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  #1  
Old 01-22-2006, 01:14 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Vancouver panhandlers

Are panhandlers in Vancouver, BC more aggressive than in other places? Every time I go there it seems they are. Yesterday one followed us for a couple of blocks, begging for a hand-out the whole way. We saw an old guy in Gastown begging (loudly, at a distance) money from a couple of women who were standing near us for about five minutes solid.

I never saw this level of tenacity in L.A. There, a simple 'no' or 'Sorry' has always sent them on their way. I've never had to escalate to a 'Piss off'. (Maybe they're just afraid of being shot!)
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2006, 01:21 PM
capybara capybara is offline
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The worst I've met were in SF-- Haight and Market-- tenacious and frequently abusive. Powell Station-- Ugh. Portland and Seattle also have some strange ones.
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:09 PM
Neptunian Slug Neptunian Slug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capybara
The worst I've met were in SF-- Haight and Market-- tenacious and frequently abusive. Powell Station-- Ugh. Portland and Seattle also have some strange ones.

I would concur with San Francisco having the most agrressive panhandlers although I have not been to Vancouver. I am a bit surprised since I thought that the city of SF had more resources from the homeless that we have out here. I would think that they wouldnt have to resort to the aggressive side. Personally, I think the bums in Philly, NYC, and DC are tame compared to SF.

The guys in NYC seem to be more creative than aggressive. I wanted to take up one guy's offer of "Tell me off for $1.00!".
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Old 01-22-2006, 02:51 PM
Kyla Kyla is offline
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Never been to Vancouver, but the IME the worst pandhandlers are in Mexico City, where they practically attack you to buy crap when you stop at a red light. (Or a green light, or because you just feel like stopping in the middle of the street for no reason. Just an observation I've made of Mexico City drivers.) I particularly remember a guy trying to get my cousin to let him wash her windshield, and when she said no, he sprayed his soap in her face. Nice.
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2006, 07:19 PM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
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The worst for me was in Calcutta, India. A guy with no legs chased my wife for about 100 feet on his "skateboard" right outside the gate at the airport. She is Taiwanese so he must have figured she was an easy mark and he wouldn't give up. I saw lots of Japanese giving money to the beggars so he might of thought my wife was Japanese. I noticed that the beggars hardly even asked the American, European or Aussie tourists.

Vancouver must be a tough place to be homeless. Its so cold in the winter!
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2006, 07:26 PM
Ty Cobb Ty Cobb is offline
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The panhandlers I've seen in other towns are mostly sad sacks, but some everywhere are aggressive. I think those must either be new to the game, or are desperate for a fix.
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  #7  
Old 01-22-2006, 08:34 PM
Balduran Balduran is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangosteen
Vancouver must be a tough place to be homeless. Its so cold in the winter!
It happens to be one of the easiest places in Canada to be homeless because of the comparatively warm winters. I also noticed the panhandlers in gastown were pretty agressive. From what I gather, it suffers the same problem as San Fransisco, other provinces encourage homeless people to move to Vancouver (even to the extent of giving them 1 way bus tickets).
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  #8  
Old 01-22-2006, 08:34 PM
Pensandfeathers Pensandfeathers is offline
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In Seattle, the homeless are a bit aggressive in Pioneer Square and Capitol Hill, as far as I can tell. I also admit that I'm a bit jumpy.

I've had a few people follow my car as I'm trying to park, then they wait by the door for me to get out. The first time this happened, I panicked and gave the woman a few dollars. It was my first time downtown and I'd never been near a homeless person before (I'm from rural-ass Utah), so I didn't know how to react to her. It has happened twice since then, both early in the morning when its dark, and both in parking garages. I told one I'd run him over if he didn't move, and I yelled at the other guy when I got out of my car, "don't fucking scare people like that!"

He acted startled that I reacted that way, saying, "I'm not gonna hurt you."

"How am I suppose to know that?"

He walked off mumbling to himself.

I don't recommend yelling at them, as many of them are not exactly mentally stable, but they caught me off guard and reacted accordingly. These people are the reason why I have pepper spray.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:43 AM
amarinth amarinth is offline
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As much as people whine about Seattle panhandlers, they're nothing compared to what I've seen all the time when I've visited Vancouver.

