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Old 12-04-2013, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,545,776 times
Reputation: 3200

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
Yes it was, because people who don't know very much about homelessness are tiring.
I agree, you don't know very much but most importantly, did you sleep well?
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: If I tell you, will you visit?
888 posts, read 915,953 times
Reputation: 975
I am a jerk! If you are a white man, two arms, legs, can clearly ask me for money, or hold a sign on the same corner for 8 hours a day...I'm most likely not only, not give you money, but question you on your choice. For several years I managed a landscaping company. I would offer them a job either on the spot, or I told them that I would pick them up at that spot at 630 the next morning. NEVER, EVER did one of those guys show up.

If you appear to me that you have something, anything, that sways the benefit of the doubt, I'll give. But where I live those aren't the ones panhandling.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 459,369 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy1190 View Post
I agree, you don't know very much but most importantly, did you sleep well?
It is really irritating dealing with someone like you and quite an effort to remain somewhat polite. To take it from the top, I am homeless. I happen to be at my Mom's for Thanksgiving. That's the sort of arrangement my family has, a few weeks here and there. The rest of the year I'm on my own.

Homeless people do use the internet. An old laptop and an unsecured wifi signal works fine. My main laptop is 6.5 years old; my backup hand-me-down laptop is 8 years old. At 2 AM I could be in a 24 hour McDonalds parking lot and probably not paying for anything. It's generally not their pay grade to come mess with people who are mooching the wifi. I could be parked in front of a coffee house, it might be open or closed. Or near certain hotels. If I was on foot instead of car based, maybe I'd be using a library computer during the day. I have actually seen a couple of on foot guys with laptops, plugging in late at night, in the doorway of some business that had a plug and an unsecured signal nearby.

Again, you seem unaware that there are degrees of homelessness. I won't hang out with beggars; they aren't going to be my friends. Generally my friends end up being anyone who doesn't find some reason to ask me for money.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,545,776 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
It is really irritating dealing with someone like you and quite an effort to remain somewhat polite. To take it from the top, I am homeless. I happen to be at my Mom's for Thanksgiving. That's the sort of arrangement my family has, a few weeks here and there. The rest of the year I'm on my own.

Homeless people do use the internet. An old laptop and an unsecured wifi signal works fine. My main laptop is 6.5 years old; my backup hand-me-down laptop is 8 years old. At 2 AM I could be in a 24 hour McDonalds parking lot and probably not paying for anything. It's generally not their pay grade to come mess with people who are mooching the wifi. I could be parked in front of a coffee house, it might be open or closed. Or near certain hotels. If I was on foot instead of car based, maybe I'd be using a library computer during the day. I have actually seen a couple of on foot guys with laptops, plugging in late at night, in the doorway of some business that had a plug and an unsecured signal nearby.

Again, you seem unaware that there are degrees of homelessness. I won't hang out with beggars; they aren't going to be my friends. Generally my friends end up being anyone who doesn't find some reason to ask me for money.
Well I hope you resolve your situation. Why would I ever bash you for being homeless though? You were just pretty aggressive in your posts simply because I was defending people who have to beg and panhandle. None of us know their circumstances. Maybe they don't have families at all that could put them up for any length of time and try getting a job with no fixed address and having not showered for weeks or months.

I'm angry at the system not the individuals. Many of those people are also mentally ill. I saw one guy who seemed to have Parkinson's Disease panhandling at an intersection near downtown. I gave him all of the loose change I had in the car and he was actually a very nice guy. If he goes and spends it on beer to alleviate some of the misery of living on the streets I wouldn't blame him.

Anyway i hope you manage to get things together. Keep us updated.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 459,369 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy1190 View Post
You were just pretty aggressive in your posts simply because I was defending people who have to beg and panhandle. None of us know their circumstances.
That's just it; I do know their circumstances. I use exactly the same services as they do, just less of them. I managed, through financial discipline, to get my burn rate down to $250/month recently. That was without food stamps, supporting a dog, and putting small amounts of gas in my car. It took NC almost 4 months to give me food stamps, they really messed up my file. Now my monthly expenses will probably total $100 cash, as most of what I had to spend on was food.

