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Old 11-28-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,486,879 times
Reputation: 9292

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Bob from down south wrote:
Time after time, I have seen the media follow these people home to a nice house or a nice, late-model car parked down the block from where they're operating their scam. If you're on the street asking me for money, then I get to look down my nose and evaluate whether you're one of the MANY scamming dirtbags
These guys are just like the politicians and banksters ( apologies to the bums! ). They all live in nice houses, with late model cars.....and they are always asking us for money.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,877 posts, read 6,340,959 times
Reputation: 17824
Interesting thread. I'm of mixed feelings about this, have had a variety of experiences and just have to take it one case at a time. I don't think people get rich panhandling. There have been stories about that...but I don't buy it. Most folks DON'T give money to panhandlers, often out of a justified concern for interacting with strangers. We were all brought up not to talk to strangers after all. Some have legit mental illness. Some have just lame life skills...bad choices, flailing about with drugs, alcohol, and excuses... Some of em really are scary. Some are just sad souls down on their luck. There are as many types of homeless as there are types of human beings, I expect.

Living in Cincinnati OH once, as a very young (and therefore invincible) 18 year old girl, it was an adventure to hang out in the bad neighborhoods. There were cool bars tucked into some really scary areas. I routinely gave money to the same people I saw over and again, and often chatted with them too. I feared no one and nothing (ah, to be young.) I do believe more than once that a couple of the older alcoholic men I gave change to kept me from being assaulted by others, because they "knew" me and I was "cool." That was 1997 ish...now that area is so bad the cops don't even go there, and I sure wouldn't either. I've got too much to live for now.

Once entered a WalMart parking lot in my car in Des Moines, IA and passed a young homeless couple on the way in, with a cardboard sign. They looked able bodied to me. I picked up 2 job apps (back when they were still paper) and on the way out of said parking lot, stopped and handed them to the kids. Dirty, dirty looks. "Sorry man, I don't have any change. It's the best I could do. They're hiring. Good luck to you."

On the other hand, my Mom totally scammed the system for government cheese (BAD!) but she never panhandled. That would have been too much work, sitting outdoors. She just would go sit in a diner and pour her tales of woe to anyone who'd listen, until somebody (I saw a waitress do so once) gave her $20.

Aside from the obvious economic problems and lack of jobs, I think right now Fed, state and municipal funding are being cut to many programs for the poor, and others are squirreling money and paying off debt, trying to see to their own security instead of giving charitably. There will be more homeless, and it is a bad time to be one. Y'all should see how it was in Portland, OR, before they ran em off from Burnside. Tarp bundles and camps of bums all along the sidewalks for blocks and blocks...and I know of an elementary school up here in WA where 25% of the kindergarten class is homeless, living out of shelters. That's a lot of kids. That's sad.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,231,530 times
Reputation: 2506
The new poverty is in the suburbs. It is that simple.
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,901 posts, read 7,105,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob from down south View Post
The h*ll you say. The night before Thanksgiving I stopped a street rat who was aggressively demanding money from a pregnant woman in the Home Depot parking lot at Woodmen and Powers. He was right in her face...after dark, and not taking "no" for an answer. He did, however, respond more positively to "leave now or I'll make you leave."

.
Same here Good one
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,901 posts, read 7,105,118 times
Reputation: 16186
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
...well, not really, because several months later as I was going up the escalator and a fellow going down said, "Oh, it's you. Wait for me at the top." Hmmmmmm. So I waited. I felt safe. Public place with security nearby. It was the guy I gave the $25 to. Paid me back and told me he had just been on hard times temporarily.

What a great story Now, I wonder how often that happens
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,486,879 times
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It probably doesn't happen very often, and even when it does, we won't hear about it thru the media. C-D is the place to be for those rare, newsworthy snippets!
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,901 posts, read 7,105,118 times
Reputation: 16186
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
There are certainly scam artists among those panhandling, but there is a quickly growing horde of newly homeless joining their ranks. These people may still have nice clothes left from the "good times" and they may even have a car if it hasn't been repossessed yet, but they are homeless nonetheless. For those of us who have jobs and income, it is easy to become "insulated" to the fact that the ranks of the destitute in this country are rapidly increasing, but they are. Many of those destitute folks got there by their own bad choices, but some got there by a combination of unwise choices combined with just plain bad luck, as well. All of this is not just happening in the metro areas like Colorado Springs, either. The small Colorado town I live in now has a number of homeless people roaming about town. The churches are trying to set up shelters so that they at least have a place to sleep where they won't be at risk of freezing to death this winter, but it is a challenge. The local food banks are strained to the max distributing declining food contributions to an ever-growing number of people in truly dire straits. All of this is just the tip of the iceberg compared to what is coming. No one is going to be secure from the severe economic pain that lies ahead for this state and this country. If you have a job, be thankful for it and hope that it doesn't disappear, because finding another may be a real challenge going forward. Also, if you have a place to live and food on the table this Thanksgiving, be damned thankful for that--because a lot of people in this country don't. Eat a little humble pie for dessert, too, because it can be way too easy now to wind up being destitute like those folks you see on the street.
Here, here, Jazz
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,756 posts, read 16,486,879 times
Reputation: 9292
I stand corrected for my statement in post #36 above. Here's a link to a feel good story about an ethical homeless man, published by USA Today. Can't get any more mainstream than that!

Homeless man's decision to return $3,300 changed his life
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:19 AM
 
16,197 posts, read 20,235,990 times
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I just read that link, and that story just made my day. Thanks Cosmic!
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:01 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,625,930 times
Reputation: 1923
Back in IL I was listening to Spike on WGN. A guy living in the trusses of lower Wacker called in. He had been homeless for several years.
Callers got him new clothes, a ride to MT and a job as a ranchhand.
Spike called his cell 2 weeks later to find out how he was doing.
You guessed it, he was back living under Wacker street.
For some folks (like the turtle and scorpion) it's just "their nature". RP
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