I've been followed down the street, in the store, yelled at for not giving enough. ("I asked for five. This is just one. Where's the rest?")

Here, even where there are many homeless people, they just ask for money. Once. In passing. They don't track you afterwards or make you fear for your safety if you don't hand over your purse.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:59 AM
Pensandfeathers Pensandfeathers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarinth
As much as people whine about Seattle panhandlers, they're nothing compared to what I've seen all the time when I've visited Vancouver.

I've been followed down the street, in the store, yelled at for not giving enough. ("I asked for five. This is just one. Where's the rest?")

Here, even where there are many homeless people, they just ask for money. Once. In passing. They don't track you afterwards or make you fear for your safety if you don't hand over your purse.
Yeah, I won't say that Seattle has the most aggressive, but I don't have much experience in other places. I've been told that Las Vegas panhandlers are aggressive, but I never noticed that when I lived there.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2006, 11:07 AM
McDeath_the_Mad McDeath_the_Mad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangosteen
Vancouver must be a tough place to be homeless. Its so cold in the winter!
No they just build igloo's to keep warm, snow is free! :wally

I've been to Vancouver many times, lived there for a few summers as well. I don't find them aggressive at all.

My funniest pan-handling experience was when I was in London back in 93'. There was a pan-handler at the bottom of an escalator at one of the Underground stations. As I walked by he yelled at someone "Hey! No foreign currency!".

That made my day!

MtM
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2006, 11:46 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pensandfeathers
I've been told that Las Vegas panhandlers are aggressive, but I never noticed that when I lived there.
Oh man, Las Vegas panhandlers are the worst! Last time I was there some guy gave me some cock and bull story about how his wife was sick and he needed $5 for a cab to get her to the hospital. I was kind of suspicious, so I asked him, "how do I know you're not just gonna take this and gamble it?" He said, "Oh, I got gambling money."









OK, I made that up.
















OK, actually I stole it.

















Gimme a dollar.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2006, 12:16 PM
Aguecheek Aguecheek is offline
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Three Vancouver panhandler stories from when I lived there:

1) I was walking to Granville Island one sunny afternoon when this guy comes walking up to me, quickly and deliberately. As he got close, he stuck a hand out and said "gimme a quarter!" I replied that I did not have a quarter to give. "A dime, then. Gimme a fuckin' dime!" I replied that I didn't have a fuckin' dime to give him and walked on past. He muttered obsenities and walked away. When I was about 20 feet away, I heard him accost someone else: "Gimme a quarter!"

2) Coming off the SkyTrain at Granville station (at this point, my hair was down past my shoulder blades). There was a guy who regularly stood at the top of the stairs outside the Bay with a 'homeless' sign in his hands. It read something to the effect of "Any contribution appreciated. God bless." As I walked by, he asked for a contribution. I replied that I had no money to give and walked on. As I turned my back to him, he yelled out "You cheap motherfucking long-hair!" I kept on walking. A few weeks later, I saw him pull the same kind of stunt with a group of university football players. After his insulting riposte, one of them turned around and yelled at him "What the fuck did you say!?" The guy muttered apologies and ran away. God bless indeed.

3) I was sitting across the street from the aforementioned Granville station, waiting for my girlfriend. For the 10 minutes I was there, the same woman came up to me four times, asking for change because she had AIDS. The first time, I told her I had no money, sorry. The second time I just said no. The third time I said I'd already told her twice I had no money. The fourth time I yelled "for the fourth bloody time, NO!" She told me I had no reason to be so offensive and stalked off, right into my girlfriend (who'd just come around the corner. She asked her for money, too.

Add those three encounters with the regularly-outside-my-local-7-11 wheelchaired guy I saw folding up his wheelchair and walking into a bar, the scads of irresponsible/forgetful/down on their luck people who just needed five bucks to get to Chilliwack and the gauntlet I'd run every weekday morning down Granville on my way to work. All adds up to a somewhat...biased view of panhandlers. I realize that there are many who genuinely need help, and I feel awful that I can't help them all out. But abusing me or my good intentions is not a way to loosen my pocketbook.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2006, 01:21 PM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
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[quote]Pensandfeathers
In Seattle, the homeless are a bit aggressive in Pioneer Square[/b]
They don't strike me as more aggressive there, just more weird. I grew up in the Seattle area, and learned that a lot of the homeless who hang out in Pioneer Square are people with mental illness who are treated by the state on an outpatient basis. They're mentally instable and have nowhere to go, really, so that's where they hang.

