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The beggar at the supermarket

y2kitty

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Lanie|1312410030|2983474 said:
swingirl|1312409712|2983468 said:
Thanks for NOT giving him $5 or 50 cents. When people do, it just encourages them to keep begging at that location because they are so successful. Most of the time we can tell a habitual beggar/scammer from a person who finds themselves in a difficult situation and needs help.

I don't know if I could tell. I'm inclined to think they are all scammers. Maybe I'm just pessimistic. I've never been in a bad situation I guess. I always fill up my tank before it gets to 0. I have a cell phone on me, so if I happened to leave my wallet, I could call any number of friends to come give me money. I guess if my car was stalled out, I'd call someone, again, using my own cell phone. I suppose I could have no cell phone, no cash...I don't know.

Would you guys let a stranger use your cell phone to call someone?

Hmm, use a cell phone, I don't know. I gave a woman a ride back to work from Dunkin Donuts once - she demonstrated that her car would not start for me and she seemed upset that she might be late back to work. I also picked up a woman and small child on the side of the road and gave them a ride home when they were having car trouble.
 

Circe

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herekittykitty|1312466927|2983975 said:
I must be a b*tch. I turn people down all the time and don't have a second thought about it. In fact, if I see what looks like a homeless person walk up to me and try to speak I shut them down with "I'm not talking to you". They don't continue to speak after that usually. If you feel guilty, I can recommend a few specific episodes of "Intervention" where they document people begging to get money for drugs/alcohol.

Being a bitch is actually really useful. While I have no problem generally saying yes or no to people depending on whether I want to give them money, I wish I'd had this ability when being asked for money/hit upon by various aggressively persistent men over the years - instead, I'd get sucked into the "Aw, honey, why you don't want to talk to me ... is it because I'm X" angle, and wind up, a) losing twenty minutes of my time, and, b) being really skeezed out. Will make a mental note of this for the future ....

ETA: Just, continuing to think about this ... HK, are you a city-dweller? Just thinking about how, in cities, having strangers strike up conversations with you is almost always a sign that they want something from you. I don't believe the nonsense about how NYrs (or other city folk) are mean - if anything, every time I get asked for directions, the person usually goes into a riff about how they're shocked to have somebody be nice to them, after what they'd heard about the Big City. But I do wonder if, a) being socialized according to feminine norms can put us at a disadvantage, while b) being socialized to city norms can restore it ....
 

phoenixgirl

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How does everybody feel about giving friends money? Is that trickier than giving to strangers because it might ruin a friendship, or do you feel like that's who these beggars should be turning to in the first place, and if they've run out of friends/family to lean on, then they must be dysfunctional and no money will help them?

We got a letter recently from a college study abroad friend of my husband's. She was in her 40s when she was studying abroad 10 years ago, so she is in her 50s. The letter was almost 20 pages detailing her descent into depression and an abusive relationship. In the end she asked for money. I am as cynical as they come, but I felt compelled to give her money, so we gave her a bit. I don't regret it. I did wonder when she posted something on FB about getting a new iPhone right after, but I think the thing is that when you give somebody money, you've got to let go of caring about how they spend it. If she asks again, though, we'll say, no, sorry, we gave you what we could.

My sister has quite an interesting situation on her hands. She lives on a campus that's far from the city and public transportation. She noticed a quiet young man who worked in the cafeteria all alone at the holiday party 10 years ago, so she befriended him. It turned out he was a recent refugee from the Sudan. She has tried to help him a lot, giving him thousands of dollars, a laptop, a place to stay (he often gets into trouble with those check cashing places and then can't pay the interest he owes them). He is a kind, gentle soul, who is always appreciative, but he also doesn't really take steps to become self-sufficient, and he always sends most of the money she gives him to his relatives in the Sudan, so then he's destitute and dependent on her again. He's done several job training programs, but is not satisfied with menial work. Most recently he asked my sister to provide him with $40,000 for a private school tuition and a car to get there. She said, no, we will provide you with an apartment on the Metro line, and you need to get a job. If he doesn't get a job in 6 months, they are going to relocate him to another country or state where he has relatives (on their own dime, obviously). I've met this man, and I really don't believe he is trying to take advantage. I think he thinks that my sister and her husband are his guardian angels, and he always believes if he can just do X, Y, or Z, then he'll make enough money . . . But still, are they enabling him to not get his act together? It's a tough call. Such a fine line between a hand out and a hand up. I think all of us would say, yes, it's a great thing to give money to help Sudanese refugees, but then we don't really know how the money is spent when it goes to a charity.

