Don't like the snow? You can make a bookmark with the following text instead of a url: javascript:snowStorm.toggleSnow(). Clicking it will toggle the snow on and off.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Begging, reasons and consequences

Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
edited January 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Begging is a phenomenon common in most major cities around the globe. As of late, the number of beggars in countries like Finland have been increasing. Nordic countries have a fairly hostile environment, which has limited the flow of beggars into them for some time. As the conditions in places like the Roma communities in Romania are at nearly third-world standard, with little literacy, few jobs, and bad living conditions, emigrating to another country to beg becomes more and more attractive as an option. These people live for around 3 EUR a day, and can make more than 20 EUR a day by begging. The numbers given by beggars are 20-25 EUR, while those given by store owners where the beggars exchange the coins to notes give amounts between 50-80 EUR. The point is, that they can make far more money by begging abroad, than by working(if they get a job at all) in their own country.

There is an article dealing with this issue on the website of the largest newspaper in Finland: Here

Now, the culture in countries like Finland has virtually no experience with begging. The recent influx of beggars has caught the people off-guard, and when beggars ask people for money, they seem to give it. People aren't accustomed to begging, and the beggars make a lot of money. There are no laws against begging, and as long as the beggars don't abuse the Finnish social security system, or commit crimes, they can't be deported. As the word spreads, the influx of beggars can be expected to increase. People that give rather freely, and little official interference are attractive features in a country for a beggar. The same happened to Norway earlier, and from all the other cities in Europe it can be expected that increased crime will follow the beggars. As people become more accustomed to begging, the amount of money the beggars get decreases. This has led to beggars harassing especially older people for alms, as they tend to be more sympathetic with beggars. Beggars in front of shops has the effect of reducing business for the shop-owners, as people do not wish to confront the begging. Shop owners have been complaining of some beggars doing this.

The greatest issue I have with begging is the tendency of some beggars to attempt to garner the sympathy of passersby with small children. Frequently these children have to stay outside for extended periods, inadequately fed and clothed. Now, the weather in Finland has a tendency to be wet, windy and cold for most of the year. For most of the year, the temperatures don't go above 10 degrees centigrade(50 degrees Fahrenheit). During the winter, the temperatures usually range between -20 and 0 degrees centigrade (-4 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit), in addition to raining sleet and snow.

In places like Thailand, the beggars are usually working under different gangs and organized crime. Giving money to these beggars directly aids the crime in the area. As the number of beggars increases, evidence of organization usually emerges. The beggars are assigned different posts around the city, and at the end of the day the gains are pooled(whether this money is then distributed, or if it goes to the pocket of someone is not certain).

These people come from shitty living conditions, but do not tend to have intentions of settling down and getting a job. Some do come to stay: They come, beg for a while, get a job, form ties with groups relating to them(such as various Roma organizations), get an place to live, start to learn the language and start being a productive member of the society. Some people don't. These people keep begging, semi-enforcing old people to give them money, and keep pissing me off by getting in my way, trying to get what little money I have, and subject their children to horrid conditions. The best way to discourage begging is by not giving, but apparently a lot of people don't realize that. It also annoys me that they seem to target older people who already live on limited pensions. Many beggars are perfectly capable of working, but feign disabilities in order to be pitied.

I understand that they come from bad conditions, but I'm a little low on sympathy when they come to ruin my day by harassing me when I'm walking in the city.

The officials are at a loss how to deal with them, as it is a new phenomenon. Have these issues been solved elsewhere, and more importantly: How successfully?

I've made this thread in hopes of initiating discussion, and hearing the opinions of others regarding the begging phenomenon in other countries as well. What do you think about beggars, and what should be done with them?


tl;dr Beggars. What do you think about them?

Rhan9 on
steam_sig.png
«1

Posts

  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2008
  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    In a number of US cities, peddling is banned, either outright, or de facto by requiring beggars to get a permit (something that is, to be charitable, unlikely for many beggars).

    This doesn't get rid of beggars, but it does make it less of an issue. I remember being surprised when I ran into a massive amount of beggars on some southern European streets.

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • MathieuMathieu Registered User
    edited January 2008
    I think that begging should be prohibited to protect the public against frauds. I don't know if it's even possible to prohibit such a thing here in Canada, but anyway, let's speculate.

    There's several types of beggars, some are really getting through hardship, others are simply scammers. People who are working honestly to pay their bills shouldn't be put in a dilemna as wether they should give or not give. While giving some change to someone in need is very noble, giving it to someone who just pretend is just a waste, so don't do it solely for your own peace of mind! Giving your money to criminals is a disservice to society. If you really want to help, give to some non-profit organizations who should know who they're dealing with.

