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Homeless -- Pity or Looking to Help?

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posted on Sep, 15 2006 @ 11:19 PM

Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
It's really called blackmail.

Blackmail on whose part?

The homeless people blackmail the employee into donating to their cause and in return their cars are not broken into?

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 12:08 AM
It's sometimes called street justice. I could tell you tales of street justice that you wouldn't believe, so I won't.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 01:02 AM

Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
It's sometimes called street justice. I could tell you tales of street justice that you wouldn't believe, so I won't.

I understand.

But lets not paint everyone with the same brush.

This is a sad truth though, but not all are guilty of this.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 01:32 AM
Honestly, who here can say that they can see themselves choosing to be homeless? It is a choice made out of necessity, such as kids who escape abusive homes, or the result of such problems as mental illness, addiction, or even plain old poverty.
I am very close to someone who ran away at 12 years old and lived on the street, to escape her abusive homelife. She later lived in foster care, but by 15 was on her own for good. She endured abusive partners, and sporadic homelessness for many years afterwards.
I don't doubt that there are frauds who are faking it to make a quick buck, but they are not the people in the shelters, souplines, or sleeping in cardboard boxes. And I hope for a day when no one is left to live on the street.
I have two stories. I once asked a gas station clerk if I could use the phone, I had no money on me, but though I was broke, I was still barely paying my rent so I was not desperate. But I needed to make a phone call, I can't recall who I needed to call, but I think it was a fellow I was working for parttime. Anyway, the clerk wouldn't let me use the phone. A homeless man pushed a loonie (Canadian dollar coin) into my hand. I could not give it back, and he even refused the 75 cents I had left over after my call. Two months later, I again tried to repay him, and he refused the money I pleaded with him to take.
I find myself often wishing he'd let me repay him. He couldn't afford to do that. It was extremely giving of him, and I will never forget it.
The second one was in Puerto Vallarta, and a little Native American boy, maybe five years old, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, runny nose, dirty, barefoot, approached me and wanted to sell me some gum. I gave him about 5 times what I could have bought it for at the store, and I'll never forget his reaction. He looked at me with a look that said, 'What an idiot this gringo is, he doesn't have a clue what this gum is worth, ha ha ha.' He was smiling from ear to ear, and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed seeing his expression of disbelief.. and a certain look I can't describe, but I knew he thought I was nuts.
I often stop and chat with homeless people too.
'Anyone can be polite to a king, but it takes a special person to be polite to a beggar.'

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 01:50 AM
Politeness will conquer all.

I am incapable of walking down the street without saying hello to everyone I pass. I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone, so I am accustomed to saying hello to those I pass on the sidewalk.

Walking passed a homeless person is no different, odds are I have walked passed with a friendly hello before I even realize their situation. It is at this moment I think to turn around and offer the change I can, or continue on in fear or embarrassing the individual by turning back at this point.

Many people believe since they are homeless, they have already been ripped of their dignity. But by a complete stranger giving them respect and dignity, it can be the little step in order for these people to turn their lives around.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 01:55 AM
Every time we hit a big freeze down here, we get reports of people freezing under bridges. Thank god we only get that every 10 years, approx.

I don't mind helping, but not at the expense of my family.

My dad won't pick up male hitchikers (sometimes homeless, or have some place to go, but have nothing of their own) with his family in the car. He'll pick of a woman, but she sits in the front where he can watch her, and his family in the back, so she can't pull a stunt.

I worry more about those who are in more danger from being on the street, in the first place.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 02:06 AM

Originally posted by jlc163
I don't mind helping, but not at the expense of my family.

My dad won't pick up male hitchikers (sometimes homeless, or have some place to go, but have nothing of their own) with his family in the car. He'll pick of a woman, but she sits in the front where he can watch her, and his family in the back, so she can't pull a stunt.

That is a harsh reality that you have picked up on well.

I do believe it is our responsibility to help those in need, but not at the expense of your family. A good samaritan can quickly turn into an innocent victim, so your family needs to be protected.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 03:24 AM
Out here (California), pan handlers are everywhere. When I first moved here five years ago I wasn't accustomed to seeing people asking for money so I would always break bread if I had change on me. This all ceased about a year later when a young woman asked me for change at a gas station down in L.A. I gave her what I had on the way in without thinking twice. After I had bought what I needed and paid for my gas, I came out to see her entering her late model BMW. The point is people make a killing out here by pan handleing off of people like me who actually work for a living. It is nearly impossible to seperate the ones that NEED the money and the ones like the lady that makes it into a career and are able to live a middle-class lifestyle by taking advantage of people's kindness and concern.


posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 06:27 PM
The frauds and fakers are a very sad aspect of our current society. How can they rationalize their actions? they must have at least briefly thought about how their actions could cause people to not give to the genuinely needy. that is a horrible possible repercussion of their scam. The thing I see as being more and more common is a total lack of conscience, responsibility, and no ability to accept and admit one is to blame. Its all cover your a**. It is like we are heading towards a society of sociopaths. Nice.

posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 07:12 PM
In the states I don't ever give to beggars, I might buy them a Big-Mac or some canned soup around Christmas time, but that's about it. Maybe a little more If I feel they are making an honest effort to get on their feet and get a job.

