Would you give money to a panhandler who...

… was doing a crossword puzzle and smoking a cigarette, relying on a small sign that said “homeless and hungry” to do all the work for her?

20something young woman, not unattractive, definitely grimy, and as above.

No because I don’t give money to panhandlers. I think panhandling is a bad thing. I think it should be illegal to give money to panhandlers.

I do give money to panhandlers, somewhat irregularly. But I’d probably be less likely to in that particular circumstance. Primarily because I tend to judge a bit based on age and seeming physical/mental infirmity. Young and fit tends to be a quite a bit less likely to trigger my charitable impulses.

I don’t give money to panhandlers as a matter of personal policy, but “No way in Hell!” sounded too angry to me so I voted “Other”.

got money for smokes? You sure as hell don’t need any of mine.*

*Exact words I said to a panhandler that told me “come on man share”, while both he and his girlfriend were smoking.

I don’t even need to read the rest of that sentence to know my answer would be “No.”

Agree with Tamerlane. Don’t agree with Rand. Just Say No! (And I often do.)

One of the guys who used to have a sign out for money (we don’t call them panhandlers) was a regular who I’d see every day.

One day he was at the newsagent I frequent and he bought a roll of scratch tickets that would choke a donkey.

And then he paid for it with a credit card.

Give him money? He could probably lend me some.

The years I lived in NYC have trained me not only to not give money to panhandlers, but to not actually see them.

Well that’s pretty damn bizarre. You’re trying to decide what I may and may not do with my own wealth. Collectivist!

Sorry, no change for beggars.

Sure I would, if I had the money to give.

Yea, there’s a chance the person asking for money isn’t homeless and hungry, but I’d rather not take the chance. You never know when that bit of money you’re giving to a person means they’ll get to eat that day.

Besides, it’s ridiculously easy to bum a cigerette off someone. I can smoke a pack of day and never spend a dime doing.

Having lived in Vancouver for a while now, I’ve developed a new approach regarding panhandlers. I don’t give money to people in the situation described above, or to anyone just sitting about. I give in two situations:

The guy who is doing something to improve his little chunk of the world, either busking, (which I realize isn’t the same as panhandling), or just owning his chunk of pavement and improving it. There was a guy on Main Street a couple of years ago who would push the walk button as you came up to the corner for you, and who kept his corner free of litter, debris and snow. Ms. Attack got to know him slightly, and we patronized his establishment, and one day he left - was seen in a suit, then a few days later was seen leaving - the story is he got a straight job and a girlfriend and moved on with his life. These guys I’ll give money to.
People who are not asking, but are so obviously down on their luck that I approach them. Maybe once a month I’ll see some guy scrabbling in the dumpster or picking up cigarette butts who is obviously dirty and hungry, and I’ll say “Hey, could you use a couple of bucks?”, and hand it over. This works pretty well, especially since I get to scope out the situation first. Although once I startled a freegan. (“No, no, I’m fine, I’m doing this for philosophical reasons.”)

That’s it, I’m getting tired of you liberals passing laws telling the rest of us how to spend our money.

it’s not so unreasonable—nobody is trying to tell you how to spend your money*–only where to spend it.

Every municipality has regulations about where they allow businesses…a news kiosk or a hot dog seller’s cart is okay in the middle of a block but not adjacent to a crowded pedestrian crosswalk. Or on a certain sidewalk only, not in front of a school, etc.

Panhandling can definitely interfere with the flow of traffic–where I live there are panhandlers every morning at several large intersections.When the traffic light is red, they walk among the cars, but don’t get out of the way when the light turns green. A law was proposed to make it illegal to panhandle on a public street—what’s wrong with that?
*You can donate as much as you want to the Salvation Army.

There’s nothing collectivist or liberal about outlawing giving money to panhandlers. It’s a health and safety regulation, just like rules against speeding or jaywalking.

Also, since someone raised this above, I make it a point to give to musicians and other performers (there’s a dude in Chicago who does a puppet show in a little booth built on to the back of a bike, and I give him money every time I see him).

The last scammer/panhandler I encountered was in a grocery store parking lot, claiming he needed gas money to get back home to Eastern Kentucky due to some medical emergency. I was told his wife was “freaking out” while waving his cell phone in the general direction of some parked cars. This grocery is near the mall, where a lot of scamming and robberies have taken place in the parking lot over the years.

I told him he should contact Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army or some other charity, who would doubtless be happy to give him $20 for gas. Then I called the police.

I have given $5 to people who are obviously pushing beaters into the gas station. I didn’t check to see if they actually used it for gas, but their general appearance made me think if it wasn’t going for gas, it was going for food for the kids or something. I can be a softie, and $5 is about all I’ll give. I just generally prefer to give the money to an agency where I can be sure it’s going to help people, rather than just hope it will.

Crossword puzzle? Probably. Encourages reading, keeps the mind alive, etc.

Smoking? No. I loathe smoking. I won’t encourage people to smoke. And if you’re begging on the street, you can’t afford to smoke.

On balance, I probably wouldn’t give to this particular beggar.

I’m maybe not that judgmental about whether someone sitting on the street asking for money has the ‘audacity’ to do a crossword, or smoke a cigarette.

For the ones with signs saying “homeless and hungry” I can’t provide them a home, but I can certainly provide them with something to eat, and drink.

So I buy them a burger, or a sandwich or whatever is nearby and a bottle of water. Hell, if they’re bullshitting me I’ve spent seven bucks; if they’re needy, I’ve lessened their load in some small way.

More power to 'em if they find pleasure in a crossword, or the simplicity of a cigarette. We are all, at some time, guilty of lofty ideas and impracticalities.

What does the crossword puzzle have to do with anything? That’s like asking me if I would give money to a panhandler who was wearing grey socks. Um, I guess, maybe; it’s not really a factor in my decision. Now the smokes are a factor. Try replacement cigarettes with food, pal.

Really, coming from anyone else, I wouldn’t have said a thing, but coming from [del]Red[/del] Rand Rover, it was too good to pass up.