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Old 11-16-2016, 08:39 AM
 
11,819 posts, read 9,736,637 times
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I have been panhandled twice recently, both times in the parking lots of well-known and well-regarded restaurants. Both panhandlers were women, the first a heavily pregnant young woman who was begging in the parking lot of a very popular pizza restaurant on Maxwell Avenue. She approached me twice, once upon my arrival and again at my departure, evidently not recalling my previous rejection and referral to the Salvation Army. Se also approached one of my friends with whom I had dined. She really was pregnant, and has given birth by now - hope that baby is in foster care. I do wonder if she was being trafficked, and in fact, referred to this upon her second approach, telling her if someone was making her do things she didn't want to do, she needed to go to the police. I also mentioned this when I called the police immediately after her second approach.

It happened again last night, this time outside a popular Chinese restaurant in the Palomar Center. As I was preparing to drive away, a woman knocked on my car window. I could not move my car without endangering her, so asked her what she wanted. She said she and her family were living in her car and asked for a handout, claiming to be broke. I told her to go to the Salvation Army, and asked why she was smoking a cigarette, if she was broke. "Someone gave it to me". This woman was very thin, looked as if substance abuse might be in the picture, and was probably in her mid-thirties, though she looked older. Both women were white.

I called the police in the first instance only because the young panhandler (early twenties) appeared to be within a week of giving birth and something about the situation indicated that trafficking might be involved. She was also within a block of a hospital, and may have had a car or someone with her, as she had added a light jacket to her attire when she tried to hit me up the second time - it was nowhere in sight initially.

Panhandling is illegal in Lexington, yet panhandlers are present at many New Circle Road intersections, usually with cardboard signs asking for handouts. There were two such at the Nicholasville Road shopping center containing ToysRUs a couple of days ago, a white man and a woman, each with their own corner and sign.

I am not a hardhearted person. I serve on my church's missions committee and am generous to trustworthy charities, including the Salvation Army. I know times are hard economically at present and are likely to remain that way and probably worsen. But I also know that drug addiction and abuse are endemic in this area.

So - have other Central Kentuckians also experienced restaurant panhandlers? I suspect the choice of restaurants is strategically designed to make those approached feel guilty.

I know I did what the police and others advise - yet I can't help but wonder if perhaps these were cases of genuine need; need of the kind I might have helped with a small donation. Yet...that first young woman had had nine months to plan for her baby in ways that excluded approaching others with "Can you help a poor pregnant lady?" And the second woman had a car, by her own admission, and had that cigarette, which I don't believe for one moment had been given to her. Why could she not ask the Salvation Army shelter for help?

The obvious answer is addiction, and perhaps trafficking in the first instance.

How can such problems be addressed? It's one thing for a panhandler to stand with a sign - quite another to be repeatedly approached outside restaurants, particularly after dark, with no assurance that the panhandler is alone and non-violent. Has anyone else experienced this recently, or do I just look like an easy target? (obviously, looks are deceptive).
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
9,276 posts, read 5,063,688 times
Reputation: 16864
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I have been panhandled twice recently, both times in the parking lots of well-known and well-regarded restaurants. Both panhandlers were women, the first a heavily pregnant young woman who was begging in the parking lot of a very popular pizza restaurant on Maxwell Avenue. She approached me twice, once upon my arrival and again at my departure, evidently not recalling my previous rejection and referral to the Salvation Army. Se also approached one of my friends with whom I had dined. She really was pregnant, and has given birth by now - hope that baby is in foster care. I do wonder if she was being trafficked, and in fact, referred to this upon her second approach, telling her if someone was making her do things she didn't want to do, she needed to go to the police. I also mentioned this when I called the police immediately after her second approach.

It happened again last night, this time outside a popular Chinese restaurant in the Palomar Center. As I was preparing to drive away, a woman knocked on my car window. I could not move my car without endangering her, so asked her what she wanted. She said she and her family were living in her car and asked for a handout, claiming to be broke. I told her to go to the Salvation Army, and asked why she was smoking a cigarette, if she was broke. "Someone gave it to me". This woman was very thin, looked as if substance abuse might be in the picture, and was probably in her mid-thirties, though she looked older. Both women were white.

I called the police in the first instance only because the young panhandler (early twenties) appeared to be within a week of giving birth and something about the situation indicated that trafficking might be involved. She was also within a block of a hospital, and may have had a car or someone with her, as she had added a light jacket to her attire when she tried to hit me up the second time - it was nowhere in sight initially.

Panhandling is illegal in Lexington, yet panhandlers are present at many New Circle Road intersections, usually with cardboard signs asking for handouts. There were two such at the Nicholasville Road shopping center containing ToysRUs a couple of days ago, a white man and a woman, each with their own corner and sign.

I am not a hardhearted person. I serve on my church's missions committee and am generous to trustworthy charities, including the Salvation Army. I know times are hard economically at present and are likely to remain that way and probably worsen. But I also know that drug addiction and abuse are endemic in this area.

