View Full Version : Panhandling
11-02-2004, 06:25 AM
okay, so i have to do this report/presentation about a problem in the community and i decided on panhandling (you know people begging for money on sreet corners). we have to prepare a survey and stuff, and i thought i would get a head start by asking your opinons.
what do think about beggers? do you feel sorry for them? do you think they're lazy bums &/or liars? do you give them money? do you think they're a problem? & if so do think there's a way to fix the problem (i.e. socialism)? etc.?
11-02-2004, 03:10 PM
I think they are mostly vulnerable people who have fallen through the welfare net for whatever reason. In bureaucracies like the UK this can happen all too easily, and but for the grace of God more people don't get caught out by it and dragged down.
I occasionally buy The Big Issue. If they don't have that or similar in the US, I will explain: TBI is a magazine that beggars can obtain a licence to sell - they buy the magazines for a certain amount, and then sell them for a mark up. Most of their original investment goes towards homeless charities and the printing costs, and the beggar in question makes a profit on each magazine he/she sells
However, I never give change to beggars who are just sitting there with a hand out. Partly, this is because I want to see someone work for the money they are getting, but also because I would rather give the money to one of the charities that work in the city giving out food and offering shelter, etc. I don't want my money to be spent on crack.
Some homeless/beggars are voluntarily so. An old guy used to live near my grandparents house in a shed made of cardboard, and he wandered around the village getting whatever he could from people, but he always worked for it - work on someone's garden for a few days to get some metal for his roof or a portable radio - shit like that. Again, he was working for it, but in fact he didn't even need to live that way - he had decided to reject a life involving money, and had sold his bungalow and given the money to his kids.
But like I said, mostly I see them as vulnerable people who need looking out for. A 17 year old kid was recently found guilty of stabbing an old homeless woman in the neck at night in the bus station in town. He claims that he had no motive other than amusement.
11-02-2004, 03:35 PM
This is like asking if all colors are blue or red.
Some are lazy bums and/or jerks who managed to piss off everyone in their lives to the point where nobody will help them.
Some have mental disease.
Some are addicts.
Some are just extremely unlucky.
Some are stranded in [your town] and just need another three dollars and thirty seven cents, exactly, to buy a bus ticket home, and will send you the money once they get there, honest, swear to god.
None of these traits are mutually exclusive.
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