11:52:05 PM »
It's well documented that a majority of street people live this why under their own choice or they are mentally ill or addicts.   

Reminds me of a reporter who dressed down and begged on a freeway off ramp in LA for a 40 hrs week....the total tally was just under $1000!!  Almost 4k a month tax free.

  No. I don't give money but will offer food sometimes
« Last Edit: October 04, 2014, 11:56:43 PM by surfhb »

FreeWheel

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2014, 11:54:22 PM »
I don't frequent areas with many panhandlers/beggars, so don't really have much experience with them. The times I do give, it may be because a particular persons appearance or story seemed so sad, that it compelled me to help them personally, right there on the spot. So I'd say my reason for giving in these instances would be showing compassion to a fellow human being in a really tough spot. And yes, it does make me feel good doing it. Sure a few may be scammers, but I suspect the majority are not.

Other times, I'll give if their methods of soliciting donations made me laugh or otherwise entertained me. (funny signs or techniques, street musicians & magicians)

Once, while I was walking an unfamiliar city somewhat lost, a man who looked homeless noticed and gave me directions. I seen he was holding a collection cup, and was more than happy to "tip" him for his services. 




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kyanamerinas

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2014, 01:23:53 AM »
Very rarely. I sometimes give food or water. I donate to homeless charities and I sometimes buy the big issue which is a magazine sold by homeless people and is a charity.

Eric

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2014, 01:41:32 AM »
I drop them a few bucks semi-regularly.  It's evident that most of these folks have had a hard life, something that I even have trouble imagining.

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2014, 04:23:46 AM »
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Johnez

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2014, 06:57:57 AM »
Nope.  My family was homeless at one point.  We went and collected cans and looked for food.  I don't give money to people who make a sign or a story.

EtonaLife

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2014, 07:41:02 AM »
Giving away money is a transaction and you're buying something. I don't buy what panhandlers are selling. I'll buy street performances and real wit. If a stranger asks for something without offering anything, and they're genuinely personable/nice I'll usually pay for that pleasantness.

Datastache

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2014, 10:39:56 AM »
Tough issue, IMO. My responses have varied quite a bit over the years - everything from a polite but firm "sorry" to actively seeking out homeless people, buying them breakfast, eating with them, and suggesting a church. (I was religious at the time.)

These days, I will usually decline. While I'm obviously in a better financial situation than many people out there, I really don't make very much money (~$20k) and the cost of living is high in the area where I live. There's just not that much surplus cash for me to give out, especially because I don't know whether it will even be put to good use. Still, I do feel guilty every time I say no.

iris lily

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2014, 10:50:20 AM »
No, never in recent times. I am surrounded by homeless, I work downtown in a urban core and work across the street from the regions largest homeless night shelter.

We also have beggers knocking on our door at home occasionally, although much less than in previous years now that my part of the neighborhood has become tony (we've got a $550,000 new house  built across the street form me! We are comin' on up!)

I've lived in my house for 25 years and before I lived in it, a guy named "Bobby" lived in the basement (this was a shell with no plumbing or water, heat, etc.)
Over the past 25 years "Bobby" has been around the 'nabe off and on, panhandling. Bobby has an interesting style in that he always carries with him some kind of documentation that he uses to "prove" his begging story. In earlier decades it was a prescription for medication for his children. Though of course when one kind neighbor offered to go buy the meds for him, he stomped off. Many years later his kids are grown, so he started carrying an obituary of his mom, using that to ask for bus fare to his home up in north county.

I would write a long essay about about Bobby and his many escapades around here but won't, suffice to say that some people are panhandlers all of their lives.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 11:14:58 AM by iris lily »

hernandz

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2014, 11:53:21 AM »
I do, but not as often as I should.  My grandmother and great grandmother regularly gave, both in remembrance of Great Depression and scathing poverty they had grown up in, and for religious reasons (they also tithed to church, but believed in offering direct help). When I give directly, I am always strongly reminded of what remarkable people they were.  My grandfather spent time on the streets, in the grip of alcoholism and perhaps other demons.  When I give directly, I am always strongly reminded he would be considered one of the undeserving, but he struggled and was tasked with picking up my brother and I from elementary school.  He was sometimes drunk or hungover, but this task he could manage.  Although I never saw it, I'm sure he panhandled, sometimes for food and sometimes for booze. 

I give to remind myself I am connected to both good and bad people, and that random kindnesses help me even more than any direct recipient is helped.  Perhaps in an afterlife I'm not sure exists, I will be equipped to see the consequences of my donations, but until then, the few dollars I divert from my junk food habit are my way of really irritating Conservative Republicans who believe in a small world that exists for their convenience alone. 


MicroRN

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2014, 12:22:55 PM »
It depends.  I don't frequently, in part because I rarely carry cash and I also don't like to pull my wallet out in public.  I used to volunteer with cooking and job skills training at a homeless shelter.  I donate food and cash to our local food bank, and toiletries and cash to an organization that provides a place to shower and a safe space to stay.  Sometimes I'll grab fast food for someone who looks like they need a meal, and I've never had anyone turn it down or act like all they wanted was the money. 

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2014, 02:39:30 PM »
I give money for street performance.

Same here, especially if they are good.  Not sure if that counts as begging or performing...

Giving depends on the situation.  In college, our team was in Jamaica for a track meet.  A few of us walking back from the grocery store were approached by a few men begging for food.  We said no.  Then one of my teammates was eating something (think it was an ice cream bar), didn't like it, and threw it in the trash.  One of the men went into the trash to retrieve it and started eating it.  We all felt like crap, went back and gave them something to eat.  They were extremely grateful. 