    Also, if everyone is concerned, then why should we intervene individualy in this matter? That's why we have governments, don't we?

  • RuzanRuzan Registered User
    edited January 2008
    I had the worst experience once. On my way to my new college downtown (im a country boy) and I stopped at this mc donalds to get a coffee and this guy came up to me and told me that his family was in his van a block away and they blew a tire and needed some money to take a taxi home. I felt really bad and gave him 15 bucks, (stupid i know) but I felt bad. About 3 days later, same mc D's, the same guy starts to walk towards my car, he notices me, and looks down and retreats.

    Ever since then I find it so hard to trust beggars :( and that's rough to admit

    If you say "plz" because it is shorter than "please" then I'll say "no" because it is shorter than "yes".
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Begging seems to largely work on the surprise principle. You don't know what you're dealing with, you feel relatively affluent (you're in the city planning to spend money on material items) and the amount of money being asked for is small.

    Of course, whether it is going to be remotely used for a good purpose is kind of debatable seeing as how frequently beggars become recognizable and are still there anywhere between 6 months to 2 years later, which for what can be defined as fairly bottom rung says that they're not really getting any sort of improvement from donations.

    So generally speaking, I support banning begging but not responding with criminal punishment. These are people who need help and are highly visible - and we do in fact have charities established specifically for that purpose. Donating money to them is going to do more good then giving to a beggar.

  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.

    steam_sig.png
  • drhazarddrhazard Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'd like to see some hard numbers on the effect that our migration to credit and especially check cards is having on begging. In urban areas with a young base, I can definitely see many people just not carrying cash around. (It's my common excuse for it. I'm living in DC, though, and have been in the metro area since I was five, so I've had to deal with it for a good chunk of my life. Turning down a beggar with a smile is second nature to me.)

    SCB.jpg
  • MathieuMathieu Registered User
    edited January 2008
    I guess it would be more efficient to educate the public and make them understand that giving money directly to beggers is actually the wrong thing to do. Maybe donations would become so rare that begging would become unprofitable to scammers.

  • oddmentoddment Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Not saying that this is going to be true of all beggars at all, and it was a bit of a strange situation, but my boyfriend was approached on his way home by a man, obviously homeless, wanting a bit of spare change. Oddly, this man was in the park my boyfriend cut through to get home from his job in the town centre, so this wasn't a beggar in a city centre kind of deal. Still, you know a homeless man when you see one, and my boyfriend decided to give this man a couple of quid.

    He shuts his wallet and makes to walk past the beggar. The beggar stops my boyfriend and says 'I want more.' Well, that was obviously a bit of a shock, and my boyfriend said 'What? I'm not giving you any more.' The beggar replied 'I want all your money.'

    In the space of a couple of minutes, you've gone from an innocent beggar asking for a bit of spare change, to a daylight mugging. My boyfriend says no, and makes to walk away again. At which point, the beggar pulls out what looked like a rusty bread knife, and drags by boyfriend down a path into a more secluded area. Thankfully, my boyfriend managed to fight off the guy and knock the knife out of his hand. He ran back onto the main path going through the park, and noticed a girl about to walk down the path he had just come from. Although probably scary for the girl, my boyfriend grabbed her, shouted that there was a guy with a knife down that path, and they fled the park together.

    I found this out after coming out of the shower to be faced with two police officers in our lounge (our bathroom was just off the kitchen back then... aaah, student housing!).

    Now, this is probably a rare case, and it didn't take place in a city centre. Was probably a bit silly of him to stop and give money to the guy in the first place, especially in that park (known as Stabby Rapey Park... past sunset it turns into a rather horrible place, and I myself was once mugged by a gang of youths just passing by it one night, not even going through it).

    What I think is a good idea in terms of beggars, is rather than have to have licsenses and all that, there are schemes going on in Britain which give beggars a way of earning money for themselves through the sale of a magazine called The Big Issue. Also, in Manchester anyway, there are donation pots here and there around the shopping areas, asking that instead of giving money directly to beggars, you put the money in the pot, and it will go directly to things like soup kitchens and hostels where the beggars can get food and shelter. I think some of the money goes to charities who help get beggars back into regular jobs and such. Basically, these means are much more preferable to giving directly, as you know your money isn't going to be going on things like drugs. We still have beggars, but we have many more Big Issue sellers now, which I see as a good thing.

