Author Topic: Panhandling  (Read 142 times)

Panhandling
« on: April 21, 2020, 10:01:49 AM »
I feel very conflicted when people approach me panhandling for money. The Greensboro-High Point metropolitan is often ranked as one of the worst, based on the percentage of the population, for people who have difficulties securing food. I give to food banks but I'm reluctant to give when approached by individuals. One reason is, working in an emergency department, I know some of these people and know they are going to spend any cash they get on alcohol and drugs rather than food. Still, it is very difficult for me to not give and I feel it's dehumanizing when I avoid eye contact with people. In a way, it's harder to be callous in Greensboro than when I lived in Seattle or Los Angeles because in those cities there are so many homeless and people panhandling that it is overwhelming. I've considered buying some $5 Subway sandwich gift cards and keeping them in my wallet to give to panhandlers. I eat at Subway and they have stores all over town including Walmart.

What is your experience with panhandling?
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2020, 10:08:13 AM »
Never give a panhandler cash. If you want to get karma points give them coupons for food at local fast food places.

(NB I used to cruise the docks at the Port of Los Angeles in a shelter van, looking for homeless/hungry.)
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2020, 10:52:49 AM »
I feel very conflicted when people approach me panhandling for money. The Greensboro-High Point metropolitan is often ranked as one of the worst, based on the percentage of the population, for people who have difficulties securing food. I give to food banks but I'm reluctant to give when approached by individuals. One reason is, working in an emergency department, I know some of these people and know they are going to spend any cash they get on alcohol and drugs rather than food. Still, it is very difficult for me to not give and I feel it's dehumanizing when I avoid eye contact with people. In a way, it's harder to be callous in Greensboro than when I lived in Seattle or Los Angeles because in those cities there are so many homeless and people panhandling that it is overwhelming. I've considered buying some $5 Subway sandwich gift cards and keeping them in my wallet to give to panhandlers. I eat at Subway and they have stores all over town including Walmart.

What is your experience with panhandling?
I like your idea of gift cards--had not thought of that.  We have bought cheap backpacks from out local charity/Salvation Army type stores and stuffing them with essentials from the dollar store.  Toothpaste, socks, Kleenex, soap, candy bars/power bars,--that kind of stuff.  We keep them in the car and hand them out--rarely give out money.  But I have anyway, especially if they have dogs.  It is hard to not do that.  Homeless here is a growing problem.  You would think the richest country in the history of the world would have something in place to help these people--especially since so many in this country profess to be christian. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2020, 12:58:46 PM »
I occasionally give cash, to a rough enough looking person, at a corner panhandling.  Extra points if they have a dog ;-)  My daughter won't give at all, because of being vulnerable.  I have never "judged" anyone like that, I don't need to know if their trouble is self inflicted or not.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline SGOS

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2020, 01:40:32 PM »
I haven't experienced much panhandling, but if a guy asks me for some money, I usually give it to him.

Offline Baruch

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2020, 02:04:43 PM »
I haven't experienced much panhandling, but if a guy asks me for some money, I usually give it to him.

One time, a guy who seemed legit, with his family, asked me for money.  I gave him $5, but had $20.  I regretted ever afterward not giving him the $20.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Sal1981

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2020, 03:29:15 PM »
gift certificates for food seems reasonable.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline aitm

Re: Panhandling
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2020, 10:17:24 AM »
I don’t do “handouts” however, every weekend me and the dogs do a walk through a 20 acre site well forested that on occasion has one or two homeless living there. We have only met four over the last year. One gal, a young couple and a young guy. None of theM, looked or acted they may be current users.
That none of them asked for money was a good indicator for me, I gave each person a twenty and went on my way. Have not seen any of them since.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust