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photolady
02-10-2008, 03:19 PM
Have any of you all had this problem recently in your area?
I wanted you all to know about something that's going on, at least, on this side
of the U.S. Maybe they will migrate to your city, but, here's their scene:

(about 2 weeks ago)Walmart parking lot:
white woman with child, and bucket, asks for money,
says she has been scrubbing floors all day, and needs
money: asks: "can you help me out?"

(Saturday, Feb. 9) grocery store parking lot:
young white male, about 20, empty gas can
in shoulder bag, says he is out of gas, needs money, asks:
"Can you help me out"

(Sunday, Feb. 10)Taco Bell parking lot: black man, with toy truck in original box,
approaches us, asks: "can you help me out?"

(about 3 weeks ago)White woman at Olive Garden in parking lot: has unusually large leg,
with a big sore on it, positions herself near spotlight in Olive Garden
lawn, says she needs money to pay for her medical bill,
"can you help me out?"


It seems TOO coincidental that they ALL have props, and they all wait until after
you come out of the store, to ask for money. And, they all say about the same thing!!

stitchwitch
02-10-2008, 07:53 PM
Ah yeah, the snow bums as we call them. All the homeless from up north come down here during the winter and panhandle. We have lots of them so the stories are really colorful. Be on the lookout for the travellers/gypsies too, they'll be ringing your doorbell wanting to pressure wash your house, trim your trees, clean your sidewalk, etc. They're notorious for ripping people off with their scams. One will be sweet talking you into a cheapo pressure washing while the rest that have hidden beside your house go through your house through your unlocked front door after the original one lures you out to your driveway to show you how he can clean it. It may sound harsh but I have no sympathy for these people.

photolady
02-10-2008, 10:21 PM
thanks for the tip off! didn't think about that!
my husband says if they REALLY needed help, they could go to the local shelters, and get help.

it really bugs me that they try to play off your sympathy.
AND< if someone REALLY needs help, you can't tell the difference.

ecb
02-11-2008, 01:57 AM
I am a nurse, and one day I saw one of my patients from the hospital in how wheelchair panhandling. I walked up and started talking to him, and he and I started "walking" down the street togehter (him wheeling, you know) and he ended up taking me to a VERY nice lunch, and paying for it.
Seemes he could make a couple hundred dollars a day this way. He told me how he had friends who had to make up stories, and use Gimicks (props) to get what they needed.

its a job to him, and it keeps him in cash to help pay for his meds and his drugs.

It is a scam, but it is also a job if its all you have, and its better than selling your body. no I have not been a scammer, or a hustler, but I have known a few. Not all are bad people

Yes I know they SHOULD be able to go get jobs, but something is in the way of that, and not always lazyness.

Let me stop, sorry

ecb

bethany
02-11-2008, 10:56 AM
we had a guy approach us once for 49 cents..."I only need 49 cents to buy a burrito"...we had no change of course, so he got a buck and my husband told him it was because it was a good story. The guy winked at my husband. :)

Banrion
02-11-2008, 11:25 AM
I recently read that in Boston, the average panhandler clears $40K a year, since that is all under the table and untaxed, they are making twice what I do in a year. Add to that the fact that in the Boston area, for every 12 beds in shelters, there are only 10 homeless people, and on an average night only 5 of them are filled. There is plenty of help available without me handing out cash on the street corners.

I will be the first to admit that I am very biased after a few very-unpleasant bordering on violent encounters with the local panhandlers. There was one instance where I tried to hand a guy my box of granola bars for the week instead of cash which was met with him swearing at me and demanding money. Then there was the guy who followed me all the way from the train station to work, about a mile walk, hounding me. There are plenty of ways to help people out, that don't involve me risking my safety by stopping and getting my wallet out on the street.

Knitting_Guy
02-11-2008, 12:15 PM
Pick just about any truckstop in or near a major city and you'll find dozens of these people, all with some sad story or other and many with their "props".

I have seen some of the same ones in the same truckstops every time I go into them. These people would rather panhandle than get a real job. They pay no taxes and are quite often drug addicts. They are invariably scammers and con artists. Many of them are thieves as well. I have chased them away from my rig and other's many times while they are trying to break in to steal something.

One actually had the nerve to try and rob me with a knife once. I pulled out my knife and showed him it was bigger than his. He decided to move on while I was calling the cops.


Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

Mulderknitter
02-11-2008, 01:15 PM
I too unfortunately have run into some of the more demanding/violent ones. I'm only 5'2, and used to work downtown. I had one guy threaten to shoot me at the bustop I was waiting at with about 20 other people. (I wasn't that scared)And other's follow me until I went into a store to hide.
I do admit to giving $ to a guy with a dog once though. good prop I guess.

lelvsdgs
02-11-2008, 01:46 PM
Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

I agree with Mason. We have some folks here who call themselves "urban tavellers". They will chase you down and yell at you if you don't "contribute". Turns out most of them are there by choice. The audacity of them to scream at me, someone who works very hard for her money, telling me I'm a fascist capitalist is amazing. I just ignore them now but they have been known to get violent. A lot of them seem to have dogs that are abused and neglected.
There is another group of folks we call the "Trustafarians". They wear dreadlocks, tye-dyed clothing and smoke a lot of weed. They claim to follow Rastafarianism but are mostly in it for the "sacraments". Most of them seem to be trustfund kids who don't have to work but just prefer to panhandle. It's a big problem here.

Jan in CA
02-11-2008, 02:44 PM
One actually had the nerve to try and rob me with a knife once. I pulled out my knife and showed him it was bigger than his.


I am fully aware that this was a dangerous situation and not funny, but this comment reminded me of Crocodile Dundee. :teehee:

We have these people, too. DH has seen a couple that trade off using the wheelchair. :roll: Do they really think we are that dumb? :doh:

Dangles
02-11-2008, 03:32 PM
I am fully aware that this was a dangerous situation and not funny, but this comment reminded me of Crocodile Dundee. :teehee:



:teehee:

Eccie
02-11-2008, 03:50 PM
I am fully aware that this was a dangerous situation and not funny, but this comment reminded me of Crocodile Dundee. :teehee:

We have these people, too. DH has seen a couple that trade off using the wheelchair. :roll: Do they really think we are that dumb? :doh:

There is a pair here that do that. They seem to switch daily and expect no one to notice. It doesn't help that one is rather round while the other is rather scrawny and they're always together. There is also another man who always seems to be at the same place every day and asks for odd amounts, like 87 and a half cents.

mwhite
02-11-2008, 04:07 PM
I was taught that anyone that purposely presents him or herself falsely is a scoundrel. And anyone that begs for money is lazy. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck... It's a duck!

I don't mind feeding someone that needs food or helping someone who's made a mistake. Life is very complicated at times. But, I'll have to agree, when someone gets mad or threatens you, because you won't give them money when they beg, they are dangerous.

Okay, I'm off the soapbox.....NEXT!

DQ
02-11-2008, 04:12 PM
I don't like people who just sit and beg or demand/ask for money. I sometimes give to buskers if they're playing some nice music that makes me smile.

Here in the UK we have a publication called 'The Big Issue' that genuinely homeless people can sell to make money. Sometimes I will buy that off someone.

jjminarcik
02-11-2008, 04:12 PM
It is a problem down here as well, but only in certain areas. My best friend lives in one of these areas and the other day a man was panhandling for money. He was holding a sign saying he was hungry and needed money for food. She didn't have any cash with her, but she had a couple of packs of ramen noodles. She tried to give them to him, he refused because he wanted the money. He finally took them after she insisted.

But the part that gets me is why the heck did she have several packs of ramen noodles with her? :teehee:

msoebel
02-14-2008, 12:05 PM
I know I should just ignore this topic, but of course, I can't. I am sure I am going to regret this.

My mother lived on the streets for 6 months when she was 17 years old. Why? Because she ran away from a physically and psychologically abusive home. It was also at a point where an uncle was getting a little too friendly, and the family preferred to blame her for it than admit there was a problem.

So she ran away and lived in Detroit, in shelters and on the streets for 6 months before anyone would give her a job or a place to stay. She survived by panhandling....she had too much sense of self for prostitution, and she wasn't a thief.

My mother has gone on to get her GED and to work her butt off to give her three kids a better life. She's been married for almost 30 years and no one would ever guess that she was ever in that situation.