    PSN Sig Hidden Within!*
    Spoiler:
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    The only one's I hate are the ones that bring their kids into it at an early age. There was this family that must have lived near where I worked. And they would make their kids sell doughnuts for them. They must have worked at a Dunkin or something because the kids would come in with like seven boxes of doughnutsm, and every time it was a different "charity" they were raising money for, but they were in our shopping center like every three days. I finally got pissed and called the cops and child protection people on the parents, but I don't think anything ever came of it.

    As far as making it illegal I don't really care, I've got no problem just ignoring panhandlers, except for the ones that read your mail, then knock on your door at nine at night and use your first name like they know you, or someone living with you, and ask for money. I've physically threatened those people with firearms before. They don't come back now.

    To me it's not a sign that the economy is crashing or anything, it's just some people don't want to work a normal job, or can't, because all of their earned money goes into booze or drugs.

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    When visiting Santa Monica though it was kind of shocking to be surrounded by such clean and affluent stores and still have someone every block begging.

    PSN: allenquid
  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'm kinda split on the issue.

    I live in a fairly small city, which has a small amount of beggars on the major streets. Mostly regulars, if you walk by the same place everyday you grow to recognize most of them. A lot of these people are pretty fucked up in one way or another, addicts of some sort, disabled in some way, some sort of mental issue is extremely common.

    Now, I take issue with calling begging a scam, unless the person outright lies to you (which does happen). But these people are sitting outside for long periods of time, often in very poor weather, asking for whatever spare change people have and getting a lot of disdain on the way. This seems like a rather poor scam for the most part, they have a shittier day than I would at work and make less money. Its not like they're taking the easy way out by not having a job, quite the opposite.

    I used to give to beggers a fair amount, but I dont really anymore, for two reasons.
    1) I discovered that you could live with pretty well zero money. Between soup kitchens, food banks, dumpster diving and shelters (or crashing on a couch) you can sustain yourself quite well without working or begging, or at least you can in Canada. This makes me less inclined to give, because I know that for example, these people are not starving.
    2) As mentioned, a lot of them are alcoholics and/or drug addicts. How well will they spend this money? The addicts will just use it to buy their drug of choice. I once saw a guy walk by a car that had its window open, and ask for some change for a coffee. The people in the car said no, and the guy (who asked this without even slowing down his stride) walked right into the liquour store that the car was parked outside of. No more money for him.

    I also think though that making it illegal is foolish. It doesn't solve anything, at least around here. The people who are beggers are not suddenly going to turn into regular working people if begging is made illegal. If you don't want to give someone money, then don't, its as simple as that.

    ragesig.jpg

  • DiscGraceDiscGrace Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    We have the newspaper thing too, which I like. Another thing to do, if you really want to help without giving money they might spend on booze or drugs, is to give them some food. Like, I have often handed someone the banana or half sandwich out of my lunch on my way past, and bought someone a cup of soup - they've always been really appreciative, and they're usually pretty nice people to talk to, who have just gone through shitty times. But maybe we just get really high quality beggars in Dane County?

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    It's a scam when someone gets money from you on false pretenses. It's a job when they just sit there and ask for money in incliment weather all day. My thing is, when I give someone money, I expect a service in return, even my charity donations have a tax return attached to them, so I can feel good about myself and get something back for it. Giving a bum money because he can't work a normal job because he drinks all day doesn't help me or him, so I just walk away

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I actually do that as well in regards to food. They were pretty nice to me too.

    Hi5!

    PSN: allenquid
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    DiscGrace wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    We have the newspaper thing too, which I like. Another thing to do, if you really want to help without giving money they might spend on booze or drugs, is to give them some food. Like, I have often handed someone the banana or half sandwich out of my lunch on my way past, and bought someone a cup of soup - they've always been really appreciative, and they're usually pretty nice people to talk to, who have just gone through shitty times. But maybe we just get really high quality beggars in Dane County?

    The situation is a little different with immigrant beggars, at least in Finland. Due to some quirks in the legal system, they can't be deported if they don't abuse the Finnish social security, or commit crimes. If they started relying on the systems in place, they'd be encouraged to find a job, and if they kept leeching off the system without trying to improve the situation, they could be deported for lacking citizenship and hence only draining society's resources. However, some of these people apparently have no intention of doing anything else than begging, hence the problems of dealing with them.

    steam_sig.png
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited January 2008
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    PSN: allenquid
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.

    steam_sig.png
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.
    I don't think you appreciate the amount of homeless people in California.

