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Old 12-27-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,271 posts, read 8,045,904 times
Reputation: 3194

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Last night in Fairbanks, there was a guy at the light going into WalMart with a sign wanting money. Some guy instead of going on a green light, waited for the guy with the sign to take his Money from out the window. The light turned red, the driver took off and the line waiting to turn had to wait for the next light.

Most people are only 90 days from being homeless.

You get sick, lose your job or something that stops your income stream and you start having the world close in on you. What bothers me is that there are those that are truly in need and then there are those that want to be where they are for whatever reason.

To help one you need to help them all and that is where the bitterness comes in. The guys on the street corner with a sign saying "homeless, please help". You give them money and they go get drunk. That isn't helping them at all.

Years back in Anchorage, I was going into a fast food Restaurant and a guy stopped me asking for money for a sandwich. I said "no", went inside and started to think about him being hungry. So I bought an extra Burger and took it out and said you still hungry? He said "yeah", I handed him the bag with a burger in it. He looked pissed, so I got in my truck and watched him. He walked across the street and met a buddy, he handed him the bag. That guy looked into the bag and threw it into the bushes. That wasn't my first such encounter like that, but it became my last.

Helping people at that level I realized was a wast of time and money. You need to have a safe place those that really want help can go. In Alaska there is places that provide meals and a place to sleep for those that do want to leave that lifestyle. When I had a company in Anchorage, I use to donate a lot of food to such a place, and at times go there to help out when time allowed. Those that really were in need, where given assistance on a personal level to get back on their feet!

Here by Fairbanks, there is a place like that and I donate food there as well, I just don't give drinking money to those on the street anymore!

Well except once, a guy had a sign last year that read "Hey, why Lie, I need
Beer money". I gave him a dollar for being honest...

Kind of interested what the rest of you think about giving money at intersections? Or on the street in general?

Last edited by starlite9; 12-27-2011 at 11:39 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:40 PM
 
322 posts, read 238,458 times
Reputation: 565
I agree with your comments. The same thing happens here in Virginia but probably on a larger scale. I see the same people with the signs in the same locations on a regular basis. I always look at there shoes. Most that I see have better shoes than me. I have also noticed that they sometimes work in groups that split up and reunite at the end of the day. It use to be just men. But now I see women and sometime they have children with them. The kids do pull on my heart but I'd rather give to a shelter cause I fell my money will go further and I have been scammed more than 3 times by folks with the signs on the corner. The other interesting thing is that they do not hang out or beg in the areas where people have high incomes - they are in the low to moderate areas where I live.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Yucaipa, California
8,334 posts, read 10,541,867 times
Reputation: 4626
Im surprised anyone would stand outside for long periods of time in the freezing alaska weather. Panhandlers annoy me & i avoid them as much as possible. I cant give what i dont have. Once a few yrs back a guy asked me for some spare change. I told him i have no cash & i gave him a little debby snack. He sure looked dissapointed.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,271 posts, read 8,045,904 times
Reputation: 3194
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4sankofa View Post
I agree with your comments. The same thing happens here in Virginia but probably on a larger scale. I see the same people with the signs in the same locations on a regular basis. I always look at there shoes. Most that I see have better shoes than me. I have also noticed that they sometimes work in groups that split up and reunite at the end of the day. It use to be just men. But now I see women and sometime they have children with them. The kids do pull on my heart but I'd rather give to a shelter cause I fell my money will go further and I have been scammed more than 3 times by folks with the signs on the corner. The other interesting thing is that they do not hang out or beg in the areas where people have high incomes - they are in the low to moderate areas where I live.

Years ago, I drove Long Haul Trucks for a bit. Was in a Truck stop going in for a break from the road. At the door was a young gal with a baby pleading for money to get home, she needed a bus ticket. So I gave her twenty bucks and went inside.

When I sat down for coffee, I was watching her out the window getting money from almost all the truckers that came in. Then she went out into the parking lot, and went up to a very nice SUV type of new car that was much better than anything I had and drove off. Came back though the area a few weeks later and stopped by a different Truck stop and there she was again, it appeared that Grandma was with her this time. Found out that was a pretty good scam, I guess they make hundreds of dollars a day with no tax to report and prob. are on the dole with welfare to boot.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:03 AM
 
16,106 posts, read 16,116,997 times
Reputation: 7153
Mark, I've done that before too. I stopped at a store one new year's eve a few years ago and there was a homeless couple outside hitting up people for spare change..clearly for booze. I gave them a couple of bucks...what the hell, let them celebrate, it didn't hurt me any.

One time a somewhat respectable looking woman approached me in a parking lot and wanted to ask me a question...I thought she wanted directions, whatever, and she asked for a couple of bucks. So I gave it her, and again, it didn't hurt me any. The last time I was hit up was by a young hippie looking couple outside a store here and I gave them some cash. But I get hit up so seldom that it's always a surprise to me.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
5,384 posts, read 7,250,789 times
Reputation: 3386
I change signs, depending on the mood I'm in.


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Old 12-28-2011, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Valdez, Alaska
2,758 posts, read 2,396,654 times
Reputation: 2661
In Tampa there was a guy who hung out at the local Wal Mart (which was across the street from the bus station) asking for money for a ticket to the next town. Saw him at least five times there, until he changed up his routine and started hustling at the nearby Target store. There are lots of scammers out there, and they can apparently do pretty well.

On the other end are people who really are destitute but don't want long-term help. I have plenty of alcoholism in my family, and wound up briefly homeless and in serious trouble as a teenager as a result of my own substance abuse problems. For a time there was nothing anyone could have done to help me, but I will always be grateful to the people who were still there when I was willing to straighten myself up. It's hard to tell who is worth the effort at any given time. A few bucks probably won't make too much difference either way, but may bring someone some comfort.

Shelters can be dangerous and overcrowded, but there are some charities that are definitely worth giving to. There was a group I gave to regularly down in Tampa called Homeless Helping Homeless, a group of former homeless people who had started a shelter and asked for donations at intersections. They seemed to be on the right track. And the other day I read about an assisted-living center for alcoholics in Anchorage that even takes in people who aren't ready to give up drinking, which I don't think is a bad idea. Give people stability and it may help them turn around. Keep them on the street and they always have that need for a crutch.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
13,063 posts, read 14,697,640 times
Reputation: 8441
Most times there are two or three guys that work shifts by the Fred Meyer parking lot on the Old Steese. What they do is to have one begging for money for two or three hours, and then the other guy takes over and does the same.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,013 posts, read 25,359,888 times
Reputation: 13285
This last summer Sweden and I were approached by a younger looking guy asking for a cash handout. Just so happens he was on a very nice looking bike and dressed better than me. I told him to go pawn his nice looking bike if he needed money that bad, or better yet cycle himself around and apply for some jobs we had seen as help wanted posters in a couple windows nearby.
He just said thanks but no thanks and rode off.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:45 AM
 
2,466 posts, read 1,979,401 times
Reputation: 4241
I still think a town in Oregon had the right idea. There was a sign posted just off I-5 that said any motorist caught handing money to panhandlers would be fined.

Oregon town bans drivers from giving to panhandlers - seattlepi.com
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