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Old 08-03-2009, 07:44 PM
 
Location: WI
436 posts, read 1,588,905 times
Reputation: 482

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Got back from our yearly trip and this time when we were in Missoula we noticed MANY panhandlers begging for money and food. Didn't see this anywhere else. What's going on??

Thanks! Dea
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:04 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
6,023 posts, read 11,880,577 times
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The beggars are the same types you'll find in Portland Oregon, dirty dread-locked young runaway types and many are homeless and addicted to drugs (mostly heroin). Missoula as well as Portland Oregon are dominated by liberals who turn their heads the other way, ignoring and allowing the problem. These types are not tolerated in most other cities in Montana (there may be some in Bozeman also). These cretins generally are run out of the small towns as soon as they arrive.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,581,125 times
Reputation: 2952
If they're like panhandlers most places, they're professional beggars, not homeless at all. A good pitch (a beggar's regular "workplace") is worth up to $100 a day -- why do real work when passersby will give you money just for looking pathetic?

Real homeless people are usually too proud to beg.

Funny thing is, you see a lot more career beggars in liberal areas, yet per IRS records from candidates for office (who must make this info public), conservatives give 5 times as much to charity as liberals do. There's a big difference between offering help, and demanding it.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:07 PM
 
189 posts, read 293,464 times
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I worked at a rescue mission for several years. The executive director of the mission told an interesting story about a "homeless will work for food" guy. He stopped and asked the guy if there were any shelters he could go to. He said, "they're all full." "Oh, really?" answered the director of the shelter. He handed the man his business card, informed him that they have 72 beds, that only 32 were currently occupied, and offered him a ride to the mission where a nice meal would be waiting for him.

He refused.
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:30 PM
 
Location: WI
436 posts, read 1,588,905 times
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Thanks for the replies. All the other times we've been through Missoula we don't remember seeing any panhandlers. These people were younger and SCARY looking. I know the economy is bad everywhere and there are more people losing their homes but seemed odd because it's the only place we saw them.

Like I said, they're scary looking, so they make an impression. In WI we have some professionals that probably make more in a year than I do. Kind of makes me cynical so I won't give to panhandlers - prefer to give to organizations that I can research.

Thanks again for the replies.

Deanna
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:17 PM
 
311 posts, read 627,829 times
Reputation: 225
Not every person with a sign is a bad person. Have you ever stayed in a shelter before?They are unsanitary and unsafe, its better to sleep outside.I was laidoff last fall and I am about to fly a sign to try and get some work or some help.In fact I have a bus ticket ti missoula and am going to try to hitch it to bozman.I have no money and flying a sign could be a lifesaver for me, so stop bashing it, its a constutional right to ask for help, free speach,as long as you are not agressive towards people.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,525 posts, read 7,798,199 times
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Actually, considering the stories I have read about these folks, I have been tempted to join them. I could park the car someplace, and stand on the corner with the cardboard sign; " Viet Nam Veteran, Tropic Lightning" (true), "out of work" (true, I'm retired) "Need help" (true, doesn't everybody?), "any amount will help me get out of your town" (true, I live outside the city limits).
Just think, tax free income, only "work" a couple hours per day!
I even have the BDUs to wear, and the little dog to create sympathy!

Nah, nice thought, but it would upset my kids too much.

The last one that I gave money to was holding a sign that said "I won't lie, I need it to buy beer!"
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:43 PM
 
189 posts, read 293,464 times
Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by tired-of-mn View Post
Not every person with a sign is a bad person. Have you ever stayed in a shelter before?They are unsanitary and unsafe, its better to sleep outside.I was laidoff last fall and I am about to fly a sign to try and get some work or some help.In fact I have a bus ticket ti missoula and am going to try to hitch it to bozman.I have no money and flying a sign could be a lifesaver for me, so stop bashing it, its a constutional right to ask for help, free speach,as long as you are not agressive towards people.
The mission I worked for was NOT unsanitary or unsafe. The guys in the 6-month drug and alcohol rehab program (we had this in addition to the "emergency shelter") cleaned the place from top to bottom every day. Everyone who slept in the shelter was required to shower before bed. Linens were changed every day. Food was prepared by paid professional cooks and served by guys in the program. (They did the dishes too.)

Safety was not a problem either because the building was secure and everyone well supervised. Very little hanky-panky ever occurred. Lockers were provided to secure possessions over night. Everyone knew to be on their best behavior because anyone who acted up would never be allowed back again.

I don't doubt that many shelters are not as good as the one I worked for. And by all means, you have every right to ask for help. But people have every right to ignore you as well, or like our executive director did - offer some real help.

I have bought food for panhandlers before. I would NEVER give them money, however. All too often you end up just feeding whatever bad habit got them in trouble to begin with.

I do wish you the best of luck in getting yourself on your feet again. I'm in this forum because I'm planning to move to MT, so I'm not actually there yet to be able to offer you any help. But I do hope you find the help you need.

EDIT: If you want info on the rescue mission I'm talking about, PM me, I'll send you a link. It's a block away from a bus station.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:09 PM
 
Location: UK
296 posts, read 729,516 times
Reputation: 316
The first two responses to this discussion show just how sick some Americans can be. Why label people as "liberal" or "conservative"?? It is dividing the country and seriously causing deep rooted problems. The country is in a hell of a mess as it is - the people need to unite and work together.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:55 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 4,008,739 times
Reputation: 1682
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plain Jane 3953 View Post
The first two responses to this discussion show just how sick some Americans can be. Why label people as "liberal" or "conservative"?? It is dividing the country and seriously causing deep rooted problems. The country is in a hell of a mess as it is - the people need to unite and work together.
I completely agree. One thing I learned living in Montana is that many of its residents have a unhealthy obsession with labeling everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, as either "liberal" or "conservative". It got annoying real quick.
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