I fish people's leftovers out of trash cans. That's not as icky as it sounds, because generally people have just deposited the leftovers from a restaurant in a well sealed container. Or if they're more conscientious, they don't put it in a trash can to begin with, they just leave it out on a newspaper box. The only real risk is if you're worried about people's diseases, and I'm not. I've met homeless people who have looked at me funny for doing the trash can diving, who have said I can do better than that. They're right; I know they have plenty of food. But I don't want to show up at the soup kitchens every day, because it's inconvenient, I prefer to control most of my diet, and the street leftovers are often pretty good.

When I say "inconvenient," I mean I actually have a purpose for what I'm doing. I'm not just sitting around in my car having a swell time. I'm supposed to be returning to the computer industry somehow, which means spending lots of time on my computer. That means hanging out near electricity and wifi sources. Going to soup kitchens and food pantries decreases the number of hours I have in a day to do what I need to do. I work plenty; I just don't get paid for it.

Quote:
Maybe they don't have families at all that could put them up for any length of time
My family doesn't put me up for any length of time. I probably get about 2 months out of a year in total. 10 months I'm on my own.

Quote:
and try getting a job with no fixed address and having not showered for weeks or months.
I don't shower at all. I don't happen to smell, at least as far as I'm aware and friends tell me. I remain clean because I'm living out of a car and have the room to carry multiple changes of clothes. I do laundry once a month. If I were sleeping on the ground, I'd probably need to shower. It can be accomplished with a plastic jug, filled with water left out in the sun, and a bar of soap. Or if it's too cold for all of that, you could just go to a homeless shelter to get it done. I don't because it's inconvenient and I don't need it, but if I did, I know it's there. Lack of cleanliness is a choice, a reflection on one's state of mind. I see plenty of homeless people who aren't obviously grimy or smelly, so I know they're making those choices.

These people don't need jobs to survive. All they really have to do is eat and get some medical care. You don't need to beg to eat, and because there's so much free food in various cities, I assure you they're not usually begging to pay for food. They're not collecting change to pay for medical care either. It's for drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. If they're flakes and have a car, they might tell you sob stories about "running out of gas." Yeah, that's because you chose to drive cross country on the public's gas money! I'm wise to that; it's called "gas canning."

Quote:
I'm angry at the system not the individuals. Many of those people are also mentally ill.
Some are; others are just addicts. On one level I pity the addicts, because it's what's keeping them down. It's one of the big reasons they stay that way, and have so little compared to what I have. I'm not drinking, smoking, or shooting my limited resources away. I don't have any monkey on my back. I may have sympathy, but addicts are still addicts not to be trusted. That's why I mostly don't associate with them, and on the rare occasions I do, I'm very good at saying "No." Hung out with a balloon maker in one city, a guy who plied a legitimate trade of making animal balloons for children and hitting the parents up for money for it. He entertained and as far as I was concerned, he was earning his money. It was really sad to watch him drink his money away.

Quote:
I saw one guy who seemed to have Parkinson's Disease panhandling at an intersection near downtown.
And you think this guy doesn't get plenty of government services for his disability? Mind you, I don't want his life, but money isn't his problem. I've got friends who are on various kinds of disability. I don't want to trade places with them, I'd rather be healthy. But they have all kinds of discretionary income that I don't. Since I have rich parents, I make out pretty well at Xmas and birthday, but that's it. I have to stretch those funds as long as I can.

If you actually live in a neighborhood overrun with homeless for awhile, you'll start to realize that some of them are actually fakers. They have roofs over their heads, in the public housing. They're just out there to beg and get free money.

You're not alleviating anybody by giving them beer, cig, and drug money. You're enabling them.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Long Neck,De
4,792 posts, read 6,790,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvanevery View Post
Food only, never money. And nowadays, I question even giving them food. I know from experience that in a lot of places, food is easily obtained from food pantries, soup kitchens, and food stamp cards. I'd volunteer to help out with food pantries and soup kitchens, but since I know those services are available and anyone with minimal life organizational skills can avail themselves of the services, I don't feel I have to personally provide food right when someone asks me for it. That person is being really lazy about getting food, like I'm some kind of convenience store for them. I might give them something anyways if I have something I don't want, but I don't feel I owe them, because I know they're not actually desperate for food.

