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RammStein
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cEll 513, west wing of the ninth plain
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-10-2002 20:21

hypothetical situation (this time I'm just making up the sitaution):

you find yourself in a tight spot .. low on cash and bills coming in .. your driving home one night on the freeway/highway/whatever they call it in Europe and you get off at your usual exit .. to find a homeless man standing on the left side with a sign up "please help .. anything will do .. God bless you" .. now what would you do .. right now every dollar to you counts and yet your in a car have a roof over your head and have a job .. you just spreaded yourself to thin this month .. do you give the guy a dollar and move on or do you just seat there and wait for the light to turn green so that you can go and have a lovely dinner with your significant other or friends?




.::. cEll .::. 513

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 09-10-2002 20:31

Give him the dollar...I've actually been that 'bum' a couple of times...and those that helped me...helped me more than they will ever know. It's not nice going without food for weeks...though you will lose weight...

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 09-10-2002 22:04

There are so many homeless people around here that it is difficult. I do know a number of people (no friends thankfully) who have ended up homeless due to heroin or insanity and when I had a bit of money I'd buy the Big Issue from one guy outside the station in the middle of Liverpool but when I haven't had much money (which seems to be most of the time ) I tend not to give any money out to beggars except for one guy I went to school with (I'm also sort of friends with his brother too - although I haven't seen him much since he went to prison) - he was dim in school and has been on and off heroin for years (and hes been away for some petty things like robbing a few pounds of school children once with a knife). I probably shouldn't as when he's clean he's spending it on drink and when he's not it goes on drugs but I hope he spends some of it on food.

I did once give the last of my money to a girl in town who claimed she'd got separated from her friends and needed the train fare home (I already had my ticket) - if a friend of mine was stuck on her own in a big city then I hope someone would return the favour (if she was lying then thats for her to deal with).

Not a great answer but I suppose I'd just say it depends.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Slime
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Massachusetts, USA
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 09-10-2002 22:10

I freeze in those situations and do my best to ignore whatever it is. Not just people asking for money, but things like street musicians, or even people giving out free stuff to promote a product... practically any time I find something unexpected like that, where I feel obligated to do something, I don't do it. I do my best to get out of there.

It's not like I want to be selfish, but it's just so akward that I don't know how to deal with it, so I run.

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 09-10-2002 22:23

I never really thought about it before but I would have to say that I react the same way Slime does. Beyond that, I sort of can't help but feel that they've given up on themselves and any amount of help I give them won't do them any good. The help they need is to get to a homeless shelter that will help them get fed and clean, perhaps clothed and ready for say... a job interview. I donate to shelters(time and money). I would rather know that my money is spent in that fashion than on the next bottle in a long line of bottles, you know?


GrythusDraconis
"Be careful not to anger the Great Dragon for you are crunchy and taste good with Ketchup" T-Shirt Somewhere

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 09-11-2002 02:26

Also having been there, like WS, my experience is closer to that of Emps' dim friend. (Except it was crack not heroin.) Around here anyways, there are enough churches with soup kitchens that you really have to try hard to be homeless *and* hungry. On the other hand, the dope houses require cash or valuable items of trade. Liquor stores are less flexible--they take cash only.

So my practice, and advice, is to never give money to panhandlers.

If this makes you feel guilty, then donate to, or better yet volunteer at, a soup kitchen or shelter.

"the most incredible feats are often accomplished by
those who have had the most incredible challenges"

InSiDeR
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Oblivion
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 09-11-2002 03:13

Hmm, this has happened to me before one time in Louisville...

One of my friends, who happens to be one of those people that listens to everything they hear... Thought it would be a GREAT idea to give the remains of our pizza (we went to eat some pizza w/ like 5 people) to some old bum (i mean old, like 60's-70's old). The bum didn't want it. I didn't want to give the pizza to the old guy, I wanted to eat it! For all we know he may not even have eaten it, and even if he did what good would that do? I especially dislike it when people give money to poor people because (and lets be honest) most likely they won't spend it in anything that will help them (i.e. drugs, alchohal, hookers).

So no, I would walk right past that guy and ignore him.


_____________________
Prying open my third eye.

[This message has been edited by InSiDeR (edited 09-11-2002).]