In places like Thailand or some of the other under developed countries I'll give a bit more. In Thailand it's common to see people with no limbs, eyes, big joints, people that NEED help because they have no other option and the government won't take care of them. I'll drop 50 baht ($1.30), it's not much for me, but for them it's three meals and some change.

In China, where I live at now, there's a few homeless people roaming the streets, but not that many. At this one corner it's common for a young man dressed in raggy clothes (I assume he's homeless) to come up and start asking for money, even after I say "no", "go away" and "I don't want" he still presses me, so then I'll say "shut-up and land your plane" and then he'll just look at me like I'm crazy and go away. Whatever works right....

I guess that was more of a rant. But anyways, I have no problem helping those that help themselves. Yeah, sometimes people get down on their luck and may have to do a little begging, and that's all good as long they're not making a career out of it.


posted on Sep, 16 2006 @ 07:25 PM
Hmm my problem with this kid is high school is free, so go, he choose not to. That was a choice.

Say he went to school but is not doing anything now? Lazy.

Say he was mentally chalenged? We have public service for that.

Say he went to school, was a drug addict droped out, got arrested and what ever else !#% thing he managed to do to himself? His CHOICE!

I chose NOT to drink, do drugs, be in a "gang" in highschool, and because of GOOD choices, I will do better then him. There is no excuse.

Say he went to high school, though I doubt he did, and did not go to college, that is as well a choice and you know whats really sad? That punk kid would pay far less then me at the same school because I work harder then he does.

Pity? Yes, pity, because deep down in that situation we give money to him because we want to feel like we helped someone, in reality we did not, we furthered his dependance on givers. He is a begger, he begs for his dinner because he did not have the strength to make it in society.

I do not feel for these people, working down town in a city I have found they are mostly mentally retarded, or junkies.

posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 10:30 AM
Grady. Thanks for the explanation...I found it after I u2u'd you...ooops. I don't agree with you in this particular wasn't the homeless doing the stealing from the cars, or the car stealing comes to that. These particular episodes were a ring of car thieves that were in the valley for around a year and a half...they came and were never caught, and then left.

I suppose it could have been a form of blackmail...but since I am basically the only person at night that runs the front end, I am the one they, the homeless, know, I think it was more of a "hey, this guy's cool." sort of thing. Modest aren't I?

I've had to shepherd people out of the store because of complaints from customers, but I try to be polite...directing them to shelters, and places where they can stay out of inclement weather. If the store is slow, and at three in the morning, let's just say it ain't wall to wall people; I'll let them sit in our deli area, as long as they behave themselves in a respectful manner. For the most part, I have had few problems. I can count the number of times I've had to call the cops on the fingers of one hand. College kids on the other hand...rude, immature little brats...

posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 10:40 AM

Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
I'll give someone who is hungry a meal but I won't just give someone money.

I just wanted to offer some perspective here on the part of some homeless people. Many of them will turn down being bought a meal simply because they want to have the autonomy to spend the money as they wish. When you think about it, it is somewhat condescending to say I'll buy you a meal but I don't trust you to spend this money responsibly if I put it in your hand and walk away.

I've been turned down when offering a meal, too. I've done quite a bit of volunteering with Toronto's homeless and have asked many of them about this and why. That's what they told me. And I can understand it.

posted on Sep, 18 2006 @ 03:38 PM
When we offer the homeless a meal instead of food we are viewing it as a friendly gesture to assure they can fill their stomachs. Of course we want the certainty that the money is going to proper use and benefiting the individual.

As parrhesia has said though, not every homeless person is willing to look at it like that. They have been ripped of their dignity already by having to take handouts. I've said many times in this thread that not every person on the street is a drug abuser. So its quite possible that the money you offer up is going to food already. When we openly admit to the person that we'd rather give them food than money it could be viewed as a slap to the face and a bigger sign of disrespect than walking by.

I don't exactly agree with this and think the person should take whatever the person is offering. Insulted it or not, if someone is willing to help them they should accept it.

But we as the people trying to help should try to understand these people are still deserving of respect. Maybe present them with the decision. Explain that you are happy to offer some money, but willing to offer a warm meal instead if they wish. Empower the individual by allowing him to make the decision, if you feel he is going to waste it then give less than you would of in the meal.

Atleast this way the man does not feel like your talking down to him, or feel like your above them. They must think all day that they are not as good as those that walk by them everyday. So if a person came up and talked to them on their level and asked what they wanted, it may make a difference.

Everyone deserves your respect and everyone should beable to attain alittle bit of dignity. No matter what their economical situation.

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