    PSN: allenquid
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.

    They need to experience different types of bad weather, send all of the beggars to the southeast US so they can beg during some tornados and then they won't beg anymore. We'll send all of ours to very cold locations so they can freeze their asses off

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.
    I don't think you appreciate the amount of homeless people in California.

    I can't really comment on that, being that I've never visited US. I suppose there's a shitload of them? Thailand(Bangkok to be precise) at least has them every 3 meters. Warm environments seem to have more beggars than the ones where they're at risk of hypothermia. (Big surprise)

    steam_sig.png
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    It doesn't have that many, and I'm trying to find the pdf file that I now really wish I'd saved to my hard drive that had the statistics for across America.

    PSN: allenquid
  • kdrudykdrudy Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Several years ago I lived and went to school in Milwaukee and there were many beggers there that you'd have to deal with. I moved up to St Paul in Minnesota and see very few beggers, it was nice difference.

    The best in Milwaukee was the day a guy in a shitty car stopped and asked for money for gas, I think I gave him a dollar, those guys down there had some gumption.

    I realized at one point that when I didn't get them any money I'd always say "No, I'm sorry". I started to think, why am I sorry, why should I be sorry I'm not going to give them money. I started saying just "No" and would continue on my way. They seemed to pester me less after the initial approach then before.

    tvsfrank.jpg
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.
    I don't think you appreciate the amount of homeless people in California.

    Ugh, tell me about it. I don't know which is worse, San Francisco or L.A.

  • EchoEcho staring is caring Moderator mod
    edited January 2008
    Begging on the subway is a problem here in Stockholm. It's practically become a business -- people from the Baltic countries come here over a summer month, beg in the subway and live in their car, then they go home with tons of cash.

    They have these fancy papers with a little sob story on them, usually some family member needing money for surgery or along those lines. They walk down the train car handing out the notes, and then back again picking them up and collecting money, and then go to the next train car during stops.

    Now imagine this on an industrialized scale across the entire subway.

    Once I had some girl ask me for money for a toilet, so I gave her 5 SEK (80 cents or something). Then she walked to the next guy and kept asking. Yeah, didn't fall for that one again.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Echo wrote: »
    Begging on the subway is a problem here in Stockholm. It's practically become a business -- people from the Baltic countries come here over a summer month, beg in the subway and live in their car, then they go home with tons of cash.

    They have these fancy papers with a little sob story on them, usually some family member needing money for surgery or along those lines. They walk down the train car handing out the notes, and then back again picking them up and collecting money, and then go to the next train car during stops.

    Now imagine this on an industrialized scale across the entire subway.

    Once I had some girl ask me for money for a toilet, so I gave her 5 SEK (80 cents or something). Then she walked to the next guy and kept asking. Yeah, didn't fall for that one again.

    That's your own fault because you crazy foreigners charge money to use a toilet.....

    edit: :)

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • EchoEcho staring is caring Moderator mod
    edited January 2008
    Oh, there might be a free toilet somewhere, if you don't mind poop smeared on the walls.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    The worst toilet in scotland? ;)

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Yeah, the stuff you're complaining about most people have learned to ignore here. If you want to help, donate to charities or shelters, because that way, your money has a much better chance of going to a good cause.

    Edit: Food is a good idea too.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Beggars, for the most part, fall into one of two categories: scammers and crazy folks. Neither one is going to make good use of your money. I never give money, though I'll give them food (say, leftovers if I've just left a restaurant).
    Seriously though, the number of homeless people in your state creep me out.

    You need to work on shittier weather.

    It only works for so long. It kept begging at a minimum in the Nordic countries until relatively recently. Doesn't seem to do its job anymore.
    I don't think you appreciate the amount of homeless people in California.

    Ugh, tell me about it. I don't know which is worse, San Francisco or L.A.

    Santa Monica is a haven for the homeless mostly because they are more lenient law wise than LA.

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I remember hearing about a beggar in Toronto who had a $250,000 house in Burlington, took the train into Toronto each day, begged for about 10 hours, and then took the train back to her almost-mansion.

    Ludicrous!

    That being said, whenever I visit a major city I usually set aside $5-$10-$20 to give to someone whom I'm fairly certain is a real bum/beggar. If they aren't, then they've "swindled" me out of money I've set aside for real people in need anyways.

    At the very least I get a warm fuzzy feeling of doing something nice.

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Telling a beggar "No" is the best thing for them. If they become angry at this I find the best answer is "No cash, only credit", it's the least confrontational. I've lived in the same city a while now and travel by foot pretty often, so I've distinguised the regulars from the transients. In my experience, the regulars are the ones to watch out for.