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 09-11-2002 03:46

I would do what I do when I run into panhandlers on the subway or anywhere else in this city. Ignore them. It may sound cruel, but I don't think giving money directly to a panhandler is the best way to help them. I totally agree with bruce--if you really feel for them, get out there and make a difference. Anyone can toss money around, but it takes effort to make a real difference.

(Note: my attitude is most likely a product of time spent in NYC and the fact that almost all beggars in Seoul are part of an organization--they panhandle for gangsters. I've seen the black cars drive around real early in the morning dropping off beggars at strategic points.)


Cell 270

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 09-11-2002 03:48
quote:
I especially dislike it when people give money to poor people because (and lets be honest) most likely they won't spend it in anything that will help them (i.e. drugs, alchohal, hookers).





My word - I'm waiting for you to suggest special 'relocation' camps for those in the lowest 5% income percentile.



Its an interesting extrapolation from the behaviour of one homeless guy (who could have easily refused your pizza for the simple fact that it could just be the prelude to a bunch of kids handing out a beating - the fact that you weren't doesn't mean he had a valid reason for refusing it).

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 09-11-2002 04:54

that's disgusting, not eating your leftovers! the very nerve.
sometimes the homeless (who you so tactfully refer to as 'bums') only take money because:

  • they fear that the food is poisoned
  • they feel it preserves their dignity (yes, they are humans, they have dignity. and it may be compromised by eating someone else's scraps. it may seem like a strange way to preserve dignity, but sometimes people have to hold on to some fairly compromised ideals)
  • other fears, like emps mentioned.
  • they only want to spend money on "drugs, alchohal, hookers"


it can be any of these reasons, it can be something completely different. either way, they have the right to refuse food, and you have the right to restrain a few brainless stereotypes.

~smirk~ reminds me of a girl i was walking thru the city with - we saw a beggar, and she said: "i just don't get those guys, i mean, i feel sorry for them, but why don't they just get up and do something about their situation, like go and earn some money?"
yeah, there's an idea that i bet they haven't thought of. i'm sure they are just too lazy to go up and get a job - it's so much easier sitting on the side of the road.



[This message has been edited by reitsma (edited 09-11-2002).]

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 09-11-2002 06:42

i agree with brucew.
I use to deal with all the dregs on the drag in Austin and they were worse than the bums in Waco.
The bums in Waco are alot more plentiful but they're alot more pathetic looking and seem in actual dire straits. I doubt they could find a job even if they wanted to.

The street rats, ages in their teens to 20s, on the drag in Austin make a good living (living consists of trying to die on heroine for them) begging and don't want to get a real job. They easily could, there are so many low-level job openings for anyone who wants to work the least bit hard. Problem is, they couldn't pass the drug test.

They all seem to have their own dog though. weird.
To top it off, they get fucking snotty when you shrug them off.
Like they deserve your hard earned money because they offered you a dead flower.
so pathetic.

Once a business venture is created out of playing on the good will of others, good will quickly becomes short in supply.

kaboi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Nairobi, Kenya
Insane since: Mar 2002

posted posted 09-11-2002 09:08

I partly agree with reitsma, you're never really sure where your contribution will end up.

But coming from Africa-Kenya. I see hundreds of these beggars/homeless people on the streets on a daily basis, but somehow you meet one of these people and you get really compassionate. 'Picture a woman and her two kids (sometimes the kids are really dirty/naked/slimy) and the kid tugs on your sleeve' Men, you just have to give.

Though some of them have formed rackets like suho said. collect kids for empathy so that you feel compelled to hand out your last dime.

To answer your question RammStein, I would give them something as long as the mother wasnt smoking or sniffing something.

