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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / Do you give to peeps on the street?
- - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-26 11:19 PM
You know the folks I'm talking about. Many have signs labeling themselves as "homeless" or "veteran" or "disabled" or "jobless" or other things and sometimes a combination of those things. Other people don't have signs but rather make a personal appeal to help them out. Others just sit on the sidewalk next to a donation cup or bucket, sometimes obviously disabled or otherwise needy. And then you have street performers, playing bad saxophone or sometimes really good stuff. All of these people are asking for your help, and it happens ubiquitously in every big city, but even in small towns.

Decades ago, they were called "panhandlers." Some of them we'd all agree are worthy of charity, such as the abused homeless mother of young children or the disabled veteran living on limited benefits or a young performing artist trying to make it. Others simply are collecting money for their next fix or bottle of cheap booze. I would gladly empty my wallet for the "worthy" ones but am reluctant to enable people destroying themselves and their loved ones. I suspect that a majority of "panhandlers" fall into the latter category but I don't know that.:wtf:

I've always given on the street on occasion, sometimes significantly if moved by the plea and if it's before a holiday e.g. I even got scammed out of 50 bucks on the streets of Harrisburg by a sympathetic "stranded dad with a 3-year-old in his car" later established as a scam (long story). I know that every time I give change or bills to a "panhandler" it likely will go towards opioids, mad dog or a new iphone. So for decades I mostly have walked past those human beings avoiding eye contact or saying "sorry, man" or returning their "God bless you" but without putting coins or bills in their rattling cups. To some degree, that's a matter of survival in a big city where you might have a plea multiple times in a single block.

Today I did something different on the streets and bridges of Pittsburgh...I gave to every single "panhandler" I passed today, probably about 18-20 of them. I happened to have a lot of $1 bills so most of them got one of them but some more. I probably spent about $30-35 today, probably most of it on addicts and winos (another archaic term) but I got this mantra in my head that "who am I to judge?" I think it was Dear Abby who suggested taking a panhandler for a sandwich instead of giving him or her cash but I've never done that and don't think I would outside of special circumstances. That seems to me to be kind of demeaning, more judgmental than just giving him or her a buck. :wtf: Today I gave to obviously disabled individuals, a couple teenaged young women, a couple young men who appeared to be pure scammers, a few old guys, two street performers, two veterans according to their signs and others who didn't have a category except their cup or hand out. Dunno how many of them were "worthy" but they all got something and it felt good although it wasn't much. And I know that much of what I gave will pay for the next bag, bottle or iphone. So I'm not sure what I'll do going forward.

Sooooo, back to the question after that blathering. :laugh: What do you do and why? Y'all are good peeps and I'll listen to what you say.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-07-27 4:04 AM Edited 2018-07-27 4:17 AM
Panhandlers in Brussels and most Belgian cities are usually gypsies or victims of human trafficking.
They fake their ailments (probably all of them).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T42eO0sMyOQ

I remember a situation when I was still in University and there where two woman in rags washing car windows at traffic lights.
Like you, I wanted to do a "grand" gesture and handed 5$ to one of them. They basically raced each other to my window and literally snatched the bill from my hand.
The second woman started requesting more money as "5$ was just for one person". So I got mad at them, but light turned green and I was on my way.

There's another clip (can't find it on youtube) where there's a guy who also walks with a cane and shakes heavily. After his "shift" you see him a bit further regularly.

Situation in the US may be different, but here it's all scams.

edit: Also, the "Woman in rags with sleeping child" is a common scam. Usually Gypsies, often the child isn't even their own and drugged so it would sit still all day.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-07-27 4:22 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNClkyIut_c

Here's another one about Gypsies in London. It's pretty much all over European cities.
Parent - By redraider0528 (Fashionista) Date 2018-07-27 6:59 AM
Lots of scams here too with women and children :sad:
Parent - - By runnertype [us] Date 2018-07-27 9:36 AM
I feel differently (at least a bit) when I see this in Europe, because y'all have an intact social welfare system. If I were paying more taxes, I would feel like my tax money was going to support a basic standard of living for everyone. Here that is not the case.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-07-27 10:26 AM
That's why I said situation in US may be different.
Seriously impaired people will have access to care centers and assisted living.