So anyway, I was just wondering if the cynical people are more likely to give to friends or family? But then, do they ever stop asking or expecting it?
 

y2kitty

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I don't give/lend money to friends. Buy you lunch or a coffee if you are down, yes. Lend money, no.

My sisters have never asked to borrow money but if they did I would consider it depending on what it was for.
 

Lanie

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phoenixgirl -- that story is amazing. I can't believe your sister has developed this extensive of a relationship. Enough to pay rent for an apartment for this guy? She's more generous than I could/would willing to be.

It reminds me of the movie The Blind Side. That family did amazing things for Michael Oher, but it makes you wonder how many similar stories are like that, but they ended up screwing them over.
 

centralsquare

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phoenixgirl|1312478897|2984133 said:
How does everybody feel about giving friends money? Is that trickier than giving to strangers because it might ruin a friendship, or do you feel like that's who these beggars should be turning to in the first place, and if they've run out of friends/family to lean on, then they must be dysfunctional and no money will help them?

We got a letter recently from a college study abroad friend of my husband's. She was in her 40s when she was studying abroad 10 years ago, so she is in her 50s. The letter was almost 20 pages detailing her descent into depression and an abusive relationship. In the end she asked for money. I am as cynical as they come, but I felt compelled to give her money, so we gave her a bit. I don't regret it. I did wonder when she posted something on FB about getting a new iPhone right after, but I think the thing is that when you give somebody money, you've got to let go of caring about how they spend it. If she asks again, though, we'll say, no, sorry, we gave you what we could.

My sister has quite an interesting situation on her hands. She lives on a campus that's far from the city and public transportation. She noticed a quiet young man who worked in the cafeteria all alone at the holiday party 10 years ago, so she befriended him. It turned out he was a recent refugee from the Sudan. She has tried to help him a lot, giving him thousands of dollars, a laptop, a place to stay (he often gets into trouble with those check cashing places and then can't pay the interest he owes them). He is a kind, gentle soul, who is always appreciative, but he also doesn't really take steps to become self-sufficient, and he always sends most of the money she gives him to his relatives in the Sudan, so then he's destitute and dependent on her again. He's done several job training programs, but is not satisfied with menial work. Most recently he asked my sister to provide him with $40,000 for a private school tuition and a car to get there. She said, no, we will provide you with an apartment on the Metro line, and you need to get a job. If he doesn't get a job in 6 months, they are going to relocate him to another country or state where he has relatives (on their own dime, obviously). I've met this man, and I really don't believe he is trying to take advantage. I think he thinks that my sister and her husband are his guardian angels, and he always believes if he can just do X, Y, or Z, then he'll make enough money . . . But still, are they enabling him to not get his act together? It's a tough call. Such a fine line between a hand out and a hand up. I think all of us would say, yes, it's a great thing to give money to help Sudanese refugees, but then we don't really know how the money is spent when it goes to a charity.

So anyway, I was just wondering if the cynical people are more likely to give to friends or family? But then, do they ever stop asking or expecting it?

First, I just want to say that your sister's generosity is truly admirable. But, whenever you help someone like that, managing expectations is really hard. When you do help out, I think it's important to be clear...either by saying "this is a one time thing" or "I expect this to go to abc." Just giving it puts everyone in a tough spot.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Don't feel bad...it's pretty common around here that those are scammers. I've heard stories about people claiming particular intersection corners as theirs!

One time I was crossing a parking lot and saw some guy walk by my car and look inside it like he was casing it out. When I got over there he asked me for money. For all I know, he would have taken my wallet and ran with it if I had taken it out!
 

LAJennifer

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I can usually spot a scammer. Upon their approach, I ask THEM for money. That turns them around real quick.
 

MichelleCarmen

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LAJennifer|1312494988|2984357 said:
I can usually spot a scammer. Upon their approach, I ask THEM for money. That turns them around real quick.
Hahaha. No doubt. "Hey dude, I'm the one who's broke...how about $5 to add to my diamond fund!". Lol


Phoenixgirl- your sister is beyond generous! In her shoes though seems like if she wants to help him is to give money in the form of say a check directly to the college or to pay a bill, write it to that company rather than give him cash...
 

Tacori E-ring

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This happens here too at night. The crazy thing is the gas station is across a huge parking lot and busy street. You think it would be more convincing to stay at the gas station. I got approached late one night (super market is 24 hours) and this young woman approached me for change. I knew it was a scam but I just couldn't help it. I gave her some change and asked her if she was alright. The girl seemed surprised by my question. Maybe it was the way I said it, maybe because no one really ever asked her before. I could tell she was most certainly not all right but she said yes. I can't save the world.
 

centralsquare

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LAJennifer|1312494988|2984357 said:
I can usually spot a scammer. Upon their approach, I ask THEM for money. That turns them around real quick.

