Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Panhandlers


Part of the challenge of living and working in an urban environment is people asking for money.  If I gave a dollar to every person who asked, I'd need to get a second job.  You learn to ignore most of them, panhandlers say that people treat them like they are invisible, and that is really how city dwellers treat most of them.  

I will give a dollar or two to a musician, they don't even have to be good.  There is one, in DC who plays the ukulele, not very well, if I won the Power-Ball lottery, I'd give him a million-dollars if he would agree to never play in public again. I like the drummers on their 5-gallon-plastic-buckets or upturned garbage cans. There is a brass band here in DC, that plays on a corner in front of an office building filled with lawyers.  The law firm has offered the band a significant amount of money to move away, and the band has refused - I bet when that story ran in the Washington Post, money dropped in the bucket in front of the band went up.   

I passed a young guy sitting on the sidewalk with a sign asking for money, and a guitar case sitting closed next to him.  I was tempted to stop and tell him to take out the guitar and play some music, - but you learn to not engage street people - some of them a few bricks short of a balanced load.  

How to you respond to people asking for money? 





6 comments:

  1. I have a long history of helping out downtrodden folks, from offering a dollar or two, to buying food/beer, and even a cheap motel room for a night.

    On a recent trip to Gainesville, FL, I was semi-accosted by a fellow as I left a Chinese buffet; turns out he wanted a ride, so I obliged him.

    I listened to his story about being kicked out of his shared motel room by his girlfriend, and banned by the manager for a week, and he had no place to go.

    So I bought some beer and drank a couple with him, then gave him $10 and wished him good luck.

    Folks like this often tell me I am much kinder than average people, so I guess that is some reward.

    And then there's this, "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink...as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

    :-)

    -Andy

    :-)

    -Andy

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  2. Let's just say I'm not Andy.

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  3. Pan handling in Philadelphia is off the rails and I have never seen it so bad. I do the keep looking ahead thing, but I will give musicians tips for at least they are doing something. I am mixed. I once went and bought a beverage and sandwich for a lady, only to watch her throw it out. She wanted the money. Since seeing that I don't trust their not going to buy hootch and or drugs.

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  4. I happily give musicians money.

    But others- if they ask for money for food, I'll offer to take them to the nearest food selling place and buy them something, but so far have never, ever had a response. Just as recently, in the carpark of our supermarket, which happens to be near a railway station, we saw a chap going from person to person with his hand out. All shook their heads. When he approached us he asked for money for a train ticket, but when Partner offered to take him there to buy the ticket for him, he started on some rambling story, then realised it didn't fly, so just ran away!

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  5. I remember being told in sunday school to always be kind to beggars lest they be angels in disguise who will testify on the day of Judgment how well we took care of our fellow man. I think of this whever I see a homeless person.

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