RammStein
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cEll 513, west wing of the ninth plain
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-11-2002 18:45

I myself would not give to the poor .. ONLY if I knew that they couldn't do anything or much with there lives .. for instance the only time I have ever helped out a homeless man .. I use to live in an apartment that was in a residential area with an alley in the back .. he lived in the alley and across a major street in another alley .. it was like his area and no one ever complained about him being there because of one reason .. he was blind and even when blind he cleaned up the alley making sure all the trash bins were ready on trash day and not to much trash was left on the ground .. I gave him food all the time .. not money because others did at times .. but he was mostly given old clothes and food .. not money to often because I don't think he ever spent it

He asked me once who I was .. and all I could say to him was "I'm a friend" .. he collected cans and had atleast 10 big bags full I'm sure he has more now

but living in Los Angeles Basin .. seeing homeless people is like second nature they tend to blend into the surroundings and are not noticed .. but they are well taken care of .. which is the odd part .. and yes they always seem to have a dog .. go fig




.::. cEll .::. 513

St. Seneca
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 3rd shelf, behind the cereal
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-11-2002 20:17

For me, this issue has nothing to do with how low on cash I might happen to be. I just don't give bums money.

Jestah
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Long Island, NY
Insane since: Jun 2000

posted posted 09-11-2002 20:43

When both my sister and I were little, we would go in to NYC every Thanksgiving to watch the parade. Afterwards, my dad would give us a bunch of 10 dollar bills and we would walk around the streets giving them out to the homeless people. Between the three of us, we'd probably go through close to three to four hundred dollars. Then we'd come home and eat with our entire family. Once I got a little older going to the parade wasn't cool anymore, so now I spend Thanksgiving morning at McDonalds with my friends and teachers from high school*. To tell you guys the honest to goodness truth, Thanksgiving dinner hasn't been nearly as good since we stopped going into the city.

What comes around goes around. No one chooses to be on the streets, its just something that happens. Tossing a ten spot in the hands of someone who hasn't eatten in days will probably be the highligh of their week and probably won't even hurt you.

Who knows? Maybe that homeless person will take the $10 and go to the store. Instead of buying booze they might pick up a newspaper, shampoo, and a razor then clean themselves up and find a job. Maybe the next time your in a jam they'll toss you a $10.

-Jestah
Cell 277

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 09-11-2002 23:34

Many good arguments here that have caused me to see that, as with most things in life, a rigid policy, either pro or con, probably isn't the best solution.

Might I suggest one way to separate the druggies and drunks from the otherwise disenfranchised?

If the request is for money for food, offer to buy groceries or a meal instead. If your offer is turned down, there's a high probablility the funds aren't intended for a meal.

I saw this at a bus stop downtown last week. Dude was walking around the stop asking everyone for "spare change to buy some food." When he asked one guy who had a sack full of groceries, the guy pulled out a loaf of bread and a vacuum-sealed package of cold cuts and offered them to Dude. Dude said no, and walked across the street to the other bus stop and resumed panhandling.

Could be he didn't want terms and conditions dictated to him. Could be he can't eat pork specifically (a lot of it in lunch meat) or meat in general. Still, it could be he wanted the money for something else. But since he was also smoking a cigar, I suspect it was the latter.

I knew there was a reason I should remember that...

"the most incredible feats are often accomplished by
those who have had the most incredible challenges"

RammStein
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cEll 513, west wing of the ninth plain
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-11-2002 23:44

when I was living in SoCal .. down in Santa Monica .. 3rd street Promenade .. I saw one homeless man with a sign once and it said this "let's be honest .. I need a drink" or something to that matter he admitted up front the money was going to go to a drink or drug .. I laughed and moved on


.::. cEll .::. 513

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 09-12-2002 00:50

bruce has a point. My father, in fact, used to sometimes offer to buy panhandlers a meal--no one ever took him up on the offer. I guess it just wasn't the right neighborhood.

brucew
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: North Coast of America
Insane since: Dec 2001

posted posted 09-12-2002 02:27

Deftly playing both sides of the street...

Terms and conditions many times come attached to the offer of food or a meal. It's generally some form of preaching.

A shared meal carries with it the debt of conversation. At some point it inevitably comes around to something like, "Why don't you clean yourself up and get a job?" That's also a form of preaching--the great god Capitalism. Don't think so? Try it this way, "Why don't you clean yourself up and accept Jesus?" They're close enough for me.

It can also come off as a scolding. How many times have you heard a parent's scolding begin with the words, "Why don't you..."?

And hungry or not, opening yourself up to a meal means opening yourself up to unwelcome conversation that usually turns in to preaching/scolding. Frankly, the last things I wanted to hear when I was out there were either of those two questions. Sometimes the hunger or the jonesing was the lesser of two evils.

