Anyone else seeing a lot of panhandlers lately, incl. in-your-face ones?

College town, not a big city, and there are definitely more panhandlers than there used to be but none are really what I call aggressive. Mostly they just sit on the corner with their little cardboard signs.

I had one a while back, taking my granddaughter to a haircut place in a nearby strip mall. An older lady in a motorized wheelchair hit me up for money for lunch, so I gave her $5. We walked into the haircut place and the lady at the front said “How much did she get you for?” I guess the woman is a regular in the area and preys on patrons of businesses there.

There’s a panhandler on nearly every major intersection where I live (Delaware, FWIW), and it was not like this 10 years ago. Definitely a steady increase since the great recession and it’s not getting any better.

I get the occasional random person come up to me (typically in parking lots and gas stations) and tell me their car broke down and they need just enough more to go to Montana or whatever, but that’s pretty rare.

I have not seen an increase in aggressiveness.

For a second I read this as a panhandler took your granddaughter to a haircut place :eek:

My error. I apologize. I made the jump that both parties were on bikes and that’s clearly not the case.

I was not stating that I never give money or food to panhandlers. I was simply observing that I more frequently run into panhandlers on bikes than I used to. They are most often at gas stations and convenience stores.

No worries! I should have been more clear in my description.

Anyhow, I volunteer at a charity that takes-in used bicycles, refurbishes them to working order, and gives them away to the needy. The idea is that a bicycle can help someone get around easier, hopefully to a potential job, to see a doctor, get food, etc. Of course, they will use them to get to wherever they want to go to do whatever they want to do, but the idea is that for some, it will be a boost to mobility and a small stepping stone to a better way to live. Perhaps other cities have similar charities, which would explain your observation.

It seems to me that if we believed that panhandlers in general, or even most, were really in need, this question wouldn’t need to be asked (how would you feel if you were homeless and suffering hunger, and some dude in clean clothes who owns his own car decides you aren’t worthy of living another day?). Have we as a society decided that panhandlers are generally more likely than not either scammers or seeking money for alcohol/tobacco/drugs?

I’ll add another question to Leaper’s. If we believe that a substantial portion of panhandlers are seeking money to buy drugs or alcohol, does that mean that we don’t have a duty as a society to try to help them?

There are actually fewer in my neighborhood lately. There are a couple of guys I’ve bought food for who I haven’t seen for several weeks.

If we believe that a substantial portion of panhandlers are drug addicts then giving them money supports that habit. The person with a duty to society is the addict and help starts and ends with that duty.

This sometimes prompts me to respond, “Pal, you know better than me that there’s no God. But good luck with that shtick”.

Did he run the homeless guy over with the car? :eek: Oh, no, he decided to not give him some money. :dubious:

Have some fucking compassion man. Their lives suck. The sobering (heh) truth is the likelihood of this streetwalking drug addict actually pulling his/herself up by their bootstraps and getting clean and off the streets is depressingly low. Who am I to try to moralize to them as to how they should or shouldn’t spend money that may be given to them? To do so would not be treating them as adults. Idc if they want to get drunk with the money i might give. Shit, I’d understand it and on the rare chance that the homeless person dropped all pretense and just said “Fuck it, I’m trying to get high. Do you have anything to spare?” I think I’d respect them enough to double my gift.

Your “gift” is that of enabler. You are the reason they grow and multiply.

Ha! Mmkay. :stuck_out_tongue:

How’s about we let everyone decide for him/herself, weighing his/her conscience, clock, and pocketbook as only he/she can, whether and how much to give to each beggar he/she encounters? Without the overblown rhetoric? :rolleyes: The person who gives isn’t the reason they grow and multiply, and the person who doesn’t give isn’t deciding they aren’t worthy of living another day.

Haven’t seen a change in my city. I see a few intersection people, but they are mild mannered. I’ve had a very few approach me for change, but I rarely give, maybe only three times in the last few years, and when I don’t give they don’t get upset. Those I did give to seemed to show a real need that I couldn’t explain.

You already admitted you don’t care if they use the money for their addiction. You’re an enabler. More importantly, you don’t care.

Should i go to hell for my sins?

I only see them downtown Kansas city and I will give them money if they are not being idiots like telling sob stories.

I’m going to assume that you don’t understand Ambivalid. What I understand Ambivalid to mean is that he doesn’t care how this suffering person spends the money. He clearly cares about the person to whom he donated money. What do you think money is? I understand Ambivalid to be expressing to the needy, “I don’t have answers. Here’s what I can do.”

I don’t give to panhandlers not because I think they are undeserving, but because I think we should be more Scandinavian. If we are going to play the I-got-mine-you-greedy-bastard game, I have to recognize that that’s the game we are playing. I prefer the why-can’t-we-all-get-along game myself.