I am not naive...I realize that a large number of people panhandling are lazy and undeserving, but there are some who do it to survive for the time being, period. Since I can't always tell which is which, I choose not to judge them, and instead offer them food instead of money. The ones who need it appreciate it, and the ones who don't...well, who cares? It wouldn't be the first time someone cussed me out.:wink:

The general tone of superiority on this forum today is uncomfortable for me.

I really don't mean for this to sound harsh...I've just come to a place in my life where it is really hard for me to sit back and just let things go by without taking a stand of any kind.

feministmama
02-14-2008, 01:11 PM
I would much rather see a discussion of the theives who steal millions of dollars in S&L scandels or subprime morgate scans that talk sh*t about people with no power to effect real change in their lives and could use compassion rathern than scorn. I'd rather give small change to someone hungry on the sidde of the raod then thousands to some privileged dude ina suit.

mwhite
02-14-2008, 01:18 PM
Msoebel, I don't mean to sound harsh, but keep in mind that the situation you described was temporary. My attitude and view is for those who take advantage and stay in this situation permanently and don't try to better themselves. Your mother actually brought herself out of a very rough situation and made improvements and should be applauded. Just goes to show that we shouldn't judge others til we been in their shoes and I sincerely apologize as I have had struggles of my own. Mary

lelvsdgs
02-14-2008, 01:22 PM
I know I should just ignore this topic, but of course, I can't. I am sure I am going to regret this.

My mother lived on the streets for 6 months when she was 17 years old. Why? Because she ran away from a physically and psychologically abusive home. It was also at a point where an uncle was getting a little too friendly, and the family preferred to blame her for it than admit there was a problem.

So she ran away and lived in Detroit, in shelters and on the streets for 6 months before anyone would give her a job or a place to stay. She survived by panhandling....she had too much sense of self for prostitution, and she wasn't a thief.

My mother has gone on to get her GED and to work her butt off to give her three kids a better life. She's been married for almost 30 years and no one would ever guess that she was ever in that situation.

I am not naive...I realize that a large number of people panhandling are lazy and undeserving, but there are some who do it to survive for the time being, period. Since I can't always tell which is which, I choose not to judge them, and instead offer them food instead of money. The ones who need it appreciate it, and the ones who don't...well, who cares? It wouldn't be the first time someone cussed me out.:wink:

The general tone of superiority on this forum today is uncomfortable for me.

I really don't mean for this to sound harsh...I've just come to a place in my life where it is really hard for me to sit back and just let things go by without taking a stand of any kind.

There are always people on the streets who are there because of dire circumstances and tragedy like your mom. I find that those people are notthe ones chasing me down demanding I give them money.

I certainly didn't mean to appear superior as I am one paycheck away from being in that very position. I just have a problem with people who chase me down, scream at me and threaten me (and my daughter) when I don't give them money-usually because I don't have any.

Homelessness is a huge problem in this country. I give when I can and help where I can. But some of these people are homeless because that is the lifestyle they choose. If that is the case, then I don't feel I owe them money to help facilitate that lifestyle.

I am glad to see that your Mom was able to find her way through it. That kind of trauma is not easy to go through. She is a shining example of how we humans can overcome such adversity and come out better for it. And it is clear she has passed that on to her children.

lelvsdgs
02-14-2008, 01:24 PM
I would much rather see a discussion of the theives who steal millions of dollars in S&L scandels or subprime morgate scans that talk sh*t about people with no power to effect real change in their lives and could use compassion rathern than scorn. I'd rather give small change to someone hungry on the sidde of the raod then thousands to some privileged dude ina suit.
I agree. But there are people who have plenty of power to change their circumstances and instead, choose not to. I don't have a problem with panhandlers, I have a problem with panhandlers who chase me, yell at me and threaten me and my child because I don't have any change left to give them.

stacyk9
02-14-2008, 03:34 PM
Just the other day there was a man holding a sign with words on it way too small to even read, leaning on one crutch! Wonder where he picked that up from?

cheesiesmom
02-15-2008, 12:33 PM
You need to walk a mile in someone's moccasins before you can judge them.