My favorite panhandlers in Seattle were a group of twentysomethings hanging out along the waterfront, and their sign said they needed money for beer. I gave them $2.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2006, 02:14 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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I'm used to seeing scruffy older guys with obvious mental issues panhandling. But in Vancouver it seemed every downtown streetcorner had some young person sitting there shivering through withdrawls, eyes on the ground. I've never seen obvious junkies sparechanging here in Seattle, even on Capitol Hill or the U district, the panhandlers here seem to be almost exclusively hard luck street people. Is the heroin problem that much worse in Vancouver?
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2006, 02:57 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Compared to Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, etc. I find Vancouver panhandles MUCH more agressive.

Around these parts if you say "I have no money - here, please have a fruit" the person is likely to thank you profusely, and leave with their banana, or apple or whatever.

I tried in Van and got called a "rotten fucking bitch". I should have taken the orange back, now that I think about it.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2006, 04:25 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur866
I'm used to seeing scruffy older guys with obvious mental issues panhandling. But in Vancouver it seemed every downtown streetcorner had some young person sitting there shivering through withdrawls, eyes on the ground. I've never seen obvious junkies sparechanging here in Seattle, even on Capitol Hill or the U district, the panhandlers here seem to be almost exclusively hard luck street people. Is the heroin problem that much worse in Vancouver?
From what I understand, Vancouver has massive drug abuse problems. I recall hearing a story about the City of Vancouver trying to create some safe zones for drug addicts to shoot up in. I'm guessing the substance-abuse problems are related to panhandler problems, too.

(Vancouver cold in the winter, Mangosteen? Are you pulling our legs?)
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  #18  
Old 01-23-2006, 06:51 PM
Mangosteen Mangosteen is offline
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Cold in Vancouver?

OK, maybe I`m a little spoiled here in southern California, but it sure sounds like Vancouver would be a cold place to be in the winter, especially if you are homeless.

Vancouver averages 46 days a year where temperatures fall below freezing.

The average low in January in 32 degrees F.; 10 degrees is the record and the average high is 42 degrees.

This sounds cold to me, especially if you are spending much time outside like most homeless people do.

Right now where I live its 5:00 pm in the afternoon and its 72 degrees.

On average we have zero days a year where the temperature falls below zero.

The average low in January is 47 degrees; 28 degrees is the record and the average high is 68 degrees.

This is why I think Vancouver is a cold place to spend the winter. I didn't mean to pull anyone's legs.
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  #19  
Old 01-23-2006, 07:21 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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What a disappointment. The title led me to believe this thread would be about a new professional sports team
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2006, 09:04 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Ah, I can see where you would think that from a southern California perspective. From my raised in Saskatchewan perspective, Vancouver sounds lovely in winter (well, except for the lack of sun and the 900 days straight rain.)
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2006, 03:56 AM
irishgirl irishgirl is offline
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My hubby was amused by the Vancouver panhandlers who would climb trees or do press-ups for a dollar. I don't think he noticed any particular aggression, but then I married the kind of Irishman who will chat to anyone and offers cigarettes to strangers, so I'd imagine he and his friends were probably the biggest stroke of luck the panhandlers had seen in a while.

India will give you a taste of really aggressive and persistent beggars, often leprosy sufferers, disabled people or children. It's pretty scary when 4 or 5 of them surround your little tuktuk while it's stuck in traffic, all shouting and grabbing.
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  #22  
Old 01-24-2006, 09:20 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishgirl
My hubby was amused by the Vancouver panhandlers who would climb trees or do press-ups for a dollar.
I've seen that guy!

Maybe there's more than one. But the first time I was at the Blarney Stone (last Spring) there was a guy offering to climb a tree, set his beard afire, or some other stunt in exchange for a handout.
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2006, 12:52 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Hmmm, I'm not sure guys who offer street amusments are really panhandling. If you've got an act, even a really dumb act, that's busking not panhandling.
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  #24  
Old 01-24-2006, 01:12 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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I'm from the Chicago area and I've never seen aggressive panhandling such as what is described here. I always give panhandlers money, regardless of what kind of bullshit story they lay on me. But the aggressives? I'd be a little scared, being a bit on the small side.

