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Old 02-10-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
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panhandlers with props
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!!
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:53 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:21 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:57 AM   #4
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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

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:56 AM   #5
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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.

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Old 02-11-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:15 PM   #7
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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.

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Old 02-11-2008, 01:15 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy View Post
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.

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Old 02-11-2008, 02:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy View Post
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.

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

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