That is hilarious!!
 

maplefemme

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Phoenix,
That's a really tough situation with the refugee from the Sudan. I don't know where you are, but here refugees have a number of government resources available to get them on their feet.
What your Sister is doing is very admirable, she sounds like a very caring woman, however, I question whether she is helping him become self sufficient. Asking for $40,000 in tuition and a car is an extortionate request.
I have worked as a Foreign Aid advisor along side many NGO organizations (some good, some bad) and this really sounds like a bad idea, it goes against all self sufficiency models.

I remember my first time in India, going to work and having children aged 5-6 run into traffic with newborn babies strapped to them, crying and begging me for money, it was heartwrenching. I knew their parent(s) were nearby and this was a tactic commonly used, still, it was incredibly hard to say no because to say yes was to perpetuate the problem.
All I could do was focus on developing programs and set wheels in motion to help the masses suffering in poverty.
I worked in two orphanages, one had 750 children aged 6-16 and the other had 75 children, newborns to 5 years old.

When I worked in Central America I came across a man with no arms or legs, begging. I was horrified and wanted desperately to help him. I was then informed by one of my colleagues that it is common for the destitute to lay on the train tracks and self-amputate. They get more money this way. How horrifying, to consider this as an option, since then I do not give to people begging.
It's not that I don't care, quite the opposite, I care greatly. But sometimes throwing cash at a problem only perpetuates it, there are many other ways to help people in need.
 

cookies

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706
I was asked for cash exactly 3 times in the past 6 years.

The 1st time, they scared the hell out of me. When I was unlocking the door to my rented place, 3 creepy-looking men approached me from the street, asking for some quarters. I said, I don't have any cash on me. Then one man said, are you sure you don't have ANY cash? Not even a few cents? After I said a definite NO, they walked away reluctantly.

The next two encounters on the street were better. It was one person each time. One person lost an eye, and one of his legs was not functioning well. The other person lost an arm. They both looked like veterans to me. So I just pulled out my wallet and said, I don't have an $1, here is an $5. I ran into one of them later several times on the same street, and he didn't ask me for another $1. I guess that is a good sign that I didn't get scammed.
 

princesss

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I had a couple stop me at a gas station and ask me for food. They looked like they were living out of their car, so I told them to park and I'd buy them a sandwich. The guy got all disgusted and said, "What, you can't take us to one of those restaurants?" and pointed at a few places so expensive I don't go there for myself. I told him no, but I was happy to buy him and his wife a sandwich if they needed it. He rolled his eyes and drove off.

You're totally within your rights not to give people money, Danny. It doesn't make you a bad person. I don't like giving out cash (and I rarely carry it anyways), but am always willing to buy people an honest, healthy meal. But once they refuse good food in favour of junk or demand something nicer, the offer is withdrawn - if you really need to eat, you'll take a good meal. If you just want crap, odds are you're not actually hungry.
 

pregcurious

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The last time I gave money ($5) to someone on the side of the road, on the way to work, they then asked me for the coupon book in my car. I was really surprised and said no. Then he said, it doesn't hurt to ask, and walked away. It makes me not want to give anything.
 

Dancing Fire

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:wavey: please be generous and donate $10 bucks to the DF diamond fund.. :!:

thank you very much... :appl:
 

arjunajane

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hawaiianorangetree|1312375782|2983015 said:
"sorry, I don't carry cash" is what I always say when people ask for money. I think it's safer than just telling them your not giving it to them. It makes me feel safer anyway :)

We have the " homeless looking" people who clean your windscreen at the lights for your change. I used to do it until I heard one of them being interviewed on the radio one day and he said that he could easily earn $400 - $500 in a day in cash, plus still claim the dole. I don't feel so bad for telling them I have no change. :tongue:

HOT - I don't get why they still do this? Call me rude (or cheeky :rodent: ) but if they approach my car, I just turn on the water& soap and the wipers!

I am actually one that more times than not I will give something small ($2 or less) if approached, but only if I don't need to drag out my purse etc, and only if the person doesn't seem intimidating or rude. Truth is I very rarely carry cash, if at all - so I guess I should use your statement!
 

iLander

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I give money, even if I'm not asked, to those who genuinely need it.

But that guy was a scammer, no guilt required on your part Danny. Just ignore it.