I wouldn't call our welfare system "intact" though.
Parent - By runnertype [us] Date 2018-07-27 12:09 PM
I get it. :hug: Comparatively speaking :grin::cry::cry:
Parent - By tahoeblue (spamkiller) Date 2018-07-27 5:12 PM
Nothing prevents you from giving more of your earning to the government - federal, state, country, city.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:30 PM
Wow, that's something that they almost all are scammers. There's a percentage of scammers in U.S. cities, but I think most are just down on their luck or financing their addiction.
Parent - - By rob26.2 Date 2018-07-27 5:22 AM
I generally don't give anything but every once in awhile I will give a couple dollars.  A friend of mine, who works downtown and passes street folks every day, buys a bunch of $5 McDonald's give cards and hands them out. He says at least he knows they are getting food instead of booze or drugs.
Parent - By redraider0528 (Fashionista) Date 2018-07-27 6:58 AM
That's a cool idea!

I have a friend that makes little baggies with crackers, water and whatever wouldn't spoil and they hand them out.
Parent - By IB Date 2018-07-27 9:15 AM
I don't want to put too much of a damper on your friends idea but there are machines and businesses that buy gift cards. People can turn them into cash for less than the face value.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:33 PM
That sounds like a great idea, but then see IB's caution. I didn't know that you could turn cards into cash.
Parent - - By rob26.2 Date 2018-07-27 2:57 PM
I would bet most street people don't know either. :wink:
Parent - By tizzy319 (gaping five hole) [us] Date 2018-07-27 4:13 PM
I’ve worked with the homeless and most know.
Parent - - By redraider0528 (Fashionista) Date 2018-07-27 6:57 AM
This is an interesting post because just last night my husband told a story about his day at dinner.

He was over in the east part of Dallas and he stopped to get gas. He saw a young-ish guy sitting with a sign that said homeless vet, please help. T went up to him and said I don't have any cash on me but come inside with me and get some food/drink and I'll pay for it. They went in and T said, I'm going to the bathroom so get what you need. T wasn't sure which way this would go? Would he load up? Would he get a beer? T decided he didn't care what he did because he couldn't fix this guy today. : pbbt::blush:

Anyway, he said he came out of the bathroom and the guy had two hot dogs, two breakfast sandwiches and two monster energy drinks. He spent $12. T also said that there was a store clerk that followed him around with an eagle eye the whole time. Anyway, he felt good about it and felt like he helped the dude out.

I probably wouldn't do the above but I have given money to peeps before when I felt compelled. I too would hope it goes to good but you never know. :hug:
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:35 PM
That's something! :cool: It had to be greatly appreciated, the guy didn't go overboard or in the wrong direction...that really would leave a good feeling.
Parent - By redraider0528 (Fashionista) Date 2018-07-27 2:02 PM
Agreed.
It could've gone many different ways but sounds like it was just right. :happy:
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-07-27 3:09 PM
:hug:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2018-07-27 7:04 AM
I didn't read your post but yes sometimes I give to people on the street. I rarely have cash let alone change, tho. Must be rough being a panhandler these days.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:37 PM
Hah that's true that a lot of peeps pay for their $2.00 purchase with credit. Maybe an enterprising panhandler could have a paypal account.
Parent - - By PoopedColt Date 2018-07-27 7:25 AM
Panhandling is against City code, so it’s pretty rare to see them here.  When we are other places, it mostly depends on the circumstance and our mood.  DH is a sucker for animals.  If someone has a pet, he gives.  Otherwise, generally no.  Street performers, I tend to give to those. But I also carry so little cash. It's rare I have more than $5 and often not even that.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:41 PM
Oh yeah I'm a sucker for pets, too. I ran across a guy having his pooch do tricks and earning the guy quite a pile in his donation hat.

Street performers I generally give to, like you, absolutely if they are good and I stop to listen/watch.
Parent - - By Xtreme Taper Date 2018-07-27 8:20 AM
Usually I don't give money, but sometimes I do. I can't really say what drives my decision. I think a lot of times these folks are scammers or just looking for money to feed a habit. I guess I don't like to be scammed, and would rather give someone money to feed a habit. Is that a bad thing? I don't know.

