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Freedan
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PostFreedan Posted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:20 pm   Post subject: Panhandling Reply with quote

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I don't know if anyone is unfamiliar with the term, but just in case; "panhandling" is a term for begging (homeless people asking for money on a street corner).

My question is: what do you do if you're approached by a panhandler? Or if you see someone on a street corner?

Around where I live, there are a couple of popular places for them. A couple of intersections where they sit on the median with a sign saying something along the lines of "homeless and hungry, any help appreciated", etc.

I really wish I could help these people, but there's one thing keeping me from doing so: I don't know if they're lying to me.

Not far from here, there was an older lady known as the "Shaky Lady", who used to ask for help on account of being homeless. People felt compelled to help her on account of her medical condition that caused her to shake.

After a long time, it was found out that she was faking everything. No medical condition, and she wasn't homeless. She was scamming money.

So I don't give money. There's a chance that they're honestly in need, and a few dollars could help. But there's an equally good chance they just need beer money. I'm sorry I can't help if they're really in need, but the scammers have ruined it.

So what about you? Do you give to people on the street? Do you avoid them?
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PostBlade Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:55 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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I avoid them most of the time, I only give them sth. if they catch me off-guard and don't look like homeless people on first sight.

Then again, I sometimes feel bad when I spend loads of money on a saturday evening on drinks and still hesitate to give them small amounts.

But bottom line, in 98 %, I think they're scamming and I just avoid them, can't be bothered even with a "nope, don't have anything", I just give them an annoyed look and go on.
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PostJason Tandro Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:07 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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In the area where I live we have a lot of "fakers". These people work 9-5 jobs, and have homes and then panhandle on the weekends... AND MAKE MORE MONEY THAN THEY DO AT THEIR JOB.

But in my hometown there is this one couple and their dog with the same story every week:

"Broken Down, need gas money to get home, anything helps."

Clearly it's a story, so I had a little fun one day. I found their sign and wrote in a big black sharpie:

"TOO LAZY TO GET A JOB. ANYTHING HELPS."

My big beef is that it's people like that who detract from those who are actually in need. And frankly homeless or not there are options. Ironically a lot of "homeless" people don't panhandle. They get government assistance of some kind and there are even homeless people who have jobs!

So I don't know. I have mixed feelings on the subject... Mad
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Posttay120n64 Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:40 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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My response is always, "Sorry, I don't have any money."

You are not my problem. There are places you can go to turn yourself around. If you are too lazy or stupid to manage that, you do not deserve my help.
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Postinferiare Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:08 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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tay120n64 wrote:
My response is always, "Sorry, I don't have any money."

You are not my problem. There are places you can go to turn yourself around. If you are too lazy or stupid to manage that, you do not deserve my help.


This. We have a ton of homeless in downtown Reno and some are most likely telling the truth; however also in downtown Reno is a place where those who are homeless can go to get food, shelter, and they can get any help to get back on their feet. But they don't. If they don't want to help themselves, why should I bother? The money would go to booze or drugs or maybe even a prostitute. Why do I want to help that?
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PostSoulBlazerFan Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:15 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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inferiare wrote:
tay120n64 wrote:
My response is always, "Sorry, I don't have any money."

You are not my problem. There are places you can go to turn yourself around. If you are too lazy or stupid to manage that, you do not deserve my help.


This. We have a ton of homeless in downtown Reno and some are most likely telling the truth; however also in downtown Reno is a place where those who are homeless can go to get food, shelter, and they can get any help to get back on their feet. But they don't. If they don't want to help themselves, why should I bother? The money would go to booze or drugs or maybe even a prostitute. Why do I want to help that?


I've also heard the argument that these homeless people are "Too proud" to ask for that assistance- which is given open and freely- instead by asking people for their money. So, how is that any different? Truth is, alot of them are looking for booze, and as Raini put it, prostitutes and drugs as well.

I'm not sure how it is for anyone else, but do people have those tin cans that say "Help the poor" or "Help abused animals" or "Help abused children" in their local corner delis? A few years back a guy got busted for putting these cans up that were supposed to help abused animals... truth was, he was using it for himself. In something like 10 years, he made over 400,000 USD- nearly half a million- for ripping off people who were legitmately trying to help what they thought were sick animals.

It's sad people will do this kind of stuff... and even sadder people will pretend to be poor.

(A story for another time: I was literally "bum-rushed" and thought I was going to die. But that's a story for another time...)
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Postpsychokind Posted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:10 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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there are almost none in the area I live, otherwise I just don't see them. the only time I looked at bums was back in school when 3 of them lived in our school park and we sometimes changed cigarettes against canned beer with them.
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PostEverPhoenix Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:30 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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tay120n64 wrote:
My response is always, "Sorry, I don't have any money."