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2014, 02:49:26 PM »
If someone looks like they have been living outside, sometimes.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2014, 05:15:35 PM »
Call me heartless, but no. Never.

Terrestrial

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2014, 10:31:07 PM »
I do sometimes.  It's situation dependent, including how they look, if I have a few bucks on me or not, my general mood that day.  I don't have a hard and fast rule about it, and it's not a frequent occurrence for me.  When I do give I know full well it may be going to get some food, or it may be going to get some cigs and a 40 oz, or even worse a needle in the arm, I have no delusions about it.

I don't believe that if people gave less to panhandlers they would see the light and become gainfully employed.  More likely they would just steal or frequent homeless shelters and soup kitchens more often.  I think people that don't have the will to work just don't, not that most of them make a conscious decision that they can make $40 from panhandling or $20 from working. 

20/20 or Dateline or one of those type shows did an undercover type expose one year where they asked panhandlers how much they made in an average day then told them they would pay them double that and feed them for a day of menial type light labor.  The hit rate was quite low.  Money isn't really the issue most of the time, willpower and character are.

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2014, 11:48:25 PM »
No, there are way too many of them where I have lived for me to be able to afford that, anyways.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2014, 01:37:16 AM »
Occasionally, but I tend to try and stick to a rule of silver coins only. If they 'need' $20, and I give them 30c, then they've only got $19.70 to go!

I've got a story about one. I was walking home from work and arrived at the train station, and was asked by someone for the fare for the Warrnambool train. I gave them 70c or so, and then while walking away realised that the last train to Warrnambool for the day had departed 40 minutes prior!

MrFrugalChicago

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2014, 03:43:33 AM »
When travelling in the USA it has happened.  In Chicago an man who was dirty and sober came up to me at 9 AM and said "I'm homeless and hungry, can you please help me out" and I did. 

In my own country, I don't normally do it.  My country has recently been almost "overrun" by panhandlers from from Romania and Bulgaria,

As a Chicagoin.. you got panhandled ;) We have been "overrun" bu panhandlers from the burbs and south side, I suspect the same as your home country.

lemanfan

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2014, 04:50:03 AM »
As a Chicagoin.. you got panhandled ;) We have been "overrun" bu panhandlers from the burbs and south side, I suspect the same as your home country.

Actually, being "panhandled" can actually make your prejudices get worse.  A few years back I spent a few days in Atlanta without a car, in downtown and nearby areas.  After being approached by a few very aggressive panhandlers with dark complexion, I found that I almost avoided african-americans in the street.  I consider myself to be an anti-racist, but at that time in that city I almost came to expect panhandling just based on skin color.  I got kind of scared of my own thoughts.

M4111

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2014, 05:04:39 AM »

I have no experience of Switzerland, but up here in Sweden the public welfare system is not really available for foreigners and most beggars are apparently Roma from Bulgaria or Romania - and their government doesn't really help them at least not abroad.  I sure they have a pretty rough life if they rather beg on the other side of the continent than stay at home...  Since they are EU citizens, they are free to travel here without permits, but they are not covered by Swedish welfare.


I don't want to sound politically incorrect, but you know that Roma people are mostly thieves and the only reason why they are living in the streets is because they are allergic to work? We have problems with them in some places in Poland (where I come from). The biggest issue is that the authorities treat them better than local people - allocate special funds and give them social housing - all in the name of integration and 'multi-kulti' philosophy. These people don't want to work or integrate, they just want the money.

The only reason you have them now in Sweden is because they can make a lot more money by begging there than in other European countries where people are already aware of the problem and don't fall for it.

Now we're starting to have a similar problem here in Luxembourg where I currently live. Just a year ago it was fine, now almost every other day when I go out of the office to get my bike from the bike stand there's a Roma guy pissing on the phone booth behind it and a few of his children roaming around trying to memorize people's bank card PINs when they get money from the ATMs.

Also, in Poland there are organized crime groups that put Roma women with small children on the streets and then take away most of what they manage to collect. When there's a woman and a child begging, it's almost never her child. They mix them up, so that they don't run away together.

So no, I don't give money to panhandlers. The only exception is when they put in the effort of doing some actual work. I remember buying an ashtray make from a coke can from a homeless guy in Madrid, even though I don't smoke. At least he was doing something useful, and the things he made were really nice.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #48 on: October 06, 2014, 08:55:31 AM »
My brother-in-law worked at the local homeless shelter for awhile and came to thoroughly understand how far organizations like that can stretch a dollar. I realized that it's incredibly inefficient and wasteful to direct a $1 donation to a panhandler instead of to the food bank/shelter.

The people at the homeless shelter do a huge amount of work to try to get people to use the facilities - to eat, sleep in a safe place, use the internet. They put a ton of effort into keeping people safe and getting them jobs/homes/health assistance.

Even so, the shelter is not a "dry" shelter - everyone is welcome to eat and sleep there, even substance abusers.

When a homeless person chooses to beg instead of utlize these services, there's a reason for it. It's not about being hungry. It's not about needing warm clothes. It's about acquiring things that the available social services/charities are unwilling to provide. Drugs and alcohol. The most violent homeless persons also can't function in a shelter environment and avoid it.

The most common excuse for not using the shelter is that it's inconveniently located for panhandling purposes.


Christiana

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Re: Do you ever give money to panhandlers?
« Reply #49 on: October 06, 2014, 09:24:21 AM »
Sometimes, but I also pray for them, so some of them might get a whole lot more than they asked for. 

What's even more fun is leaving little stashes of cash or change where an industrious but struggling person might find them.