A personal observation on the homeless from my SIL in Atlanta. They lived in an apartment downtime at one point, very close to a major transportation hub for the Marta. They had "homeless" in their area all the time. Some legit but many were not. She would see some get in cars, or get picked up and driven away at the end of the day. Like being "homeless on the streets" was their job. Also the so called "saviors" from the suburbs that would come into the city to feed these people on the streets drove her nuts. Mostly because by feeding these people on the streets downtown (where there were no facilities to wash or cleanup) just caused more of them to congregate and piss and shit in the streets, alleys, and parks nearby. These people did not realize they were impacting residents so much. She often yelled at those people to feed them where they lived. I often thought that mean spirited but sort of saw her point too.

Anyways, nice gesture for you yesterday, though the "who am I to judge" made me chuckle a bit.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:45 PM
That's an interesting scenario you describe in Atlanta. I can see her point, too...but it strikes me as mean-spirited too.
Parent - - By Spingoddess [us] Date 2018-07-27 8:24 AM
I rarely give money. But until a few years ago, I was either living in Manhattan or working in Manhattan and going through Penn Station every day. It's so much better than it was in the early 80's, when I went to school there, but there are still so many homeless and hungry people. So there've been many times where I've bought homeless people something to eat, or gave them food that I'd packed for my lunch and then I bought something. One time I offered a guy an apple, but he pointed to his teeth (he didn't have too many) so I have him my yogurt and a spoon. Hungry is hungry, whether you're a junkie or... whatever. I can't even think of the word.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:47 PM
Hungry is hungry. Good one!
Parent - - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2018-07-27 8:58 AM
yes - I make sure I keep a stack of ones in my wallet exactly for this purpose.

I am blessed that I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry, and clothes on my back.  I am abundantly blessed that I have enough to share with others. 

I admit that I am not always charitable.  The loud, annoying drunk who is hassling people?  Probably not.  The guy at the train station who is quietly asking for a dollar, yes.   Is he scamming?  Possibly/probably - but it's not for me to judge. 

I am definitely a sucker for anyone begging outside the grocery store and will usually offer to go in with them and help them shop.  There was one guy I saw a couple times with his 3 young kids.  He was a sweetheart.  He was a young single dad trying to do right.  It broke my heart that I couldn't do more for them.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:48 PM
:cool::hug:
Parent - - By runnertype [us] Date 2018-07-27 9:40 AM
I sometimes do give money, more often do not. I too have thought about this a lot. From a personal, ethical perspective, I think that I should give more to individuals that ask, regardless of what that individual is going to do with the money.  From a more macro-public policy perspective (based on the concerns about habitability in a neighborhood described below, as well as the possibility of enabling self-destructive behavior), I think it isn't a good practice. So I have a bit of an inner conflict.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:49 PM
Yeah that inner conflict...a good way to put it.
Parent - - By IB Date 2018-07-27 9:49 AM
This is a fine place to bring this back to light.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-28 9:00 PM
Oh, that! :laugh:
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-07-30 9:16 AM
:laugh:

On one of my self-supported runs across part of TN, I decided to take a nap under a tree at a Shell convenience store.  I woke up to see a young gal offering me a $5 bill, apologizing that that was all she had!  :laugh::laugh:  I didn't take her money, but thanked her profusely and complimented her kind heart. :hug:
Parent - By IB Date 2018-07-30 2:38 PM
:hug:
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-31 5:08 PM
:laugh::hug: I forget whether that was in one of your reports but it's not surprising ya know...it must have been the beard and/or your haggard look. :wink: I do remember you accepting help such as shelter from local peeps on your jaunts across TN. It's not like you were a street person, but rather you were an amazing road athlete maybe looking like a street person and you were grateful like any person in need would be.

