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Old 12-27-2015, 08:40 AM   #1
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What's your opinion and how do you handle panhandlers?

I work in Lansing, MI and for years now there have been several panhandlers at a lot of intersections of the city. They are out there in all weathers.

An article was ran in the paper stating not to give them money and the panhandlers who were interviewed said they made around $200 to $400 a week at their job. The paper stated that there were numerous city help centers for these people but they are overran with the needs of the community.

Where I live in a small town, we saw the first panhandler the day before Christmas. He had a sign stating he would work to buy his 4 kids Christmas.

I have been approached at gas stations, restaurants, and stores by people asking for money. I have no problem giving to people less fortunate but how do you know these people really need help?

How do you respond to these people when approached and asked for money? I have told them "No." I donate to several programs and that is where I choose to donate my money.


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Old 12-27-2015, 08:52 AM   #2
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I had a talk with a panhandler, nice guy. He told me when you see the guys with the gas cans never give them gas just give them the money. They dump the gas out on the ground.

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Old 12-27-2015, 08:53 AM   #3
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I politely tell them that I had to work for my money and I did not go to work to earn it and give it away, and end with they need to go apply for jobs. There is something for every age and something for everyone to make even a small amount of money. I would like to hire someone that needs some money to do my yard work............
Most that are sitting/asking simply are not interested in working for their money.
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:55 AM   #4
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Sadly I stopped handing out money to pan handlers. In my experience with that population most handouts are used for drugs and alcohol. I have offered work in the past. Not interested. I bought a bag of cheeseburgers for someone that said they were hungry. Not interested.

I even volunteered once to hand out holiday baskets to the less fortunate. It was a terrible experience. Out of the 10 baskets I delivered only 2 families seemed to really need it and to appreciate the basket. The other 8 openly complained that the basket was not enough. One lady even said, "this is supposed to be all we get for Christmas?" as she slammed the door in my face.

I just gave up trying to help
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mrt_1111 View Post
I had a talk with a panhandler, nice guy. He told me when you see the guys with the gas cans never give them gas just give them the money. They dump the gas out on the ground.
Why do they stand there with a gas can then? Is that just a decoy pretending that they need the money for the gas? This is one of many reasons I have given up on doing anything for these people because it is usually a fake need.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:24 AM   #6
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In '93 while on my way to work, I passed an elder man standing under the drive-up cover of a Bank of America. It was raining and he was just standing there, wrapped in an old dirty blanket. He was not standing at the curb asking for money, in fact he was rather in an obscured location. I just happened to see him in the corner of my eye. I normally do not give anything to panhandlers but this morning something touched me to give him a $5 bill. I felt if he was going to take advantage of me this day, then so be it. But he took the money and quickly ran to the do-nut shop across the street. That made me feel good and I made a good decision.

I still do not "feed" panhandlers.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:32 AM   #7
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I don't give them money. As far as I'm concerned if they have time to panhandle they have time to look for a job. IMO, there's plenty of legitimate charity assistance available to people.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:38 AM   #8
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I was in NYC last week and saw a few panhandlers . They were sitting on the floor with a cardboard sign, smoking cigarettes and talking on a cell phone. I got the impression that they didn't need my money. We volunteer at a soup kitchen and give to charities of our choice.

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Old 12-27-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
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If they are smoking or wearing high dollar tennis shoes is a sign that they don't need my money.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:48 AM   #10
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Most people who "look dirty" and "will probably just buy drugs or alcohol with it" are in a mental health crisis. When in such poor mental health they can not hold a job.

If you desire less panhandling, funnel your charity dollars for mental health for the poor.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:51 AM   #11
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I gave up giving to panhandlers when I saw one get up from a wheelchair and lend it to another.

There are people with legitimate needs, but I do not have the time or means to search them out.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:52 AM   #12
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I don't give money to panhandlers....in my experience it will frequently go for drugs or alcohol. I do support my local charities that help the homeless and needy. I know the money is actually being used for its intended purpose.
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:16 AM   #13
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There are some people out there who are unemployable and need the money to stay fed. I don't think it is a lot of people. For most of those you see, it is a way of using deception to avoid labor. I have encountered many beggars, and have been called expletives for offering to buy them lunch, have had them claim my wife's car was their "nearly out of gas car," etc.

The people who need help and are trying to improve are not on the street corner - they are in shelters, at labor-ready, volunteering their labor to make business connections.

What would you do if you needed money? When I was young, I knocked on doors and offered yard work. I was making $20 an hour doing this in 1975.

Give if it makes you feel good. If you have expectations on how they will spend it, you are making a business arrangement, not giving. If you want to improve lives, IMO, give to the charitable organizations that are professionals at improving lives.

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Old 12-27-2015, 03:37 PM   #14
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I have been known to offer to take them to a restaurant (if there's one they can walk to) and buy them a meal. Some accept, most don't! If you're a compassionate person, it's really hard not to get suckered in by these people!

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