ChrissyB
02-15-2008, 01:30 PM
Guess it is my turn to offer my 2cents worth. We only occasionallg get panhandlers around here, and they always stand at the side of the road on the subzero days with signs asking for money. We never see them in the summer. I have to agree that is is hard to judge others unless we have been there. But I do think that there are plenty of people who are on the streets and panhandling, stealing etc, that make no effort to get themselves to a better place. I work in a hospital, and it never fails to amaze me at how much a lot of the homeless people that come in drink. I mean, how can you afford 2 cases of beer and 2 packs of cigerettes a day, but eat only once a week. (I completely understand addiction and have no desire to start a debate over it!) I always feel empethy for these people, but have no sympathy to offer someone who has made bad choice over bad choice to bring their life to this point. Now, the mom who is living in her car with her kids to escape an abusive husband, she gets my sympathy.
Anyway, as I said that is just my 2 cents!

stitchwitch
02-15-2008, 04:16 PM
I don't think any of us are talking about the people who are geniunely down on their luck and wanting to get out of that type of situation, frankly I'd be surprised to hear something like that come out of anyone's mouth. I am, however not going to be guilted into feeling sorry for people who choose that lifestyle and made to feel like a "big ol' meanie" because my views are different from a select few. If that lumps me into the elitist or superiority group then so be it.

Knitting_Guy
02-15-2008, 07:53 PM
Yeah there are some people who are truly down on their luck, but when you see the same person in the same spot with the same sad story over the course of several years you have to realize they are just too damn lazy to work.

I have offered to buy some of these people a meal many times. Once in a great while one will accept it, but most only want the cash. It's an industry, plain and simple.

Jan in CA
02-16-2008, 12:38 AM
This is a touchy subject so I'd like everyone to step back and take a deep breath and think before you speak. Thank you. :hug::hug:

Darcia
02-16-2008, 03:39 PM
How ironic. I just got back from volunteering at the local soup kitchen. A fine crowd of people in need I saw. None of which needed any props. There are bad apples in every class from the very top to the very bottom. The amount a person has in the bank does not determine if they are good or bad, There are some very bad rich people out there and some very bad poor.
It is what is in your heart that makes you shine. We can only pray for those in need and take care of ours.

Jaxhil
02-16-2008, 04:20 PM
This has been interesting to read. In my area (very small town) there aren't any-but when I go to the nearest big city, they are at almost every street light. I have given money to some when I have it-especially the man who was selling beaded (plastic pony beads) key chains by the side of the road at the light. I was so impressed that he actually had made something to sell in return for his "pay" that I happily purchased one-and used it for a long time.

But I have learned to be wary. I had gone downtown with my kids to take them to the library I think, and there was a fairly clean looking older man on the side of the road at a stop-light. He asked me for money, and I truly didn't have any, and told him so. He started yelling at me, cussing at me (my 4 kids, including a baby with me) and calling me a liar-I was scared!! Thank God the light changed-we was able to escape without harm, but it really changed my perspective.

It's sad, but this made me much less likely to stop and help because of the ones who might be dangerous. My heart goes out to those who really need help, because I know they are out there; but I intend to be careful about who I do give to.

Spikey
02-16-2008, 08:51 PM
Like Misty, I offer food if asked for money. Most people are extremely appreciative.

We've made donations of time, food, and money to our local shelters and organizations. Many of these places specifically ask that donations not be given directly to individuals.

dreamsherl
02-17-2008, 01:53 AM
I think that you have to judge each situation as they happen. I have said no about as many tines as I have given. I usually give what I have in my pocket or tell them that I see them when I leaving the store (I never go in my purse with them looking). I have to trust that they are going to put the money to good use. I have scaled back on my giving however. I was once in Office Depot buying supplies for my students when a man (not dress badly) came in an asked those of us standing in line for money. One man stated that the store was taking applications. The beggar yelled that he wasn't trying to get a job. He stated that he wasn't going to work for the "white man." We all thought that is was ironic that he had no problem begging from all of the African American's in the line. Most of us had two jobs. Again, we have to take each situation as they come.

NegativeClock
02-17-2008, 03:33 AM
Pick just about any truckstop in or near a major city and you'll find dozens of these people, all with some sad story or other and many with their "props".

I have seen some of the same ones in the same truckstops every time I go into them. These people would rather panhandle than get a real job. They pay no taxes and are quite often drug addicts. They are invariably scammers and con artists. Many of them are thieves as well. I have chased them away from my rig and other's many times while they are trying to break in to steal something.

One actually had the nerve to try and rob me with a knife once. I pulled out my knife and showed him it was bigger than his. He decided to move on while I was calling the cops.


Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

Dude, you're awesome.

Debkcs
02-17-2008, 04:32 AM
Yes he is!

Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

And harder to get rid of then a Lot Lizard, eh Mason?

We have them up here, too. Some of them are obnoxious. Our friend, who is a cop, says that they are dropped off out of a truck each morning and that they don't need our money. He says they have a good income, and the dirt comes off with the shabby clothes at night. I'm sure there are some who are true travelers, and need some cash. However, if they're smoking and have better shoes on then I do, no way. BTW, I think it's a shoddy trick to use children, like some of them do.

stitchwitch
02-17-2008, 10:45 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,327087,00.html
This guy was just a harmless, down on his luck fellow too.

Cypher
02-17-2008, 11:44 AM
I'm a lifelong Chicagoan, and I do see some of the same people in the same spot when I go to work (I work in the downtown area, where there's a lot of tourist traffic) but I also do run across the person who really does need a couple of bucks to get home or something.

That being said, I admit my own prejudice towards panhandlers. Too often I've tried to offer food instead of change and have been cussed for my efforts. When I see the same guy every day wearing better clothes than me, and smoking (at $8 a pack!) it makes me seethe to think he's probably clearing more than I am annually w/o doing much besides acting the part of a poor young lad, who is down on his luck for a few hours a day.

I've had some rough times, and had been homeless once but I didnt resort to panhandling. Stupid pride I guess? But its hard to be kind some days, especially when so many people seem to be just out there skimming by while i bust my tail daily for the money I earn.

*sigh* there's no happy medium on this topic I know, I just wish I wasn't so suspicious of motives when someone asks for a hand out. :gah:

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:00 PM
I am a nurse, and one day I saw one of my patients from the hospital in how wheelchair panhandling. I walked up and started talking to him, and he and I started "walking" down the street togehter (him wheeling, you know) and he ended up taking me to a VERY nice lunch, and paying for it.
Seemes he could make a couple hundred dollars a day this way. He told me how he had friends who had to make up stories, and use Gimicks (props) to get what they needed.

its a job to him, and it keeps him in cash to help pay for his meds and his drugs.

It is a scam, but it is also a job if its all you have, and its better than selling your body. no I have not been a scammer, or a hustler, but I have known a few. Not all are bad people

Yes I know they SHOULD be able to go get jobs, but something is in the way of that, and not always lazyness.

Let me stop, sorry

ecb

I don't like to give people money if they use it to abuse their bodies with drugs and alcohol.
How can one tell if a panhandler will use the money for good, for themselves?

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:05 PM
I'm a lifelong Chicagoan, and I do see some of the same people in the same spot when I go to work (I work in the downtown area, where there's a lot of tourist traffic) but I also do run across the person who really does need a couple of bucks to get home or something.

That being said, I admit my own prejudice towards panhandlers. Too often I've tried to offer food instead of change and have been cussed for my efforts. When I see the same guy every day wearing better clothes than me, and smoking (at $8 a pack!) it makes me seethe to think he's probably clearing more than I am annually w/o doing much besides acting the part of a poor young lad, who is down on his luck for a few hours a day.

I've had some rough times, and had been homeless once but I didnt resort to panhandling. Stupid pride I guess? But its hard to be kind some days, especially when so many people seem to be just out there skimming by while i bust my tail daily for the money I earn.

*sigh* there's no happy medium on this topic I know, I just wish I wasn't so suspicious of motives when someone asks for a hand out. :gah:

Cypher, I agree with you. I offer food, etc., but get rejected for that.
I was also on welfare, TWICE, but,only temporarily. I worked my way out of that. I felt it to be a mark against my character, if I decided to let someone else pay for my way in life, and it didn't teach my children anything good, like, self sufficiency, graduating from school, learning how to deal with tough times without resorting to giving up and letting the government wipe your nose.
I also work for the money I get.
Your suspicions of the motives of others is well grounded, since many people insist on claiming they are victims, and that they can't contribute anything useful to their lives, and, they take the money and inject themselves with drugs, have careless, illicit sex, preferring to abuse themselves rather than rejecting the depravities of society.
You just never know where your money is going, unless you, personally, can follow up on it.

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:06 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,327087,00.html
This guy was just a harmless, down on his luck fellow too.


AMEN AND AMEN, stitchwitch! Thank you for posting this!