    My panhandler story:

    While back, guy comes into the gym I'm in, and starts asking the instructors directly for money (the beggar had some real balls). With me standing right next to him he tells his story about 17 years USMC semper fi and how he just got out 3 days ago and just needs a little cash ($50) until his VA disability money starts coming in. He must've gotten money because he started hanging out in the parking lot asking anyone who approached the doors.

    One day I'm pulling out of that parking lot, and the fucker had started running up behind my car nearly getting himself killed. He starts asking why I wasn't feeling generous when I first saw him, and I give him my standard answer. He responds with, "oh, it's because you don't like black people, do you?" Wrong answer. I tell him to fuck off and I get out of there. Since that point I've heard a number of people say he's been harassing them with the same story (just got out 3 days ago!) for big bills, even inside of grocery stores, and he's even seen me probably a half dozen times around town and tried to come up to beg from me again (maybe we all look alike to him). I just quickly move into the nearest populated building/area and ignore him.

    the GOP shouldn't give a rats ass about them since they won't vote for them. If someone won't vote for you they might as well not exist.
  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Octoparrot wrote: »
    Telling a beggar "No" is the best thing for them. If they become angry at this I find the best answer is "No cash, only credit", it's the least confrontational. I've lived in the same city a while now and travel by foot pretty often, so I've distinguised the regulars from the transients. In my experience, the regulars are the ones to watch out for.

    My panhandler story:

    While back, guy comes into the gym I'm in, and starts asking the instructors directly for money (the beggar had some real balls). With me standing right next to him he tells his story about 17 years USMC semper fi and how he just got out 3 days ago and just needs a little cash ($50) until his VA disability money starts coming in. He must've gotten money because he started hanging out in the parking lot asking anyone who approached the doors.

    One day I'm pulling out of that parking lot, and the fucker had started running up behind my car nearly getting himself killed. He starts asking why I wasn't feeling generous when I first saw him, and I give him my standard answer. He responds with, "oh, it's because you don't like black people, do you?" Wrong answer. I tell him to fuck off and I get out of there. Since that point I've heard a number of people say he's been harassing them with the same story (just got out 3 days ago!) for big bills, even inside of grocery stores, and he's even seen me probably a half dozen times around town and tried to come up to beg from me again (maybe we all look alike to him). I just quickly move into the nearest populated building/area and ignore him.

    racist.....

    : )

    Here's what I do...
    The Vac - My Science Fiction Epic
    Fortune Pancakes - My Gag-A-Day Comic
  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'm currently living in Gainesville, FL so panhandling is a problem due to the weather and lots of rich college kids around. The city is pretty hostile to them and enacts prohibitions on panhandling, the college kids sympathize with them and have "camp out for the homeless" events. I have little sympathy for the homeless around campus and never give them cash, though at times I will share food or a cigarette in exchange for a good story (homeless people are crazy and entertaining).

    I used to live in the Philippines and the poverty there is much worse. In comparison, the homeless here are positively wealthy. Everyone wears decent, sturdy clothing, looks well fed and healthy, and rely on the generosity of well meaning college liberals. Between food shelters, homeless shelters, charity events and the weather the homeless are not in any real danger of survival. I remember looking at one beggar on a highway ramp and noticing his boots were better than mine, his clothes were washed and clean, and he had a nice looking watch.

  • OctoparrotOctoparrot Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Yep the 4 year turnover to a fresh crop of rubes with pockets full of scholarship/daddy's money is good news for any potential beggars. There's always a disproportionate number around campuses.

    the GOP shouldn't give a rats ass about them since they won't vote for them. If someone won't vote for you they might as well not exist.
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    DiscGrace wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    We have the newspaper thing too, which I like. Another thing to do, if you really want to help without giving money they might spend on booze or drugs, is to give them some food. Like, I have often handed someone the banana or half sandwich out of my lunch on my way past, and bought someone a cup of soup - they've always been really appreciative, and they're usually pretty nice people to talk to, who have just gone through shitty times. But maybe we just get really high quality beggars in Dane County?

