Panhandlers with props

Have any of you all had this problem recently in your area?
I wanted you all to know about something that’s going on, at least, on this side
of the U.S. Maybe they will migrate to your city, but, here’s their scene:

(about 2 weeks ago)Walmart parking lot:
white woman with child, and bucket, asks for money,
says she has been scrubbing floors all day, and needs
money: asks: “can you help me out?”

(Saturday, Feb. 9) grocery store parking lot:
young white male, about 20, empty gas can
in shoulder bag, says he is out of gas, needs money, asks:
“Can you help me out”

(Sunday, Feb. 10)Taco Bell parking lot: black man, with toy truck in original box,
approaches us, asks: “can you help me out?”

(about 3 weeks ago)White woman at Olive Garden in parking lot: has unusually large leg,
with a big sore on it, positions herself near spotlight in Olive Garden
lawn, says she needs money to pay for her medical bill,
“can you help me out?”

It seems TOO coincidental that they ALL have props, and they all wait until after
you come out of the store, to ask for money. And, they all say about the same thing!!

Ah yeah, the snow bums as we call them. All the homeless from up north come down here during the winter and panhandle. We have lots of them so the stories are really colorful. Be on the lookout for the travellers/gypsies too, they’ll be ringing your doorbell wanting to pressure wash your house, trim your trees, clean your sidewalk, etc. They’re notorious for ripping people off with their scams. One will be sweet talking you into a cheapo pressure washing while the rest that have hidden beside your house go through your house through your unlocked front door after the original one lures you out to your driveway to show you how he can clean it. It may sound harsh but I have no sympathy for these people.

thanks for the tip off! didn’t think about that!
my husband says if they REALLY needed help, they could go to the local shelters, and get help.

it really bugs me that they try to play off your sympathy.
AND< if someone REALLY needs help, you can’t tell the difference.

I am a nurse, and one day I saw one of my patients from the hospital in how wheelchair panhandling. I walked up and started talking to him, and he and I started “walking” down the street togehter (him wheeling, you know) and he ended up taking me to a VERY nice lunch, and paying for it.
Seemes he could make a couple hundred dollars a day this way. He told me how he had friends who had to make up stories, and use Gimicks (props) to get what they needed.

its a job to him, and it keeps him in cash to help pay for his meds and his drugs.

It is a scam, but it is also a job if its all you have, and its better than selling your body. no I have not been a scammer, or a hustler, but I have known a few. Not all are bad people

Yes I know they SHOULD be able to go get jobs, but something is in the way of that, and not always lazyness.

Let me stop, sorry


we had a guy approach us once for 49 cents…“I only need 49 cents to buy a burrito”…we had no change of course, so he got a buck and my husband told him it was because it was a good story. The guy winked at my husband. :slight_smile:

I recently read that in Boston, the average panhandler clears $40K a year, since that is all under the table and untaxed, they are making twice what I do in a year. Add to that the fact that in the Boston area, for every 12 beds in shelters, there are only 10 homeless people, and on an average night only 5 of them are filled. There is plenty of help available without me handing out cash on the street corners.

I will be the first to admit that I am very biased after a few very-unpleasant bordering on violent encounters with the local panhandlers. There was one instance where I tried to hand a guy my box of granola bars for the week instead of cash which was met with him swearing at me and demanding money. Then there was the guy who followed me all the way from the train station to work, about a mile walk, hounding me. There are plenty of ways to help people out, that don’t involve me risking my safety by stopping and getting my wallet out on the street.

Pick just about any truckstop in or near a major city and you’ll find dozens of these people, all with some sad story or other and many with their “props”.

I have seen some of the same ones in the same truckstops every time I go into them. These people would rather panhandle than get a real job. They pay no taxes and are quite often drug addicts. They are invariably scammers and con artists. Many of them are thieves as well. I have chased them away from my rig and other’s many times while they are trying to break in to steal something.

One actually had the nerve to try and rob me with a knife once. I pulled out my knife and showed him it was bigger than his. He decided to move on while I was calling the cops.

Keep your distance from these people, some of them are dangerous.

I too unfortunately have run into some of the more demanding/violent ones. I’m only 5’2, and used to work downtown. I had one guy threaten to shoot me at the bustop I was waiting at with about 20 other people. (I wasn’t that scared)And other’s follow me until I went into a store to hide.
I do admit to giving $ to a guy with a dog once though. good prop I guess.