"the most incredible feats are often accomplished by
those who have had the most incredible challenges"

Jeni
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: 8675309
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 09-12-2002 02:36

I didn't read through all the posts, but I wanted to share my answer to your question.
You need money?
I worked hard for mine.
Should I give it to you (someone I've never even met, nor do I know your situation)?
Fuck no.
Want a job?
I'll give you plenty of leads there, and can maybe even hook you up with an address to get yourself going.
I've never hesitated to help someone asking for help in that type of situation. I do not give handouts though.


[This message has been edited by Jeni (edited 09-12-2002).]

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 09-12-2002 03:58

jeni - a very well voiced opinion.
st. seneca - hey, look here! someone said exactly the same thing as you, except without derogatory terms!
ok, i'll pre-empt any quips that "no bum could see this, as streets don't have web access" - it's a mindset, people.
irrespective of how they got there, i belive that they are all humans, who at least deserve a basic level of respect.
compassion? well, that's up to you.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 09-12-2002 04:13

Another good point, bruce, but it doesn't have to be a meal together. I walked out of a McDonald's in London once with take away, and down the street was a guy begging. I walked by him, but later I thought that it would have been very easy to just have given him the bag and walked back in and bought myself another meal.

And even if it is a meal together, there is the old saying, "beggars can't be choosers." If a hot meal is that important, one might be willing to sit through a lecture or two. I'm not saying that I necessarily agree with using food as a lever, but there are people who do that, and that's just the way it is.

There was a time when I would have been uncomfortable sharing a meal with a beggar. After some of the things I've seen and done, though, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Most people, though, would opt for the lesser of the two options I mentioned above, just giving food.

Still, though, I hold to my first opinion (which was pretty much a restating of your opinion anyway)--giving to organizations that help the homeless is the best route.

eyezaer
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: the Psychiatric Ward
Insane since: Sep 2000

posted posted 09-12-2002 05:14

I have talked to a guy number of guys in Balmer (Baltimore) I really remember one guy who kept telling me how friggin bad drugs were and how he got hooked and never to shoot up. He also shocked me with how much he could take in on a regular day. If they are in the right place they really make some cash.

On the other hand... I would point them to a shelter or a place in the city where they could go and get food and help. The last time I volunteered at such a place i got the chicken pox though, blak!

                                                           

StiCkyFinGuZ
Obsessive-Compulsive (I) Inmate

From: australia
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 09-12-2002 07:42

hmm well in Australia the whole homeless issue isnt so bad, and here we dont have trouble differentiating who's a smackhead and who's hungry coz really only the smackheads have no money. This is due to the social welfare system here, if ur un-employed and a dole buldger the government pays u up to $350-$600 a fortnight depending on ur status (ie single mum etc) plus a commision home supported to u by the government, (max u pay for rent is $50) so the problem is rarely seen in australia though we do have quiet a few buskers (musicians playing for money) and if there good then i believe they deserve some money.

though one time i saw this guy dancing outside a music store, like i mean really dancing, he must have been peaking or something but it was sooo funny to watch that i gave him $5 just for making me laugh so hard.

i believe if u have talent u should b paid.

St. Seneca
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 3rd shelf, behind the cereal
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-12-2002 21:24

reitsma, I'm glad that you've shared your opinion with me. I'm happy to see that you have compassion and respect for people less fortunate than you are.

I was sharing my opinion just as everyone else was while brining up the fact that to some people RammStein's hypothetical 'tight spot' could be irrelivent to the discussion.

My opinion is as valid as yours, so while I can appreciate your viewpoint that homeless people deserve respect and compassion, I would appreciate it if you shoved your sanctimonious judgements up your ***. (self censored)

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 09-13-2002 07:14

I second St. Seneca.
Bums are bums... and being PC about their description doesn't make them feel any better.

reitsma
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: the bigger bedroom
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 09-13-2002 08:32

st seneca: thanks for the laugh, very well put.

put simply, i've read many of your posts, and know what level of communication you are capable of (and have so well demonstrated in your last post).
I guess i just felt a little uneasy at such a seemingly curt, cold utterance that really didn't appear to show much thought.

kinda strange, because i hate the term 'political correctness', yet i always like it when people can employ a bit of tact? decorum? euphemism? eh, call it what you will.

further to your post - i believe a fair expectation is that humans deserve respect only. compassion is up to the individual.