    When I was home in Dallas over breaks I would bus over to friends houses and other places because I didn't have a car. I'd get a lot of people asking me for a dollar to ride the DART bus or light rail. Usually I would just get a day pass for my travels, so I'd just hand it to them and go on. If they really did need to get somewhere, then they could do so for free the rest of the day.

    steam_sig.png
  • VeeveeVeevee WisconsinRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    DiscGrace wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    We have the newspaper thing too, which I like. Another thing to do, if you really want to help without giving money they might spend on booze or drugs, is to give them some food. Like, I have often handed someone the banana or half sandwich out of my lunch on my way past, and bought someone a cup of soup - they've always been really appreciative, and they're usually pretty nice people to talk to, who have just gone through shitty times. But maybe we just get really high quality beggars in Dane County?

    I have friends that in the spring will dress really dirty, stop showering for a week, and then head down to state street and make $10 to $20 an hour just begging. They'll do this instead of a job because they get to sit in the fresh air, watch the college girls, and just do what they want. Most of the beggars down there are looking for drug money or just extra money to spend since theres a a soup kitchen and shelter just right around the corner they could go to.

    Just asked my wife, who spent a summer on state street after high school, and her exact words are "Once I saw one of them get taco bell, but thats cause he had the munchies like a mo fo and it was after the church stopped serving food." Oh, and apparently cigarettes and condoms were purchased, but the condoms weren't so important.

    Edit: And yes, our beggars are usually very nice people, but only because the police force them to be this way. As long as they aren't offensive or get in people's way, the police will look the other way. If the beggar starts to block state street traffic or become a nuisance the police will load the beggar into their car, drive somewhere and drop the beggar off. Sometimes S Park St, other times down by hilldale. Close enough for the beggar to get back, but far enough to make it a hassle. They can't take them to jail as, for some of the beggars, that would be their perfect home. 3 meals a day and a warm place to sleep.

    steam_sig.png
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    In London, they have "The Big Issue", which is essentially a rubbish newspaper that homeless/poor people can sell.

    They go to the main office for "The Big Issue", get the papers and sell them in and around London.

    I like this approach a little bit better than just begging, but still it's not that much better.

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • XaevXaev Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Veevee wrote: »
    DiscGrace wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    Let's say that begging is banned. Without making it a criminal offense, how exactly is this going to have an effect? If it isn't enforced with jail or fines, calling the cops to clear up beggars works for a whole 15 minutes. Then they just show up again.
    I know that while Dallas bans begging pretty much everywhere it also does a pretty good job of housing/rehabilitating them. Last time I was there I noticed one of the programs had begun giving panhandlers newspapers about local issues/politics/events to sell, which let them go to more affluent areas they weren't allowed to beg. I kind of like the idea.

    We have the newspaper thing too, which I like. Another thing to do, if you really want to help without giving money they might spend on booze or drugs, is to give them some food. Like, I have often handed someone the banana or half sandwich out of my lunch on my way past, and bought someone a cup of soup - they've always been really appreciative, and they're usually pretty nice people to talk to, who have just gone through shitty times. But maybe we just get really high quality beggars in Dane County?

    I have friends that in the spring will dress really dirty, stop showering for a week, and then head down to state street and make $10 to $20 an hour just begging. They'll do this instead of a job because they get to sit in the fresh air, watch the college girls, and just do what they want. Most of the beggars down there are looking for drug money or just extra money to spend since theres a a soup kitchen and shelter just right around the corner they could go to.

    Just asked my wife, who spent a summer on state street after high school, and her exact words are "Once I saw one of them get taco bell, but thats cause he had the munchies like a mo fo and it was after the church stopped serving food." Oh, and apparently cigarettes and condoms were purchased, but the condoms weren't so important.

    Edit: And yes, our beggars are usually very nice people, but only because the police force them to be this way. As long as they aren't offensive or get in people's way, the police will look the other way. If the beggar starts to block state street traffic or become a nuisance the police will load the beggar into their car, drive somewhere and drop the beggar off. Sometimes S Park St, other times down by hilldale. Close enough for the beggar to get back, but far enough to make it a hassle. They can't take them to jail as, for some of the beggars, that would be their perfect home. 3 meals a day and a warm place to sleep.

    I personally haven't run into many problems with beggars on State Street or anything like that, but I'm also probably only down there once a month or so (and more often in the fall or spring than summer).

    As a rule, I don't give any money to beggars. I don't know how they're going to spend it and my money would be better used funding a charity to help the homeless than giving it to them when they may spend it on booze or drugs.

    Steam - Lysus || XBL - Veax || PSN - Lysus || WoW - Lysus (Korgath - US) || Guild Wars - Lysus Yjirkar || Starcraft II - Lysus.781 || League of Legends - Lysus
    Feel free to add me on whatever network, it's always more fun to play with people than alone
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.