Someone ought to try saying "Beat it, buddy! This is MY corner!"
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  #25  
Old 01-24-2006, 05:02 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capybara
The worst I've met were in SF-- Haight and Market-- tenacious and frequently abusive. Powell Station-- Ugh. Portland and Seattle also have some strange ones.
I will third ("nth") this too. Though I didn't find them so much aggressive and abusive as expecting you to have all the answers. This happened to me while waiting for a bus at Haight and, I think, Masonic--it was wherever Achilles Heel is or used to be.

Panhandler (older middle aged guy, looked like he'd been a factory worker, very sad): Can you spare some change

(I had a handful of quarters in my fist for the bus).

Me: No, sorry

PH: I lost my job. What am I supposed to do?

(I hand the guy my bus money, and miss the bus because the bartender at the Heel won't give me change unless I buy something).
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  #26  
Old 01-25-2006, 12:51 AM
mhendo mhendo is offline
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As someone who's lived in Vancouver, and who visits San Francisco at least a couple of times a year, i can't say i;ve ever noticed the panhandlers to be especially aggressive in either city.

Sure, there are always some people asking for change at the Powell Street BART station, and on Market Street, and in the Mission too, but i've always found that a firm "Sorry" is sufficient. I give when i can, but not all the time by any means, partly because, with my tendency to use credit cards, i often don't have any change on me.

When i lived in Vancouver, my room-mate and i noticed that the number of panhandlers used to increase markedly in the summer, and that the new faces were often teenagers who appears to be in from the suburbs on some sort of "life experience" kick. Some of them had more expensive shoes and clothes than we were wearing.

I realize that some of these could well have been genuine street-dwellers, and/or had been kicked out of their parents' homes, but some of them definitely seemed to be there more to hang out than anything else.

The sad cases were generally down around Hastings and Main, where lots of the addicts hung out, and when i went back a few years ago i was amazed at how many more there were. Still, when you've lived in Baltimore a while, even East Van seems pretty damn tame.
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  #27  
Old 01-25-2006, 02:15 AM
Max the Immortal Max the Immortal is offline
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I've lived in downtown Vancouver for over two years, and the beggars are easy to deal with. I don't know how it works in other cities, but in Vancouver you don't even have to acknowledge them. You can say "No" or "Sorry" in a monotone, but giving excuses or making apologies will mark you as an out-of-towner and earn you extra attention. If you ignore them, they will save their breath and bother someone else. If you give them a little bit of money, they will ask for more.

It may seem callous, but I can get asked for change over a dozen times each day. I can't afford to both live downtown and give money to beggars.
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  #28  
Old 01-25-2006, 08:33 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max the Immortal
I've lived in downtown Vancouver for over two years, and the beggars are easy to deal with. I don't know how it works in other cities, but in Vancouver you don't even have to acknowledge them. You can say "No" or "Sorry" in a monotone, but giving excuses or making apologies will mark you as an out-of-towner and earn you extra attention. If you ignore them, they will save their breath and bother someone else. If you give them a little bit of money, they will ask for more.
This has not been my experience. If we're standing around and say 'Sorry', they stay there and beg. If we're walking and say 'Sorry', they follow us.

Incidentally Gastown seems to have more than its share of pissed-off women who talk to themselves and rant loudly.
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2006, 07:00 PM
Annie Annie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max the Immortal
I've lived in downtown Vancouver for over two years, and the beggars are easy to deal with. I don't know how it works in other cities, but in Vancouver you don't even have to acknowledge them. You can say "No" or "Sorry" in a monotone, but giving excuses or making apologies will mark you as an out-of-towner and earn you extra attention. If you ignore them, they will save their breath and bother someone else. If you give them a little bit of money, they will ask for more.

It may seem callous, but I can get asked for change over a dozen times each day. I can't afford to both live downtown and give money to beggars.
I work downtown, and I concur. Don't be rude, but don't engage. I've only had one lady go goofy on me(just some yelling).
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