So - have other Central Kentuckians also experienced restaurant panhandlers? I suspect the choice of restaurants is strategically designed to make those approached feel guilty.

I know I did what the police and others advise - yet I can't help but wonder if perhaps these were cases of genuine need; need of the kind I might have helped with a small donation. Yet...that first young woman had had nine months to plan for her baby in ways that excluded approaching others with "Can you help a poor pregnant lady?" And the second woman had a car, by her own admission, and had that cigarette, which I don't believe for one moment had been given to her. Why could she not ask the Salvation Army shelter for help?

The obvious answer is addiction, and perhaps trafficking in the first instance.

How can such problems be addressed? It's one thing for a panhandler to stand with a sign - quite another to be repeatedly approached outside restaurants, particularly after dark, with no assurance that the panhandler is alone and non-violent. Has anyone else experienced this recently, or do I just look like an easy target? (obviously, looks are deceptive).
I haven't run into it at any of the Restaurants, but we were at Palomar Shopping Center, and my husband was waiting for me in the car when a man approached and told my husband that his car broke down and asked him if he would give him so money for gas, then my husband reminded him that several months ago the same man asked my husband the same question...he had the same story then...run out of gas and needed gas money.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:12 AM
 
11,819 posts, read 9,736,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazee Cat Lady View Post
I haven't run into it at any of the Restaurants, but we were at Palomar Shopping Center, and my husband was waiting for me in the car when a man approached and told my husband that his car broke down and asked him if he would give him so money for gas, then my husband reminded him that several months ago the same man asked my husband the same question...he had the same story then...run out of gas and needed gas money.
Hmmm - very similar story to that I encountered. Actually, this story, with slight variations, is extremely common with panhandlers. I got hit with it at a Michigan Welcome Center off I-75 about ten or so years ago, in fact.

If this is happening regularly at the Palomar Center, the managers should make an effort to shoo off the panhandlers. I tried to call said managers after being approached the other night, but was unable to locate a phone number. If anyone else has better luck, please pm me. There is an online number which is no longer in service, but I can't find a current one.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:52 AM
 
17 posts, read 28,828 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I have been panhandled twice recently, both times in the parking lots of well-known and well-regarded restaurants.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Panhandling is illegal in Lexington, yet panhandlers are present at many New Circle Road intersections, usually with cardboard signs asking for handouts.
Your first two examples appear to be on private property and should be addressed by the property owners.

There is a current court case on panhandling on the intersections in Lexington:
Legal battle over Lexington's ban on begging set for Friday before state Supreme Court | Lexington Herald-Leader

As well as a recent decision in Louisville, which puts the responsibility on the State rather than local authorities:
Jefferson District Court judge rules Louisville's panhandling la - WDRB 41 Louisville News

I agree with your approach guiding the needy to local resources/charities to assist them. Supporting those organizations rather than giving money directly to individuals seems to be a path to reducing panhandling.
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Old 11-17-2016, 08:51 AM
 
11,819 posts, read 9,736,637 times
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mar-kelp: Thanks for the up-to-date information regarding the current court case. I hope a workable decision is reached tomorrow.

I did notify the Joe Bologna's hostess of the pregnant panhandler, who also accosted at least three more of my fellow diners. I don't know if the young hostess took any action or notified her supervisor (who may not have been present that evening). As I previously wrote, I called the police immediately after I was approached a second time, but didn't stick around to see if a squad car arrived to check things out.

I have not been able to find a telephone number for the Palomar Center's management. The woman who accosted me there was well-away from the restaurant where friends and I had just dined, so I have not contacted the restaurant. Perhaps that restaurant could provide me with management's contact info, however.

It seems to be a growing problem in many cities, and panhandlers appear to include some who are extremely intimidating, stepping in front of stopped cars, knocking on windows, "cleaning" windshields without the drivers' okay, then insisting on "payment", etc. These people have no shame.
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:12 PM
eok
 
6,684 posts, read 3,523,906 times
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The key issue is what crime the panhandler is charged with. Don't even accuse them of panhandling, because there is too much controversy about how constitutional laws against panhandling are. The possible charges that are far more likely to stick are harassment, obstructing traffic, extorting money by intimidation, etc.

If the person seems trafficked, the best approach might be to convince the police to investigate the possible trafficking, and not make panhandling an issue. You could take a picture of the person to give the police. You could also, if you have time, park nearby and watch them, to see what car they go to, and who else is there. You could take pictures of that car and those people and give those to the police too.

And when panhandlers are immune to anti-panhandling laws, another approach is to charge their clients. The panhandlers can't be made to pay civil fines if they have no money, but their clients can. The city could post signs saying there is a $500 fine for giving money to panhandlers. That fine could be enforced by collection agencies etc.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:40 AM
 
Location: Stone Oak, San Antonio
898 posts, read 728,751 times
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when i had this problem while living in Baltimore and it was cold out, I used to carry a couple of blank applications to work at McDonalds in my jacket. The dumbfounded look you get while they process what just happened is priceless. If they questioned me about it, I'm like "Look, anyone can give a quarter. I'm giving you a job."