Most homeless are panhandling to get money for drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
We used to have a guy would stand at busy intersections with a with a sign "Will work for Food" People who tried to give him food got cussed out. He demanded cash.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 459,369 times
Reputation: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by longnecker View Post
We used to have a guy would stand at busy intersections with a with a sign "Will work for Food" People who tried to give him food got cussed out. He demanded cash.
Another thing that "regular, well meaning" people don't tend to realize, is that at this economic level, there's a big population of serious moochers. It's not all of them, not by any means, but there are a lot of kinds of people that if you give them an inch, they will try to take a mile. I'm sure it's an environmental reaction, probably nobody did much of anything for them, so they've internalized a complete lack of compunction about living at other people's disadvantage. Lying is a big survival skill for such people. They will lie shamelessly, and when they are caught lying by an intelligent person, they will continue to lie in a childish attempt to cover up being caught, because they really have nothing to lose by lying at that point. I had a friend in the public housing who was overly generous and prone to getting taken advantage of by such people. Fortunately over time, with some prodding from myself, he became less of a sucker and developed more of a spine. The ability to say "No," and the willingness to recognize that a person is actually a manipulative liar, not downtrodden at all, is important when dealing with such people.

Panhandling works because there are large numbers of people with very little experience with manipulative, lying people. They feel "normal" levels of human sympathy for someone else's apparent plight. They feel guilty about contributing to it somehow, because they have more money. But handing over the spare change doesn't really show a lot of thought about who these people are, what their circumstances are, or what the societal circumstances that molded them in this direction are. It's really a cop-out; "I don't know what to do about this, and I feel vaguely guilty, so I'll just give him/her what he seems to want."
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Utica, NY
1,912 posts, read 2,545,776 times
Reputation: 3200
Well bvanevery, I am impressed with your survival skills. If thee were to be some kind of apocalyptic event on earth you would probably be one of the ones who survive while others perish from not knowing what to do. Still no one (including you) should need to live that way in a developed country. I know that doesn't help you much but you are one tough individual. Maybe on the times you have internet access you could keep some sort of blog or even write a book on survivalism. What can I say? I can't argue with you but I didn't know your situation and just thought you were another 'have' bashing the less fortunate.
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Old 12-04-2013, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
321 posts, read 459,369 times
Reputation: 205
I could be a "have." But I can't stand most of what goes on in the computer industry, and I'm determined to find a way through it that I'm happy with. Happiness is far more important to me than material possessions. I am unwilling to rot in front of a workstation just to have a nice apartment, a nice car, and meet other people's expectations and social approval. Nobody has ever advertized a computer job that gives both creative freedom and quality of life, so I'm still trying to make that job description for myself.

I can fix my own car, as long as it's nothing major. I took the time to learn that particular "apocalyptic skill" when I had more money. It made no economic sense to do it, in hindsight, as I spent a ridiculous number of labor hours on it. But I do have a skill now, and I'm immune to being gouged for minor repairs. For instance, I need to put new front brakes on. $25 worth of brakes and a $17 used torque wrench oughtta cover it, over and above my existing equipment. I carry all my important tools in the wheel well of my car, including jack stands, in case I need to do something while I'm on the road. This stuff is far easier to get done at my Mom's though.

I am not exactly The Road Warrior, even though that was part my romantic imagery for why I learned how to fix cars in the 1st place. My car also does look the part, a rusty 80's car. Cars turn out to be a lot of boring labor, not romance. But I am more psychologically hardened than most of the public. I've been through bankruptcy, homelessness, and versions of poverty. I'm still here. I'm still working on my goals, and won't stop. If anything disastrous happened to the country, I would handle it better than most people, although I'm not going to pretend I would be unphased. You can do a lot when you have to.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
5,081 posts, read 12,971,816 times
Reputation: 10648
What happened to government run Insane Asylums and Poor Farms, where unfortunates were housed, fed, and kept off the streets and out of the way?

According to certain political views, the government has hundreds of FEMA concentration camps ready for use.

They would probably make great Bum camps.

Certainly better than the homeless camps built of cardboard and blue tarps.
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