Hey sort of related although not really related to the topic here, I just read a really nice article in RW magazine about the Barkley. It's in the May issue borrowed by mrs. flamus from her PT...check it out if you haven't seen it.
Parent - By JimGo1 Date 2018-08-04 6:01 PM
:laugh::laugh:
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-07-27 3:21 PM
When I worked in downtown Detroit, I would see a lot of people.  One guy in particular hung near my building and after a while, I figured he was really homeless, had some mental challenges and likely stayed at shelters when it was cold.  When I went to lunch and had leftovers, I would give them to him if I saw him on the way back to my building.  Every once in a while I would give him a few bucks.  That happened for maybe five years and then he disappeared.

A couple of summers ago, when blazerboy (who was 16 at the time) and I were in Austin, way off campus, we encountered MANY homeless people.  I told blazerboy he had to be skeptical, but some folks really were in need and HUNGRY.....you just never what someone's story is.  I instructed him to NEVER take his wallet out, but, if he knew he would be in a place where he may encounter people on the street, he could keep a buck or two in his pocket.  That evening, we were walking and some guy asked for money.  Blazerboy took a dollar out of his pocket and gave it to the guy.  Then, the guy asked us if we wanted a joint.  Blazerboy responded, "No Sir" and we went on our way.  I told blazerboy the most impressive thing of that interaction was that he addressed the homeless guy as "Sir".  That demonstrating humanity was more valuable than the dollar.  Since then, if I encounter someone on the street and have to address them, I use Sir or Ma'am.  The things we learn from our kids!!
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-28 9:03 PM
Indeed! That is a totally awesome story. We all should learn from that lesson about humanity. :hug:
Parent - By BoredTemp [us] Date 2018-07-29 6:08 PM
:hug:
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-07-30 9:17 AM
:hug:
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-07-27 4:06 PM
No. Never. I work in downtown Los Angeles and we have more homeless people here than anywhere else in the country. I am sorry for many of them but I don't have money to give to everyone.

On an average morning I get panhandled 4-5 times between the bus stop and my office.

I donate to recognized charities but I don't give to people on the street. I do respond politely rather than pretending they don't exist, but they're not getting money from me.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-30 8:57 PM
oops sorry I missed this before. :blush:

You, like tizzy said elsewhere, have been overwhelmed by the panhandlers and that's an issue in a big city. Also like tizzy, you are a really charitable person. :hug: Also like he suggested, recognized charities is a good route to help the needy.

I like how you respond to the street peeps...no surprise. While I usually do respond in some way as I said somewhere above, many times I walk by without eye contact. That probably isn't right no matter how busy the sidewalk...even a nod would be a good thing. :wtf: If someone says "God bless" or Good morning" or something like that I'll respond in kind, but every single peep on the sidewalk deserves some kind of response to their humanity whether a dollar bill, greeting, smile or nod. That's definitely something I'll do from now on, whether they get money or not.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-08-06 9:34 PM
Good for you.

I think everyone should be acknowledged as existing and a fellow human, even if you aren't in a position to donate money.

But it is difficult when the approach is multiple times in one city block....
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-07-27 7:28 AM
I occasionally give to street musicians but not to those just asking for money.

It’s not often that I have cash on me.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:52 PM
Several peeps here have mentioned carrying little or no cash and that certainly is the trend everywhere.

Like you, I tend to give to street musicians (or other performers).
Parent - - By tahoeblue (spamkiller) Date 2018-07-27 5:15 PM
What about all of those juggling unicycle riders around you?
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-07-30 10:39 AM
You mean his son? I think it's just called allowance then.
- - By tizzy319 (gaping five hole) [us] Date 2018-07-27 8:12 AM
I pretty much never give $ to those on the street.  When I lived downtown, I was solicited between 30-50 times a day depending on where I walked. 

I do give to homeless agencies which can also help stretch my dollar further (they can buy in bulk) as well as attempt to have nutritious meals available.
Parent - By IB Date 2018-07-27 9:45 AM

>I pretty much never give $ to those on the street.


This is just about my situation as well. I will admit that when I do give it is usually to the guy with a sign or that just says "I won't lie, it's for beer".

>I do give to homeless agencies...