I agree with Mason. We have some folks here who call themselves “urban tavellers”. They will chase you down and yell at you if you don’t “contribute”. Turns out most of them are there by choice. The audacity of them to scream at me, someone who works very hard for her money, telling me I’m a fascist capitalist is amazing. I just ignore them now but they have been known to get violent. A lot of them seem to have dogs that are abused and neglected.
There is another group of folks we call the “Trustafarians”. They wear dreadlocks, tye-dyed clothing and smoke a lot of weed. They claim to follow Rastafarianism but are mostly in it for the “sacraments”. Most of them seem to be trustfund kids who don’t have to work but just prefer to panhandle. It’s a big problem here.

I am fully aware that this was a dangerous situation and not funny, but this comment reminded me of Crocodile Dundee. :teehee:

We have these people, too. DH has seen a couple that trade off using the wheelchair. :roll: Do they really think we are that dumb? :doh:


There is a pair here that do that. They seem to switch daily and expect no one to notice. It doesn’t help that one is rather round while the other is rather scrawny and they’re always together. There is also another man who always seems to be at the same place every day and asks for odd amounts, like 87 and a half cents.

I was taught that anyone that purposely presents him or herself falsely is a scoundrel. And anyone that begs for money is lazy. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and sounds like a duck… It’s a duck!

I don’t mind feeding someone that needs food or helping someone who’s made a mistake. Life is very complicated at times. But, I’ll have to agree, when someone gets mad or threatens you, because you won’t give them money when they beg, they are dangerous.

Okay, I’m off the soapbox…NEXT!

I don’t like people who just sit and beg or demand/ask for money. I sometimes give to buskers if they’re playing some nice music that makes me smile.

Here in the UK we have a publication called ‘The Big Issue’ that genuinely homeless people can sell to make money. Sometimes I will buy that off someone.

It is a problem down here as well, but only in certain areas. My best friend lives in one of these areas and the other day a man was panhandling for money. He was holding a sign saying he was hungry and needed money for food. She didn’t have any cash with her, but she had a couple of packs of ramen noodles. She tried to give them to him, he refused because he wanted the money. He finally took them after she insisted.

But the part that gets me is why the heck did she have several packs of ramen noodles with her? :teehee:

if he’s homeless where’s he supposed to cook the ramen?

at least with some of them begging on the street, other people who want jobs don’t have as much competition with junkies for the privilege of sweeping walmart.

I know I should just ignore this topic, but of course, I can’t. I am sure I am going to regret this.

My mother lived on the streets for 6 months when she was 17 years old. Why? Because she ran away from a physically and psychologically abusive home. It was also at a point where an uncle was getting a little too friendly, and the family preferred to blame her for it than admit there was a problem.

So she ran away and lived in Detroit, in shelters and on the streets for 6 months before anyone would give her a job or a place to stay. She survived by panhandling…she had too much sense of self for prostitution, and she wasn’t a thief.

My mother has gone on to get her GED and to work her butt off to give her three kids a better life. She’s been married for almost 30 years and no one would ever guess that she was ever in that situation.

I am not naive…I realize that a large number of people panhandling are lazy and undeserving, but there are some who do it to survive for the time being, period. Since I can’t always tell which is which, I choose not to judge them, and instead offer them food instead of money. The ones who need it appreciate it, and the ones who don’t…well, who cares? It wouldn’t be the first time someone cussed me out.:wink:

The general tone of superiority on this forum today is uncomfortable for me.

I really don’t mean for this to sound harsh…I’ve just come to a place in my life where it is really hard for me to sit back and just let things go by without taking a stand of any kind.

I would much rather see a discussion of the theives who steal millions of dollars in S&L scandels or subprime morgate scans that talk sh*t about people with no power to effect real change in their lives and could use compassion rathern than scorn. I’d rather give small change to someone hungry on the sidde of the raod then thousands to some privileged dude ina suit.

Msoebel, I don’t mean to sound harsh, but keep in mind that the situation you described was temporary. My attitude and view is for those who take advantage and stay in this situation permanently and don’t try to better themselves. Your mother actually brought herself out of a very rough situation and made improvements and should be applauded. Just goes to show that we shouldn’t judge others til we been in their shoes and I sincerely apologize as I have had struggles of my own. Mary

There are [I]always[/I] people on the streets who are there because of dire circumstances and tragedy like your mom. I find that those people are [I]not[/I]the ones chasing me down demanding I give them money.

I certainly didn’t mean to appear superior as I am one paycheck away from being in that very position. I just have a problem with people who chase me down, scream at me and threaten me (and my daughter) when I don’t give them money-usually because I don’t have any.

Homelessness is a huge problem in this country. I give when I can and help where I can. But some of these people are homeless because that is the lifestyle they [I]choose[/I]. If that is the case, then I don’t feel I owe them money to help facilitate that lifestyle.

I am glad to see that your Mom was able to find her way through it. That kind of trauma is not easy to go through. She is a shining example of how we humans can overcome such adversity and come out better for it. And it is clear she has passed that on to her children.