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Old 02-25-2019, 04:09 PM #1
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Confused Handling Beggars

In the town I attend college, a consequence of a rapidly increasing population and student body is the presence of beggars. Most of them are harmless, but as part of practicing stronger personal boundaries and saving money for post-graduation life, Iíve gone from liberally giving money to finding a new pet peeve in beggars, particularly more recently after a few beggars invaded my personal space and continued to nag me for loot even after I said ďnoĒ. In my college town, we donít have panhandlers holding out signs for food, cancer, etc; theyíre more like middle class to stark poor fellows who come up to me with a long-winded story (getting abandoned by friends, lacking money for gas to get home, needing money for repairs) and ask me for money. A few have pestered me to buy products they were selling. But as Iíve gotten older, Iíve began questioning the validity of their reasons for begging, or as stated with protecting my financial boundaries, if I should even allow them to beg at me.

How do you guys here on PC handle beggars, particularly more persistent ones like Iíve found? Do you give them money if they approach you? What do you think about some of these beggars like those who have approached me?
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:18 PM #2
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

With regard to homeless folks, or anyone asking for money on the street, I think you just decide if you are willing and able to provide. If so, go ahead. If not, don't. If you feel the need to say something you could try "Sorry, I don't have any cash on me" or something like that and continue to walk away. If someone is violating your boundaries for any reason, you need to leave the situation asap. If someone blocks your path or you feel unsafe, call the police.

I wouldn't speculate about people's life choices or why they are asking for money or if they are deserving or not. We never truly know what is going on with a stranger. I either have money to spare or I don't. I don't analyze the reasons of folks asking for money.

Hope this helps. Good luck and stay safe
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Old 02-25-2019, 04:32 PM #3
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

HopefullyLost gave good advice about people asking for money on the street. Many do in London where I live, especially at rail stations. I ignore them, otherwise their badgering could go violent. My advice to you is on seeing them, make sure you have an escape route and avoid eye contact. Cross the road if you can, or double back. Use your phone to contact a friend or dial for police assistance if you are threatened.

That said, whenever I see someone living rough in town and they are often with a dog for company, I'll buy them a KFC or a large burger, fries and a soft drink. Giving is an honourable thing as it feeds the needy. I would never give money as they could spend it on alcohol and/or drugs. Being a Londoner for many years I'm street-wise from having learnt Situational Awareness. Google it. You should find useful info for getting out of difficult situations, thus keeping yourself safe.
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:39 PM #4
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

@HopefullyLost1211 Thank you for your input! I guess there's a time and place for everything, except for dangerous begging. Being an analytical and pensive type also features a tendency to overanalyze situations, so only the other person truly knows what they have been through.

@Velvet Lounger Thanks for your advice also. I occasionally feel like a fish out of water where I've gone to school because I grew up in the country, so its great and very interesting to get input from someone who lives in one of the world's most globalized cities. Of course like you I won't give money away so people can get wasted or use it selfishly but it is rewarding to give when it's appropriate. I gave quite a few dollars in the Sydney Harbour and New Orleans' French Quarter for people showing off their musical talent!
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:05 PM #5
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

I find it tough. I live in a major metropolitan area with lots of homelessness and pan handlers. I make the decision to give/not give money based on what I can afford at the time. I figure once I make the decision to give, what they use the money for, is out of my hands. If it's for food great. If it's for drugs or alcohol to help them get through the day, I'm not going to judge them.


I am more inclined to give money to people who are selling "Street Times" which is an incredibly mediocre paper, that the homeless can sell, and they keep something like 65% of the cost. I figure they're at least making an effort.


I find here, that if I don't have the money to give, a simple, "Sorry I can't" suffices. I'm rarely if ever harassed.



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Old 02-25-2019, 08:32 PM #6
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

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Originally Posted by splitimage View Post
I find it tough. I live in a major metropolitan area with lots of homelessness and pan handlers. I make the decision to give/not give money based on what I can afford at the time. I figure once I make the decision to give, what they use the money for, is out of my hands. If it's for food great. If it's for drugs or alcohol to help them get through the day, I'm not going to judge them.


I am more inclined to give money to people who are selling "Street Times" which is an incredibly mediocre paper, that the homeless can sell, and they keep something like 65% of the cost. I figure they're at least making an effort.


I find here, that if I don't have the money to give, a simple, "Sorry I can't" suffices. I'm rarely if ever harassed.



splitimage
That's true, only the beggar knows what they will eventually use any loot for. I guess they're at least not sitting around doing nothing! I guess Situational Awareness is an art and science
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:33 PM #7
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

Beggers where I live usually gather at the local supermarket and drugstore. If I give its usually food. I make certain it's soft snacks since many such people's teeth are bad. I'm suspicious of the cash being used for drugs.
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:04 PM #8
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

Quote:
Originally Posted by mugwort2 View Post
Beggers where I live usually gather at the local supermarket and drugstore. If I give its usually food. I make certain it's soft snacks since many such people's teeth are bad. I'm suspicious of the cash being used for drugs.
You're a much better person than me lol
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:11 AM #9
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

For anyone interested, it is as physiologically dangerous to suddenly withdraw from alcohol as it is to withdraw from heroin. So if you are ever feeling badly about giving a homeless person money out of concern that they'll purchase alcohol (many homeless folks are living with chemical dependence) you can actually tell yourself that you may have saved their life.

Similarly, not wanting to give money to someone addicted to drugs...chemical dependence is not something that evaporates due to being denied money. Folks become more and more desperate...driven to more and more dangerous acts in order to avoid withdrawal...this is not simply an emotional decision...there's a very powerful neurological mechanism involved which affects the entire body. It can cause dangerous sickness and warrants professional intervention but I know you folks already realize that homeless people are often not receiving medical care.

I have never experienced chemical dependence or withdrawal myself but I've listened to my patients describe it and it sounds horrifying. I would not wish that on anyone.

It's anyone's choice whether to give to the homeless or not. I just thought some folks may find it useful to know the biology when they are considering the implications of drugs and alcohol use. Peace to all.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:26 AM #10
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Default Re: Handling Beggars

I give what I can afford at the time
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