St. Vincent De Paul Society has a very good 'soup kitchen'. I figure if someone is too proud to go there but isn't too proud to beg for money, it's probably a scam.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:55 PM
One of our regular and favorite charities is the Bethesda Mission, which houses and feeds those in need (and with strict rules, too).
- - By JimGo1 Date 2018-07-27 8:47 AM
I hand out food like granola bars and stuff.  I need to restock the car though.   I have given change at times depending on the situation.   At the hospital the other day a lady asked for a dollar which is a coin here and I gave her one and she put it in the vending machine with what change she had and gave her kid some chips.   With my child's health crisis, people have donated a lot of money to us to help out with expenses so I try to return the good will where it makes sense.   Generally, I don't give out money though.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:56 PM
Granola bars or other nutrition bars is a great idea!
- - By Mookiethedog Date 2018-07-27 12:38 PM
NEVER!   I calmly ask them to step up onto the sidewalk and then I give them spare change when I know that they are safe. :hug:
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-27 1:57 PM
Haha. : pbbt: You're a good charitable dude. :hug:
Parent - By Mookiethedog Date 2018-07-27 2:21 PM
I'm not part of the problem...I'm part of the solution :hug:
- - By foggydoggy [us] Date 2018-07-27 3:54 PM
Depends on the day.  Here in San Francisco about 60% of them have either substance abuse problems or  mental illness or more frequently both.  I am kind of where you are.  I am willing to bet that my money frequently is ill used but sometimes maybe not.  And it is my belief that in order to get help they are going to have to believe that they have some sort of worth.   A couple bucks isn't much and I try to talk to them abit too.. I have no idea if it helps or not but I don't think it hurts either.  This is a problem without an easy solution.  I want to help but I'm also appalled by the behavior of some of SF's street people and the conditions of our streets.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-28 9:11 PM
You and I and a lot of others are kind of random about giving, as well as conflicted whether it's a good thing or not, as well as not knowing the solution to a multifaceted issue. Maybe thinking and talking about it helps, or maybe only our actions on the street make a difference. I don't know.
- - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2018-07-28 4:17 PM
This is what pastor at our church who is very heavily involved in community outreach/mental health/addition (he is in recovery and clean/sober 20 years, he is proud of that and talks about it all the time) does:

He carries water and energy bars in his car along with a couple of business cards listing his outreach program at the church as well as a couple of well known programs here in town. He will give these to anyone on the street or in his car whether or not they ask. But he NEVER gives money. He knows what being on the street on drugs means. He also knows what it means to get clean.

As far as giving to people with mental health issues, he is a very large bearded tattooed man...not a women with kids in a car...so doesn't face SOME of the issues some of might. He does say those of us volunteering at the ministry are doing good work and we don't have to be on the front lines to do good work. Recognizing most lay people without a degree in Social Services may not be able to recognize and/or handle a mentally ill person who turns violent. And sadly you can't really tell from the outside the difference from down on luck from criminal or mentally ill.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-28 9:33 PM
You are one of only a couple people mentioning mental health, but of course that's a huge issue on the street. Big or bigger than many other people asking for help.

I love your pastor's approach so thanks for sharing it. :hug: Not only for the giving, but a non-intrusive way of inviting peeps to better lives long-term. You're right that most of us can't really tell the difference between down on luck, criminal, mentally ill or any other reason why someone is asking for help/money.

While I love the water, energy bars and offer of other help, I'm not sure that I can agree with the NEVER MONEY bright line. That's kind of making an assumption that the recipient will spend it on drugs or booze instead of formula for his or her kid back at the shelter. Or a sandwich. For that matter, when we won't give money but rather take them to McDonalds we are making that same judgment that we know what they need, want, should and must have. Maybe a nutrition bar AND a buck is more humane than refusing to give money which may go towards baby formula, a pair of shoes or a walk-up apartment. :wtf:
Parent - - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2018-07-30 2:55 PM
he is probably coming at the money issue from when he was an addict knowing he would spend it on drugs.
The streets and jails are now our mental health housing. It is so sad.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-30 8:43 PM
Indeed it is sad. :meh: Of course, other options are there if the funding is there.
- - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-07-30 9:31 AM
As a rule, seldom. :laugh:  Most of the time, I'm put off by being asked.  My daughter is much more generous, and I'm trying to be a little more like her.

