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zenstyle

Panhandlers

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"Hi, my wife and I are from out of town; she's about to have a baby and our car broke down. Can you give us some money to get to the doctor?"

If only once the guy would say, "We need money to buy a better script," we would gladly shell out!

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You should have said, "Why don't I call 911 for you". :P

I saw an article today in the paper that was about businesses (small dot-coms mainly) paying homeless people to add advertisements to their "will work for food signs", ie this sign payed for by www.joeshmoe.com. I didn't know whether to laugh at the creativity or be disturbed by the irony :huh:

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that leads to the interesting question of:

--how do YOU handle panhandlers?...

they are indeed an unavoidable part of the urban fabric...

I used to be very dismissive and annoyed in my younger years, but have mellowed with age and am more sympathetic than I used to be--I see a little of myself at my worst in all of them, and am more convinced than ever that sometimes doing a little good comes round eventually... (call it karma or good samaritan consciousness, whatever)... Now the first guy that asks me for anything, no matter how weird the story, gets a smile and ALL my loose change, every bit of it, whether its 25c or $3.75. I make sure I never take out my wallet, and I never give paper money, unless there just happens to be a loose single in my pocket. Then if another person hits me up later on, I can in perfect honesty tell him/her, that "I'm so sorry, but I gave all my change to the person back there", or "in the previous block".

At least I have given one person the benefit of the doubt, and for the rest of the evening I have a perfectly honest answer with everyone else to avoid all subsequent hassles...

:):)

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"--how do YOU handle panhandlers?...

they are indeed an unavoidable part of the urban fabric..."

We say, "Sorry; we don't have a dime!" For added pathos, Mr. Zenstyle turns out his pocket lining, in best Warner Brothers cartoon fashion.

publicus, you sound like a nice guy.

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I would gladly give to women and children or vets. Nothing gets to me like seeing these people hurting for money. Jim Bob, however , who's looking for change to get some booze, is out of luck.

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best i have heard-

sitting outside on talking my cell phone @ 12midnight in front of taps, this lady is trying to sell me a fake rusty gold chain for $20...i tell her its fake...she gets mad and walks away...only to return 1 min later stating "i forgot to ask, can i borrow a dollar" haha

asked her why? she said so she could clean the chain...haha

as she dashed off with my dollar, i shot her in the back.

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The other night when I was walking from Leo's back to Monroe Center along Ottawa, I noticed a new metal sidewalk bench along that stretch which was different than most of the benches along Monroe or in Veteran's Park....

It was a three seater bench, flat, but with actual metal armrests separating the three individual seating areas...Perhaps one of you who works downtown and has a camera can take a picture of it...

As I walked along Monroe, there were of course one or two street people sleeping on the benches there which had no such armrests....

Does anyone know if this is a deliberate plan of the city?

If so, I support rapid replacement of all old-style benches with the new type--at least all panhandlers would become mobile rather than reclining, lol...

:)

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The other night when I was walking from Leo's back to Monroe Center along Ottawa, I noticed a new metal sidewalk bench along that stretch which was different than most of the benches along Monroe or in Veteran's Park....

It was a three seater bench, flat, but with actual metal armrests separating the three individual seating areas...Perhaps one of you who works downtown and has a camera can take a picture of it...

As I walked along Monroe, there were of course one or two street people sleeping on the benches there which had no such armrests....

Does anyone know if this is a deliberate plan of the city?

If so, I support rapid replacement of all old-style benches with the new type--at least all panhandlers would become mobile rather than reclining, lol...

:)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

These benches with dividers have been used in railroad stations for a hundred years. They are specifically designed to discourage sleeping on the benches.

Also, re: panhandling There was a time when Grand Rapids gave out coupons for a free meal at a local shelter to business folks to give away. I got a few and when I gave one to a "hungry" person, he ripped it up, threw it on the ground and swore at me.

Cash for alcohol or drugs was all he wanted. I havn't given a cent to anyone since then (probably 10-15 years ago). All my donations to directly to organizations, churches and agencies that help homeless and hungry people without encouraging their addictions.

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--how do YOU handle panhandlers?...

they are indeed an unavoidable part of the urban fabric...

Either I must appear very wealthy or very gullible because I am always shamelessly asked for money. I will never give anything. The most common story is that they need money for bus fare. Though, once a guy tried to convince me that a bus ride cost five dollars. I gave him my transfer stub.

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Either I must appear very wealthy or very gullible because I am always shamelessly asked for money. I will never give anything. The most common story is that they need money for bus fare. Though, once a guy tried to convince me that a bus ride cost five dollars. I gave him my transfer stub.

Yah if the need money for the bus I would rather buy them a ticket. And its okay GRcentro, I get hit up for money too. Heck, one time in Heartside, some lady hit on me. It was, um, uncomfortable to say the least. I dont get hassled too much here though, its nothing like it is in Detroit or New Orleans.

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I used to live in Brooklyn. There was this poor, pathetic guy who I would see at the subway entrance every morning. I would always try to give him some change, and we developed a nice little routine of smiles and recognition. As I was recently out of school, I was perpetually broke, sometimes unemployed, but always believed the "karma" thing. I finally decided to leave New York, and gathered up all my change from the change jar, gave it to the guy and really felt like I had done a nice thing. A day or so later, right before I left, I saw the man walking down the street in front of me. Lo and behold, he walked up the stairs of a beautiful brownstone, let himself in. This was a home I could only dream of living in. OY! I guess the spare change thing was really working out for him.

You might ask, was I bitter? This guy I was helping was living better than I? No, it just makes me smile and look at the folks on the street and realize there is more there than meets the eye.

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There was this poor, pathetic guy who I would see at the subway entrance every morning. <snip> A day or so later, right before I left, I saw the man walking down the street in front of me. Lo and behold, he walked up the stairs of a beautiful brownstone, let himself in.

This is precisely the theme of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" tale, "The Man With The Twisted Lip". A journalist poses as a begger for a story, makes so much more money begging than writing, and decides to do it full time. He keeps it from his wife and family and pretends to "go to work" every day, disguising himself in ragged clothes and some facial masking!

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This was a home I could only dream of living in. OY! I guess the spare change thing was really working out for him.

A few weeks ago I was walking down Ionia, when one of the regulars asked me for some change. Having seen him passed out drunk in heartside park numerous times, I had grown tired of giving him directions to Meltrotter. I told him all I was carrying was benjamins. It was completely untrue, and probably not the smartest response, but it was broad daylight, and I know how to handle myself. The guys response? Thats ok, I can make change.....and he was serious

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best i have heard-

sitting outside on talking my cell phone @ 12midnight in front of taps, this lady is trying to sell me a fake rusty gold chain for $20...i tell her its fake...she gets mad and walks away...only to return 1 min later stating "i forgot to ask, can i borrow a dollar" haha

asked her why? she said so she could clean the chain...haha

as she dashed off with my dollar, i shot her in the back.

When I used to work on the corner of Division and Weston I was always asked for money, cigarettes, food, whatever. One guy asked me for 99 cents one day! 99 cents?? :huh:

One day while visiting a friend in Flint (yeah I know...Flint...the city with the constant grey cloud of depression hanging over it) a woman approached us outside of the RiteAid and gave us a very long sob story about her feminine hygiene problems. :sick: We finally gave he some cash and advised her to keep her private matters to herself and to come up with a better technique.

For the most part though, I do give a bit to those whom I really think need it. I would hate to ever be in that position and need another person to be understanding and generous.

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