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:15 PM
I recently read that in Boston, the average panhandler clears $40K a year, since that is all under the table and untaxed, they are making twice what I do in a year. Add to that the fact that in the Boston area, for every 12 beds in shelters, there are only 10 homeless people, and on an average night only 5 of them are filled. There is plenty of help available without me handing out cash on the street corners.

I will be the first to admit that I am very biased after a few very-unpleasant bordering on violent encounters with the local panhandlers. There was one instance where I tried to hand a guy my box of granola bars for the week instead of cash which was met with him swearing at me and demanding money. Then there was the guy who followed me all the way from the train station to work, about a mile walk, hounding me. There are plenty of ways to help people out, that don't involve me risking my safety by stopping and getting my wallet out on the street.

And, if YOU get paid under the counter, you will end up in jail!
You're a decent, law abiding, tax paying citizen of America, and yet, you will be mercilessly hounded by the tax people if you don't declare every dollar YOU make.
A violent encounter? How awful! Being harassed by a transient?
Where were the police?
I had a frightening encounter in seattle, and the police NEVER showed up! I'll never go back to Seattle, the place is chock full of
people hanging around waiting for a handout.
Now, here where I live, I did hand a man a box of food, and he was nice, and accepted it. I have NO problem with giving people food, shelter, etc., if they need it.
If they are truly, truly unable to work, or take care of themselves, then, that's when FAMILY should help out. FIRST.
If the family is unwilling or unable, then the government should help out.
Encouraging homelessness and panhandling, and giving drug users free needles, smacks of someone having an inferiority complex, and needing to keep their boot on the backs of homeless people, keeping them down, so they can always have someone who "needs them".
Kind of like the mother who never cuts the apron strings. Very sick.

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:20 PM
Knitting_Guy;1061212]Pick just about any truckstop in or near a major city and you'll find dozens of these people, all with some sad story or other and many with their "props".




Exactly what I'm talking about. If you give these people money, that emboldens them to keep on.
We had one guy come right up on my husband, within 10 inches of his face. It was scary, but also made me angry. These panhandlers think nothing of victimizing me, or my husband, who works hard for every dime he makes. Yet, they throw a tantrum and play the victim when they don't get free money.
Makes no sense to reward bad behavior.

Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

photolady
02-17-2008, 12:27 PM
You need to walk a mile in someone's moccasins before you can judge them.


Ihave, and I did it TWICE. I also got myself out of that mess, by learning a skill, and by applying for jobs until I got one.
I shopped at thrift stores, got food stamps, got handouts, and despised it all.

Feminists should be the first people to cry foul, when homelessness is encouraged.
When we encourage people to depend on others to supply them with everything, we encourage a type of militant, oppressive rule upon the homeless.
Instead of keeping the homeless on the streets, teach them a skill, a trade, an honorable way to make a living.
Give them back their dignity. Don't keep them dependent upon the government. Give them back their dignity, and treat them as adults.
ADULTS. Not children. They aren't children, they're mature adults, who need to feel good about themselves, and who need to respect themselves. A good way to do that, is, to give them EDUCATION.
Learn a skill or a trade. Graduate from night school.
Keep applying for jobs until you get a job. Keep the job.
Show up on time. Don't use drugs. Be courteous on the job.
Take a shower, turn the tv off, and get some sleep.
Wake up on time every morning. Get on the city bus, (like I did for YEARS) and show up at work, then earn your paycheck.
Don't fritter away the hours, do what you are being paid to do.

Why do liberals think that is SO WRONG?? Please explain to me why getting yourself out of the hole is so wrong?

Spikey
02-17-2008, 02:37 PM
This is a touchy subject so I'd like everyone to step back and take a deep breath and think before you speak. Thank you. :hug::hug:

Photolady - please note what Jan has said.

You are clearly passionate about a subject on which you appear to have had some limited experience.

You've expressed disappointment that others do not seem to back up you when you express your religious beliefs. Please do not make sweeping generalizations about us "liberals" and our beliefs.

The complex problems of aggressive panhandling, homelessness, drug dependency, AIDS, families who cannot or will not provide support, the roles and responsibilities of the government (local, state, and federal) and access to medical care (including mental health care) are all intertwined. We cannot solve them here.

feministmama
02-17-2008, 03:45 PM
Feminists should be the first people to cry foul, when homelessness is encouraged.