Another story:  This spring, in Hungary, I successfully navigated the bus and subway through Budapest.  Once I arrived at the train station, things went south, as very few people knew English, and I knew NO Hungarian.  I got hit up by a homeless guy with mental issues on the train, and he decided to accompany me all the way to the entrance of the campground where my race was being held.  He knew just enough English to communicate with me.  That was about four hours of very conflicting emotions, especially thankfulness (for somebody who could point me in the right direction) and fear (he had a very large and illegal knife, and I wondered if he'd use it to rob me).  He was very volatile, and at one stop, where we had to wait two hours for the next train, the security guards called for the police.  The Bible speaks of "entertaining angels unawares," and at times I've wondered...

After I got to the entrance to the campground - it was after midnight - I gave him all the large Hungarian coins in my pocket.  He disappeared, but I saw him at the station a week later when I boarded the train to return to Budapest.  We hugged.  I still have the Pepsi cap he insisted I take, as well as some ribbons he gave me, which I tied to my gym bag.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-30 8:37 PM
Except for my spree the other day, I fell in the seldom/occasional category too. You can't save the world by giving to individual peeps and sometimes you help kill them by giving, ya know. After reading everything on here and my own experiences, I've kinda decided to be more generous myself, and no surprise that your daughter is generous, but that isn't always a good thing as we all recognize. Maybe be more like your kid if you like, but I think the moral of all stories here is do what feels right, recognizing that it's great or awful whatever you do.

One of the more eye-opening things on here was that tizzy doesn't give on the street and he's maybe the most charitable person I know! That as well as everyone's comments here, knowing that all of us are pretty good souls, leads me to believe that there is no right or wrong answer if we act from the heart.

Your story speaks volumes! :hug: I'd say more but will let it speak for itself.
- - By brneydrnnr (barney cougar) [us] Date 2018-07-31 10:14 AM
I don't give money to the people that I see along my commute because usually they are walking into traffic at lights, etc and it's just not safe. the same set of people work the corners from the highway to my house, so you get suspicious seeing them day in and day out.

However, a few months ago mrbarney and I were getting paint near our house and an older lady asked me for money for food. we were in the same shopping center as a grocery store, so I told her that I didn't have any cash, but I'd be happy to get her something to eat. and she took me up on it. her name is Georgia and we went inside and she picked up some chicken legs and some tortillas. she said that she lives in a weekly rental hotel not far away and that what I got her was feeding 4 people (and that she was cooking in a microwave, yuck!). mrbarney just looked uncomfortable the whole time, but I feel like that made her day/evening just a little easier. I've seen her wandering around the shopping center again, and I would help again if she asks.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-31 5:19 PM
Yes good point about the peeps in traffic or otherwise unsafe. I sometimes have given to peeps on the safety island or curb out my car window if stopped at a traffic light, but more often just try to avoid eye contact, maybe because it's kind of unfair trapping motorists like that. In fact, the scam I mentioned somewhere above where I gave 50 bucks to the scammer was out my car window on a boulevard in Harrisburg after I had sat through 2 light cycles being scammed by the guy. :cry::blush:

That cynical stuff aside, I love your story! :hug: THAT is what makes you feel good, for good reason. :hug:
- - By Tommeke Date 2018-07-31 6:56 PM
I give them sound advise: "Why don't you get a job, ya bum!" :mutmad:
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-07-31 8:30 PM
:laugh: No you don't. : pbbt:
- - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-08-01 6:57 AM
You brought up the fact that some percentage of these people are going to be criminals, scammers, alcoholics and/or drug users.  That is a direct negative.  But, as a cold hearted analytical bean counting SOB I feel obligated to bring up the fact that, along with that direct negative, there is also a hidden opportunity cost associated with giving 1 dollar bills to people on the street.  For those that may not know what an opportunity cost is it is the loss of positive results from other alternatives when any particular alternative is chosen.  In this case one of the alternatives that was not chosen is giving the money in question to a reputable charity vice to a series of individuals on the street.  In other words, with exactly 500 dollars you can give 1 dollar to 500 separate pan handlers you pass on the corner...as already discussed, some higher than normal percentage of whom will be scammers, criminals, alcoholics and/or drug users - OR - you can give 500 dollars to a rehabilitation center that helps alcoholics and drug addicts.  You cannot do both.  If you care about bang for your buck I think most would agree that it is clearly more effective (i.e., the greatest good for the greatest number) to do the latter.  So...by giving money to the pan handlers you will not only inevitably enable some bad behavior but you will also accrue the opportunity cost of not having given that money to a more effective charity organization.
Parent - By tizzy319 (gaping five hole) [us] Date 2018-08-01 2:40 PM
:hug::hug::hug:
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-03 7:24 PM
:laugh: Thanks for your well-thought and logical response as always, quag. :cool: You even seem to have bought tizzy with your sort-of-nod towards charitable giving. :shocker!::hug:

More seriously, to what extent do you personally give via charities and/or on the street?
- - By Mickey [us] Date 2018-08-03 6:54 PM
I don't give. On campus, they routinely have info-emails sent out by the police department requesting that nobody give money, as they have found an increase in panhandling when reports of generous students make it around 'the street'.

I believe other organizations are better equipped to apply my donations in ways that have the most impact.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-03 7:37 PM
:happy: I've personally no problem with peeps not giving on the street...there are tons of reasons not to give on the street as illustrated in this thread, and I've mostly not given myself.

But I'm not sure that info e-mails from the police reporting an increase in panhandling constitutes a good reason not to give to panhandlers any more than an increase in puppies constitutes good cause not to feed the puppies. :wtf:

I do respect your and my and others' commitment to other organizations, like you say having the most impact. :cool:
Parent - - By Mickey [us] Date 2018-08-04 3:32 PM
The emails to the students are probably an attempt at counteracting the naivete of the undergrads. Being a private Jesuit school, there is an overabundance of "sheltered suburban" every year.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-06 8:03 PM
Got it. :cool: Although any kid going away to any school should have some street smarts, whether from parents, high school or experience. If any kid doesn't have those street smarts before going away to school, everyone responsible for the kid including himself or herself dropped the ball.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-08-06 9:38 PM
Many kids have NO street smarts whatsoever. And this is probably the parents' fault. I don't expect the HS or other entities to educate the kid in some respects.
Parent - - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2018-08-10 1:16 PM
Which is why I'm trying my best with G to expose him as I can. We took public transportation on our trips as much as possible and even walked back one night to the hotel even though it was a bit sketchy in areas (not unsafe but not scrubbed safe either) and I did have a chance to educate him a bit on the homeless and panhandling in the city. In philly we take the trolly bus and subway to downtown and train to NYC where we take subways or walk (no uber). I want him to learn about using public transit that he can get around a city safely just smartly. He's learning and he loved using google maps to find his way around the public system. Next visit I'm going to let him do all of it (and if he makes a mistake he is with me I can correct it).
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-10 8:11 PM
:cool:
Parent - - By PoopedColt Date 2018-08-11 2:40 AM
While we dont have to worry about exposing our kids to poverty, they are surrounded by that every day at school and around town, being comfortable in a big city and using public transit IS something I have stressed for our kids. The last several years, we’ve traveled to new places and usually use public transit. I wanted them to be comfortable to go wherever they wanted and not be limited because they were afraid to figure out the subways, buses, even planes for that matter. It doesn’t sound like much to a lot of y’all who travel all the time, but living in a small city where such things don’t exist anywhere nearby, and many people never go anywhere outside a 4 hour driving radius their entire lives... it is more of a big deal. My kids love it and have done well, and I have no worries about them being able to figure it out now.
Parent - - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2018-08-11 8:14 AM
So in relation - my child sees almost NO poverty around him. We live an an affluent area and he is pretty sheltered. This summer he went to a city school camp for robotics with kids from all the other schools in our county  - and he was the minority kid. Most of the others were asian, indian, black or hispanic and a quarter were girls. He had a blast and honestly I don't even think he noticed one bit, but when I looked at his new current 6th grade class for accelerated maths (they had to test into it) out of 24 kids one black child, one asian, and 3 girls.
Parent - By PoopedColt Date 2018-08-11 8:44 AM Edited 2018-08-11 8:46 AM
Whereas my kids' high school is 80-85% black, 5-10% hispanic, 5-10% white, and a small smattering of other. Jacob does seem to know the only Asian kid, Indian kid and Jordan kid in his grade. :laugh: and we have such a high percentage of kids on free lunch, that our whole school district gets free breakfast and lunch for all. And each year there are 400-500 freshman and that dwindles to 200-300 come their graduation. I am quite certain there are plenty of guns on campus every day. Fortunately, their final two years they attend(ed) the gov school. They spend 1/2 the day off campus in a cool building doing dual enrollment classes for English, math, sicence, and a big research project. It is an awesome program. Sort of like college without quite being in college. Those teachers treat them very different.
- - By neustkg (Important) Date 2018-08-10 9:54 AM
I don’t give anything to panhandlers.  They have at least doubled or even quadrupled in the last few years here.  Many are showing up on corners that you wouldn’t think they could get much as those intersections clear quickly.  I do give to charities in the area that donate things to the homeless.  They ran a story a few years ago in the Denver Post that mentioned that many are saving up for a fix.  They are so far gone that they live on the street and save up enough money to buy both drugs and a night or two in a cheap motel and then go there to get high.  I don’t want to contribute to their bad habit(s) or their eventual demise. 