You are not my problem. There are places you can go to turn yourself around. If you are too lazy or stupid to manage that, you do not deserve my help.


this.

although ive been known to fish out some change for the more sorry-looking ones if they approach and ask.
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Postrayim Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:29 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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The problem is *how* you choose who is legit and who is a good actor. Here in Europe almost all of them are either forced to do this or, if they are not and do not accept to be part of a 'band' they are beaten to death.
And the higher-ups build enormous houses with the money the lower-levels collect.
True story, there are numerous articles pointing to this.

So I avoid all of them. Heck, once one of these guys pretended so good that he was without the lower legs that you actually believed it. And after that we saw him WALKING to a bar. -__-
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Postchicken Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:43 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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there'S a quite interesting/disgusting political debate about these guys in the city i live. the mayor said "no more sitting around and begging, guys. GTFO."

SO. this had a pretty interesting effect: random people started sitting in the street which connected the two major squares of my city (the street where most of the beggars were). and when police came over and said "get up, guys, you arent allowed to beg here anymore" they were like "WTF, just sittin' here".

now to my personal opinion:
as already stated, its quite hard to tell who really needs it and who doesnt. we already had cases of "begging-mafia", and no, this is not a joke. a local newspaper discovered that many, many beggars are brought by cars or trucks, set to "their places" and picked up after dark again.

and even IF everyone of them REALLY needed my help: i cant help ALL of them. so how could i give the one who is hungry 10 bucks but the other one who needs surgery or other medical treatment nothing? this is just an example but you get my point.
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PostFazermint Posted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:20 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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I don't give money to beggars. This is because that money would go to beer or cigarettes.

Seriously, I tested it once. A beggar approached me, asking me for some financial mercy because he hadn't eaten in days. Instead of giving him money, I bought the guy something to eat. He didn't want it, so I ate it myself Mad
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Postarkisdabomb Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:19 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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Having lived the better part of the last 4 years, including right now, "homeless", hopefully I can give some insider knowledge.

So, backstory: I was kicked out of my house at 17. I was still in school, had no job, etc. I've been in about 4-5 shelters in various places in Ontario, both youth and adult's shelters.

Now, a major reason why some people choose not to go to the shelters, at least on the adult side of things: those places are fucking scary. Most of the people there are high or drunk off their ass, violent, and greedy. chances are, you're probably going to get your ass kicked.

on a similar subject, a lot of pan handlers are doing it to get more drugs or booze etc. But most of them are doing it because they cannot physically do anything else. They are dealing with serious chemical addictions, to the point where their entire life revolves around getting their next hit.

There is also, sadly, a large number of mentally disabled people who are homeless, because they have no one able to support them, and they can't support themselves. This group, as well as the group above (the addicts) more often than not either don't know about the supports that are available to them, or if they do, they take advantage of them just to support their drug habit.

The way shelters work, at least in Canada, is every week we are given a weekly allowance, known as PNA, or personal needs allowance. As it stands right now, it is just over $30 a week. That's enough for about 3 joints of weed. So they have food, they have shelter, and they have money for their drugs. As far as they are concerned, they have it good. I've seen on rare occasions these people will suppliment that with panhandling. While we have housing support workers and employment counsillers, many of them choose not to use them. And before anyone says it, they can't kick the people who aren't using the support given to them out.

So yeah, not giving my own personal opinion (though I personally don't panhandle), but hopefully this was helpful and I wasn't just rambling. If anyone has questions pertaining to homelessness and the supports they have available to them, go ahead and ask and I'll answer them as best I can.
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PostFlamez Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:01 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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Wow, that sucks. How old are you at the moment? I'm guessing you are getting by and don't fall into the addict category, which is good. You seem to know a lot about the services available as well, anything that can help get out of the situation your in, or is it more just get by day by day stuff?
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Postarkisdabomb Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:42 am   Post subject: Reply with quote

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I'm currently 21, which thankfully means I still fall into the "youth" category (which goes up until you're 25). And no, I'm not part of the addict category, which is nice.

There are a large number of resources available to me, most of which I am taking advantage. There is the usual social assistance, which is the easiest way to get out of homelessness. The path I'm taking personally is through the various employment agencies, which help you find a job, via resume helping, interview skills, and paying for interview clothes if you need them. They also help you job search and generally get you prepared for work.

Once you get either one of these, then there are workers who's sole job is helping you find housing. Once you do that then you're pretty much good to go.
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