As my name says I am a feminist. ANd as a feminist I'm here to say that no one encourages homelessness. We live in system that NEEDS an imbalance in power. The rich can only get richer if there are enough poor people to support the system. I do not believe it is any individuals "fault" for the situations that poverty does to people. Personal responsibility can only go so far if there is not enough to go around and we as a culture demonize individuals within poverty.

Calling homeless people "these people" is also very insulting. Making sweeping generalizations about anyone is insulting.

If you would like to learn more about the social effects of poverty and how our cultural system of domination and oppression works to keep us all under control of capitalism I would be happy to recommend some interesting books and articles for anyone to read.

Please reach inside your heart and have some compassion for all human beings. Can we all do that? Right now, close your eyes and see the humanity in everyone on this planet. Even the people you don't like. Because in the end we are all humans. We all need love.:heart::hug::heart:

msoebel
02-17-2008, 04:10 PM
Photolady - please note what Jan has said.

You are clearly passionate about a subject on which you appear to have had some limited experience.

You've expressed disappointment that others do not seem to back up you when you express your religious beliefs. Please do not make sweeping generalizations about us "liberals" and our beliefs.

The complex problems of aggressive panhandling, homelessness, drug dependency, AIDS, families who cannot or will not provide support, the roles and responsibilities of the government (local, state, and federal) and access to medical care (including mental health care) are all intertwined. We cannot solve them here.

Hey, I am "religious" (my dh is a minister) AND a conservative, and I have had a hard time reading some of this. Yes, there are some people out there who are taking advantage of the system. There are those who take advantage of ANY system.

But there are many, many others who panhandle because of circumstances beyond their current control. In my experience working with homeless individuals, I have found that a good many of them suffer from some sort of mental illness (and yes, some of those who scream at you and threaten you are those with serious mental illnesses).

debb
02-17-2008, 05:36 PM
But there are many, many others who panhandle because of circumstances beyond their current control. In my experience working with homeless individuals, I have found that a good many of them suffer from some sort of mental illness (and yes, some of those who scream at you and threaten you are those with serious mental illnesses).

I was actually going to bring this up but some of previous posts started veering out of control. While there has always been a certain amount of 'homelessness' in America's history, the recent explosion in quantity has much to do with the effort in the early sixties and late seventies to deinstitutionalize so many of the psychiatric facilites. Add to that the ongoing economic policies of corporate dominance and you have an enormous problem.
I realize that there are still many that attempt to take advantage of peoples' compassion but when each person decides whether to give or not, it reflects on one's own beliefs and the recipient of your charity is not always going to behave as perhaps one would wish.

sheldon
02-17-2008, 07:23 PM
Hey everyone.

A few members have brought this thread to my attention with concern for the direction it is heading. Please keep your discussion civil and friendly and constructive. People are bound to have disagreements and that is fine. However attacking, condemning, and/or mocking other members beliefs and ideals is not OK here. If this thread continues to head in that direction is will get "da lock!" So please keep it nice.

Thanks,

Sheldon

Pat in Ca
02-17-2008, 09:49 PM
I had a friend who's family was wealthy... they ran into some legal problems and had no more income temporarily...the father ordered posters and props from "Save the whales" (or some other animal I think, this was back in the 70's) the whole family would go out for several hours a day begging" and "earn" HUNDREDS " of dollars for their daily spending $$..No money was sent to the charity...Many charities are scams...After that many of the charities were "exposed"...You have to choose your charity wisely...Churches and synagogues really provide so much to the homeless and needy...if someone is REALLY in need of housing or food, they know where to find it..So...I say.. consider contributing to your church or synagogue of choice... they really have the best outreach programs to the needy, in all parts of the world (thru missionary work).. the govt programs do not work... to much fraud , abuse, waste...IMHO..

stitchwitch
02-18-2008, 10:23 AM
Hey at least the foreclosure crisis is helping the homeless in these cities. Interesting read. :hmm:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080218/ap_on_bi_ge/homeless_foreclosure

feministmama
02-18-2008, 11:33 AM
Hey at least the foreclosure crisis is helping the homeless in these cities. Interesting read. :hmm:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080218/ap_on_bi_ge/homeless_foreclosure

14,000 foreclosed homes!?!??!?!? Holy cow!!!!!:ick:

Spikey
02-18-2008, 11:54 AM
Yeah, it's pretty disgusting how may people have been caught up in this mortgage mess, due to predatory lending practices and a general lack of understanding of the process.