I have seen more campers locally, too.  The local Walmarts allow you to stay in their parking lots for so many days for free (thinking they will buy stuff while they are there).  I think I’ve heard some of those people are panhandling locally.  Also, the local parks that allow camping tend to have “permanent” campers either in tents or campers.  Some of those may be retirees or others who decided to downsize and are living out of their campers.  They negotiate with the park to get lower rates if they stay longer term before they have to move to another park.  Those people may have legitimate jobs, but they might also be panhandlers.

Boulder and Denver provide a lot of services and meals for the homeless and are probably considered good places for homeless to migrate to from other states/regions with no services.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-10 8:04 PM
Like I said somewhere above, I totally get not giving to panhandlers, especially in big cities.

I also understand that you also recognize the value of public services for the homeless and other needy peeps. In a perfect world, those peeps wouldn't need to migrate to CO because they would be taken care of wherever they live. Whether from public or private sources, needy people need help by definition.
- - By sideshowbob Date 2018-08-10 11:31 AM
DW and I make frequent trips  to NYC and when there offer help to the homeless. Our methodi is when walking  around town ,to buy a take out or two from a food  truck and then hand the plate to  the less fortunate . This avoids helping to feed someone’s addiction and also possibly being scammed by some phony charity.asking for cash. It also helps a small business person a bit.
Parent - - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-10 8:10 PM
That's a good method, sideshow...as others have talked about. Helping small businesses is a bonus which nobody else has mentioned. :hug: But it's still presumptuous...you're making the assumption that the person needs a plate instead of money for rent or baby formula. :wtf:
Parent - - By sideshowbob Date 2018-08-10 8:37 PM
Yes , it is presumptuous , but  what are the alternatives ? No system is perfect .This thread is sounding like a cliché "let no good deed go unpunished "

thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.


Lock 'em up, I say !

Maybe other donors will give cash for rent and baby formula.
Parent - By NotSoFast [ca] Date 2018-08-11 8:15 AM
Note the Treadmill referenced as a torture device here....
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-08-11 8:45 AM
LOCK HER UP !!! :mutmad:

Oops, I thought this was the Hillary thread :blush:
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2018-08-11 10:30 AM
:grin:
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-08-11 9:40 PM
:laugh: That Christmas Carol exchange is perfect for the *reasons* not to be charitable.

I think every single person on this thread wants to be charitable, sideshow. :hug: That can take the form of cash or takeout from a food truck or a sandwich or a gift certificate or trip to a convenience store or even nothing at all so not to enable or because it's overwhelming. It's not always easy to give, and why I posted this topic. Personally, I've gotten some good ideas and feedback from you and everyone. :hug:
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