Probably doesn't translate nowadays as I doubt that they take paper applications now.
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:05 PM
 
14,114 posts, read 6,945,980 times
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I live in an area where pan handling is common, not in Kentucky. Many or most of these people have cell phones and use the money for drugs and alcohol. I work in a big box store and they use the displayed sheds out front as shelters and a place to do their drugs out of the public's eye. It's so common that the police just ignores it. We find empty bottles of vodka, used needles and other things I won't mention there all the time.
What I do now, when I see one of them approaching me ready to ask me for money is I ask them for a dollar before they open their mouths. The look on their faces is priceless as they walk away.

Last edited by marino760; 11-23-2016 at 07:19 PM..
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:14 AM
 
92 posts, read 132,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashfearless View Post
when i had this problem while living in Baltimore and it was cold out, I used to carry a couple of blank applications to work at McDonalds in my jacket. The dumbfounded look you get while they process what just happened is priceless. If they questioned me about it, I'm like "Look, anyone can give a quarter. I'm giving you a job."

Probably doesn't translate nowadays as I doubt that they take paper applications now.
I feel your pain regarding panhandlers. I recently moved from DC & I'm sure you know there are a lot of panhandlers in that area.

Although giving a panhandler a job application sounds good in theory, in reality due to possible homelessness, transportation, mental, or substance abuse issues I doubt if they could get or keep a job.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Ohio
5,625 posts, read 5,756,351 times
Reputation: 6781
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
I have been panhandled twice recently, both times in the parking lots of well-known and well-regarded restaurants. Both panhandlers were women, the first a heavily pregnant young woman who was begging in the parking lot of a very popular pizza restaurant on Maxwell Avenue. She approached me twice, once upon my arrival and again at my departure, evidently not recalling my previous rejection and referral to the Salvation Army. Se also approached one of my friends with whom I had dined. She really was pregnant, and has given birth by now - hope that baby is in foster care. I do wonder if she was being trafficked, and in fact, referred to this upon her second approach, telling her if someone was making her do things she didn't want to do, she needed to go to the police. I also mentioned this when I called the police immediately after her second approach.
Why would you hope her baby is in foster care??? The salvation army can only do so much, maybe she has already tried them?

Quote:
It happened again last night, this time outside a popular Chinese restaurant in the Palomar Center. As I was preparing to drive away, a woman knocked on my car window. I could not move my car without endangering her, so asked her what she wanted. She said she and her family were living in her car and asked for a handout, claiming to be broke. I told her to go to the Salvation Army, and asked why she was smoking a cigarette, if she was broke. "Someone gave it to me". This woman was very thin, looked as if substance abuse might be in the picture, and was probably in her mid-thirties, though she looked older. Both women were white.
I have had that happen ( them walking up to your car) at the BANK and at Walgreens. If she has a car, then she has to have a little bit of money for gas at least.... You also have NO idea if she was on drugs
Quote:
I am not a hardhearted person. I serve on my church's missions committee and am generous to trustworthy charities, including the Salvation Army. I know times are hard economically at present and are likely to remain that way and probably worsen. But I also know that drug addiction and abuse are endemic in this area.
Moderator cut: personal attack
Quote:
So - have other Central Kentuckians also experienced restaurant panhandlers? I suspect the choice of restaurants is strategically designed to make those approached feel guilty.

I know I did what the police and others advise - yet I can't help but wonder if perhaps these were cases of genuine need; need of the kind I might have helped with a small donation. Yet...that first young woman had had nine months to plan for her baby in ways that excluded approaching others with "Can you help a poor pregnant lady?" And the second woman had a car, by her own admission, and had that cigarette, which I don't believe for one moment had been given to her. Why could she not ask the Salvation Army shelter for help?
A lot can happen in 9mo. A lot can happen in 9min.

You keep talking about Salvation Army but i bet you have never been there FOR help. ( no, working/volunteering there is NOT the same). You need proof of income, residency, birth certif and SSN cards for all members of the family. You need to go on the days and times they are open or by appointment ASSUMING they have funds to help you. They help with rent/electric, clothing, and food ONLY.

Its not easy or fun. Maybe the women didnt have everything and they were turned down, maybe they went too much ( some only let you go a certain number of times ) or didnt try it for one reason or another.

Thats like telling someone " Go get a job"...well yes that will help them better their situation but for the months of bills owed and the 2weeks until a paycheck comes in, what are they supposed to do??

Last edited by Oldhag1; 12-13-2016 at 04:12 AM.. Reason: Please do not respond within quotes, they won't be able to respond to you and isn't fair to them.
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