Everyone wanted their piece of "The American Dream", and rightfully so, but not everyone was in the financial position to do it and got taken advantage of or got themselves into a terrible financial situation.

AnnArrogance
02-18-2008, 02:09 PM
Wow! What a heated topic. I have to say, from volunteering at numerous shelters and soup kitchens here in Houston (we have a large homeless population, too, especially in the winter), that I have to agree with Spikey, feministmama, msoebel, and Debb. Yes, there are homeless people who abuse the system. But most that I have encountered are mentally unstable or simply so beaten down emotionally by their condition that "getting up off their butts and finding a job" isn't really an option. If you've ever suffered from a severe form of clinical depression or any kind mental illness, you know how incapacitating and debilitating--even crippling--it can be.

I know that someone on here (don't remember who, sorry) said that they were on welfare for a time and got out of it. I congratulate you and applaud you for your hard work and initiative! You faced a difficult situation with great strength of character.

However, not everyone has that same strength of character. And being on welfare, although clearly a difficult and painful position to be in, is still not the same as being homeless (unless I misread your previous post, in which case I apologize).

My feeling is that I can't judge someone else unless I've walked a mile in their shoes. If I suddenly lost everything, I have no idea what I would do. I might very well collapse completely under the pressure. I might do anything I had to do to survive. Shelters and soup kitchens are a great resource, but in Houston at least, they're gravely overcrowded in the winter. I have a feeling that it's a process for a lot of homeless people. You start out trying to fix things, to make it better, but then, gradually and eventually, you just lose hope if nothing happens. When you've lost hope, the weight of it can crush you.

I won't give money to homeless people who are clearly using the money for drugs and booze, but if I have change or a dollar or so with me, I'll give to a few "regulars" in my area who I know are legitimately mentally disabled and struggling. I also give food when I can (and with Texas portions, there are usually leftovers from dinner, which I have them wrap up and give to homeless people), and I have NEVER given food that has not been greatly appreciated. I'll give to people with dogs, but what I'll mostly do is buy some inexpensive dog food and put it in baggies when I know I'm going to be driving past "The Dog Lady" (that's what she calls herself--she has 5 of them who are not on leashes and never leave her side).

I'm a liberal, yes, but I'm no bleeding-heart. I've been accosted by aggressive homeless people in New York and Boston when I lived there, and yes, it can be scary, and yes, it can frustrate and anger me. I'm just saying, well, I guess two things: 1) don't judge a group by the example of a few, and 2) don't judge a person until you've lived their life. Just my 2 cents.

On a lighter note, the best panhandler I've ever seen is a guy near my house who holds up a sign that says: "Family kidnapped by ninjas. Need money for karate lessons." I've given him change a few times, just for the creativity. :)

Abbily
02-18-2008, 02:56 PM
On a lighter note, the best panhandler I've ever seen is a guy near my house who holds up a sign that says: "Family kidnapped by ninjas. Need money for karate lessons." I've given him change a few times, just for the creativity. :)

In the spirit of lightening this thread a bit, I'll add my favorite- there's a guy downtown here in Austin near the highway whose sign reads "Visions of a cheeseburger in paradise".

willowangel
02-18-2008, 03:32 PM
I love the ninjas one! I have a lot of respect for people who can still find humour in their situation - I'd also give money for the creativity ;-)

lelvsdgs
02-18-2008, 11:31 PM
I love the ninjas one! I have a lot of respect for people who can still find humour in their situation - I'd also give money for the creativity ;-)
Absolutley!!

lelvsdgs
02-18-2008, 11:42 PM
This is such a complex issue for me. I really appreciate hearing all these diverse viewpoints and it has brought me to think twice about my own level of compassion. I have realized that the job I currently do has numbed me to some of these things. I have been hardened to some people because of the deception, callousness and disregard I see in some of these populations. I realize that I have begun painting certain people with a broad brush and that is so wrong.

Thank you for all your words... it will make me think twice before I make these kinds of judgements... I know that one small thing can put me in that very same situation...

I will still use caution when being approached in a threatening manner, but I will try not to lump everyone together...