...and from this post i humbly retire (and attempt to retrieve my sanctimonious judgements - anyone got a glove?)

RammStein
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: cEll 513, west wing of the ninth plain
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 09-13-2002 17:35

playing devils advocate here

reitsma

quote:
i believe a fair expectation is that humans deserve respect only. compassion is up to the individual.



how can you say each human deserves respect? I personally do not believe this to be true .. I believe respect is earned and not flat out given .. IMHO .. a homeless man/bum doesn't respect himself because he doesn't do anything about his situation .. so why should we as the public respect him if he does nothing to find a path to a brighter future .. I for one have respect for those homeless that work hard to get themselves out of their shameful situation because it shows they have heart and courage to move forward and not deeper into their self depression

what are others views? do you believe each human deserves respect just because?

[edit: had to fix one english problem]


.::. cEll .::. 513

[This message has been edited by RammStein (edited 09-13-2002).]

Jeni
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: 8675309
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 09-13-2002 19:28

Rammstein: To answer your last question, I guess for me it comes down to the amount of respect. All creatures should get some level of respect IMO. Whether or not they deserve it? I don't know. Probably not. I don't think you should have no respect for that bum sitting on the side of the road panhandling. Maybe they chose to be there, living life in the sun, not working most of the waking day, partying their asses off. Seems if you figure out how to live your life and make yourself happy without hurting anyone else, you deserve just as much respect as that gal up on Wall Street screwing her way to the top

The original question asked, for me, was not a matter of respect though. I respect my friends and family dearly. If they just flat out asked me for money with no explanation, I'd try to help, but I don't just hand over the cash.
I think the point is that you shouldn't look down on people for how they're dressed, what they're doing on that street corner, etc. For all you know, they've figured a better way to live life
It's possible.


[This message has been edited by Jeni (edited 09-13-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Jeni (edited 09-13-2002).]

genis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dallas, TX
Insane since: Aug 2002

posted posted 09-14-2002 01:32

I respect their right to be without shelter.
I respect their right to ask for money.
I respect my right not to give them any.

I respect rights... but people have to earn my respect.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 09-14-2002 02:01

Actually, I don't believe anybody really deserves much of anything--myself included. As for respecting people, I do not respect someone simply because they are human. People have to earn my respect. This is, of course, at odds with the way things work here in Korea, where you must respect someone if they are older than you or in a higher position. Personally I think that's a load of crap. It comes from Confucianism, which was basically designed to protect the existing social order, ie, make sure that those in power stayed in power. A very outdated system, but it still has its claws in the foundation of Korean social relationships.

But I digress.... when I say that people have to earn my respect, I suppose I mean I will treat someone with respect until they prove they are not worthy of it. Even then, though, I will not go out of my way to disrespect them--I will usually just try to avoid them if at all possible.

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 09-16-2002 16:59

I agree with Suho. There is a certain modicom of respect that sould be afforded to everyone on the basis that we give them the benifit of the doubt that they 'deserve' it.

To clarify - I don't believe that everyone deserves respect, but I do believe that everyone deserves the chance to prove they don't deserve it before you disrespect them.

GrythusDraconis
"Be careful not to anger the Great Dragon for you are crunchy and taste good with Ketchup" T-Shirt Somewhere

[This message has been edited by GrythusDraconis (edited 09-16-2002).]

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 09-17-2002 16:59

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 09-18-2002 18:08

I have this little change thing in my car, and when it fills up, I give it all to the first homeless person I see (usually about 5 dollars). If they go out and buy a big fat bag of crack with it, what do I care. If someone can over come their pride and stand their and beg for money, that to me is a form of a job. They can do whatever they want with the money. To me, it is just a way of cleaning out my change compartment. (I hate to spend change)

-^^-
--::--
\___/

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 09-18-2002 18:31

Gilbert Norlander: You need access to one of these babies:
www.coinstar.com

Its great - the nearby Asda (in Aintree if you are interested DS) has 1 or 2 (the numbers fluctuate) and I tend to save all my change and then dump it in the CoinStar and you get it translated into proper money Its great you'd be suprised by how much change you accumulate

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

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