I passed a guy on the street, his feet were bundled in rags, no shoes, he looked tired and exhausted, so I turned around and gave him all my change and a couple of dollars. He said thanks and took the money with longish, blackened fingernails and the grubbiest hands I had ever seen. I didn't acknowledge it, in hopes of leaving him some dignity. That's who needs the money the most. The people that are just too wrung out and tired to even ask.

In contrast, I saw a guy holding a sign, leaning on a crutch at an intersection. I drove by a half hour later to see him hop on his bike and ride off, the crutch thrown over his shoulder. Another scammer.

But I have seen a LOT more begging lately, as the government cuts the safety net out from under so many people, which I think is wrong. They've taken away the money for:

The meds of the mentally ill
The rehab programs of the addicted
The therapists of the mentally ill (who keep them on their meds)
The job placement and training for lower skill workers
The special ed for at-risk teens and young people
Housing for low- and no-income people

All of these things will translate into more beggars, more homeless, more desperation and more crime. I find it despicable that we are sending money to Pakistan and other countries, when we need it here so badly.

This isn't liberal talk, it's realist talk. Help the TRULY desperate, or they will help themselves - through crime.
 

Arkteia

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Sometimes I see people on the streets panhandling. I know for sure they are addicts (don't ask me how I know it; you can guess). It is one of the ways to raise $$ for drugs. Usually. People who lost their jobs or are disabled usually find legitimate ways to support themselves (welfare, disability programs, subsidized housing, etc.). So most panhandlers and people asking for $$ are, sadly, asking for wrong reasons.

This being said, supporting the habit through panhandling is still better than supporting it through selling drugs... so sometimes I would give a dollar to a person. I think that standing there, on the streets, or approaching people in the stores is pretty humiliating to them. But not $ 5.00. Sometimes I say no. I do not feel bad either way.

There was never a time when a woman would approach me and say, "hi, I come from a shelter for abused women, I have no job, no money, I am really trying to raise money to feed my kid and to find a job"... I would give money to such a person on the spot. But apparently, people who are in real trouble are too proud to ask.
 

Gothgrrl

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I'm sure there are some who really do need the money. It's hard to say no. But I've seen too many scams. We had this family that would sit by the bank all day, with their barefoot kid. After the bank closed, they got in their car and went home. And once this lady with her baby asked if they could come home with me for the night. Now that was scary, not for me but for them. I could've been a psycho killer.
 

centralsquare

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If I see children with someone who is begging....I find it really, really hard to say no...even when I'm sure it's a scam.
 

FrekeChild

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I cannot say no to someone with a dog.

Having said that, I do not give money to anyone on the street. I work in a Social Security Disability law office and I do my part to help homeless people every single day.

Speaking of that, to the person who said "Do you have any money?" being just as hard to say as "Are you hiring?" does not mean that that person can keep a job. After filling out work history reports for people who have had 45 jobs in 15 years...you really start to think about how getting a job is often much easier than keeping one.
 

Kaleigh

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When I lived in the city there was a homeless guy who was near my bus stop on my way to work. In the morning many times I would make two lunches one for myself and one for him if he was around.

I remember being in Paris with my DH, He wasn't my DH then, we had just graduated from college. We saw this cute little boy who was 4?? He was dirty and sitting on the side walk..Playing with a piece of string.. I looked at him for a while. Looking to see if gypsy's were around. No one was looking after him. I speak french, so I asked him if he was hungry, would he like to get a bite to eat. Once he said yes, I said great.. I asked him about his Mom, He looked down, so I stopped pressing him We had a long lunch, talked a lot. I can still picture his face , he was adorable. I asked the manager at the restaurant what to do, he said you have done more than most... I said but please see that he's in good hands.. I remember it like yesterday leaving him... :blackeye:
 

slg47

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the homeless guy who hangs out by our supermarket just called me a fata$$ when I was jogging.
 

centralsquare

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slg47|1312865531|2987001 said:
the homeless guy who hangs out by our supermarket just called me a fata$$ when I was jogging.

Well, that's one way to get money...
 

monarch64

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I am not often approached, never have been, when on foot. However, when it does happen (rare) I try, if I have a moment, to ask the person about their circumstances and I do not usually give cash or offer to buy meals. I live in a town where there are plenty of accessible, easy to get to places to get food, shelter, clothing, etc. I sometimes think it is TOO easy here for the homeless because our town provides so many resources. I digress...what I typically do is talk to the person about options and provide directions if they're willing to listen. I've been approached several times in the past two years while walking from my parked vehicle to work and back and these people are a VERY SHORT DISTANCE from hot meals (no questions asked), and shelters, as well as medical facilities who WILL NOT turn them away should they need immediate attention or even ongoing care.
 
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