So you want to be an exit ramp panhandler....

Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 11:49 pm
Christ, you're all a bunch of aspholes.

No, I don't agree with all the scroungers. Obviously.

But the lilthe of superiority is something to behold. Oh, wait, any hedgefunders here?
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Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 11:54 pm
Linkat wrote:
I always wondered why there would be homeless people living in cold areas during the winter. I would think why wouldn't you start walking south in the fall - like some birds do. It would be much more comfortable to be sleeping in Florida in February than in New York. Its not like you have anything else to do or anywhere else to be.

Ordinarily I agree with you on many things, Linkat. But I have to say, this is one cold, ice cold, post.
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Reply Sat 3 May, 2008 11:57 pm
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 04:28 am
Around here if you have a drug or alcohol problem you can't go to the shelters. There are very few that will allow those to stay.

Being in Boston I have seen many different homeless and faking homeless types and I think you really need to know each one of them before making any kind of decision on what you believe their situation to be. Not wanting to do that really all you can do is what you think is best for you.

I have had a homeless man in Quincy Market ask me for a cigarette. I charged him. He paid me without question.

I had a homeless woman approach me for money for food. I actually had some coupons for free whatever at McDonalds and offered those to her and she basically smiled and said no thanks.

There are homeless men who stand in front of the Post Office for change. I don't give it to them. They are drunk and the shelter down the street wont take them in. Their problem.

I've seen a homeless man talking with a teller at a bank. Paying him back the money he had given him the week before. It was $2.00.

I have given jobs to those on pre release from prison. Some worked out great. Some didn't.

There's a homeless man in Downtown Crossing area that is a treat to see. He is cheerful and kind and always greets everyone with a good morning. Anyone, not just those that pass him along a few bits of change. If you happen to be kind enough to offer him something he remembers you and will give you a blessing from then on if you can spare a few or not. He is a character, yes but he is kind and never feeling the night before. He probably makes millions.

I also feel the same way about some of those that are trying and struggling in that they could make their way to warmer climates. Why not? Seems like a pretty obvious way to think of it. Especially here where they lift the ban in the winter on those with drinking and drug problems and round them up off the streets so they aren't found dead in the morning. They still are. If you're going to do that at least do it where you will survive the night. Or you know, don't. Maybe they just don't care if they die. Should we not care that they die too?

Let me also say that my father was homeless. Of his own accord. Due to his own problems with drugs. There are a lot of problems that go along with all of that. There is a point where you just can't help someone and they have to help themselves. Or not. It is it's own culture though. I've seen it first hand. You can tend to rely on those things that are free. You can come to expect more from the generosity of people than to be thankful of it. It's another little world that unless you have an eye into you have no idea of the full spectrum of those that are in it.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 07:11 am
Homeless people migrate. It is easy to do.
Well... it USED to be easy to do 15 or so years ago.. When the rules of the rail yard were a bit more lax, and there were not barb wire fences running along the edges of the tracks in the places where the train would run less then 30mpg gaining speed.
When there also was not a certain hired group to peek into trains and investigate empty cars

Yes. Migration happens.

I do not know if they are still there.. but I used to have two big dark burn lines across the back side of my thighs from falling under a moving train once, trying to 'move south'. Jon, the man I was with at the time was running beside me and we threw our packs in, and I tried to get up the ladder only to have the foot piece fall off . I fell on my back with my legs under the track. He pulled out a large chunk of my hair getting me away from the wheels. By all means.. I should not have legs today.

Tracks are dangerous, even to the seasoned train hopper. And they are getting less and less accessible. But I am rambling..

As Quinn and others have stated.. and as I have said before.. the homeless people you SEE are generally not the ones who need real help.
BPB said something along the lines of having to be in shape to be homeless. Very true.
Tell me the last time you saw a homeless person with a sign that looked like they were truly hungry? I mean stick thin hungry

This is not saying that they are NOT hungry.. I mean.. people dont stand on the corner for an ego boost.

but normally.. ( and everyone can look THIS up ) most cities have shlters that offer at least one meal a day... and a person can find 3 or more hot meals scattered all across town.
If you could not.. they would not live in that town Laughing period!
There is no way. Well.. there is dumpster diving.. THAT cans sufice anyone , but normally if there are no shelters giving basic needs, there are no homeless people. ( yes. that is a very general statement and can be proven wrong any where. So what)

Those who are trying to get out of being homeless, and the people who are truly down on their luck.. as I have said before.. are not in front of you smiling, selling jokes.. or asking for fuel for their lier jets.

When I was doing the whole signing thing.. it was for beer. Period.
And ya know the BEST thing to stand on the corner with?
I was young, quiet, dirty and not what you generally see. I was female so I was not threatening. I was also the face of parents kids. Daddys girl, Mommas cheerleader.. etc..etc.. and all that corny stuff.


I devoted maybe 2 hours a day and I could walk away with over 200.00 bucks. easily.
But I was different from the man who claims to be a vet.
Or the guy who says he will work for food.
I was a kid.

Ohhh the memories. One day I need to write this crap down.

You know that Jay Leno once rolled his window down to me..
It was a few years after that big ass limo gave me 20 dollars that I saw him on TV and knew who he was.

Can I tell you how many times older men asked if they could sodomize me for money? While at a stop sign?

Or how many women asked if they could have sex with me? Promising me a bath and clean clothes, name brand shoes .. ?
Sometimes with their kids in the back seat?

Or the dozens of teenage boys who would yell at me to show them my tits for a beer.. or something else really stupid.

For my sleeping safety, I had to save pennies to buy a stolen car for 200.00 so that people could not hurt me while I slept.

ohhhh.. I can tell you the stories. And I can hopefully make people understand that being homelss is not as simple as holding a sign selling a joke for a quarter.

The people who want off the street are applying for small jobs, shopping through your donated clothes in hopes ofnot looking homeless. They are sleeping in shelters if they are safe, and relying on shelters to keep them fed, give them an address and a phone number to use for that possible job interview and are not parading around drunk.

please.. PLEASe re think where you want to put your money if you are going to help homeless people.

Giving that man/woman on the corner a dollar may make you feel superior and like you are really doing something 'good' for someone.. yet you really do nothing.
Take your used clothes to a womans shelter.
Spend 20 dollars and buy canned , or fresh foods and give them to a shelter.


im going to stop preaching now.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 08:06 am
quinn1 wrote:

Being in Boston I have seen many different homeless and faking homeless types and I think you really need to know each one of them before making any kind of decision on what you believe their situation to be. Not wanting to do that really all you can do is what you think is best for you.

Totally agree - though I'm not in Boston. In Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Our city is cold in the winter but there are a lot of generous people here too. Enough so that people can make a living on the streets - wealthy kids who do it as a hobby, lazy people who do it for kicks and because they don't want a job.

Then there are those inbetween. Coming from reservations or broken homes or simply a traumatic situation in their lives.

People with drug problems, alcoholics, mental illnesses that haven't been treated nor anyone to care for them, runaway kids trapped in prostitution and worse.

Let's not forget those affiliated with gangs. The scariest in my books.

I don't hand out money - though I used to, on certain occasions - but I will take the time sometimes to talk to people.

Some people are milking the system. They are plain lazy. I'm sorry - it's true. For all their problems, it upsets me to no end, because you know what? I come from nothing more than you and I chose to work my ass off while you choose welfare and the streets.
To feel entitled and to see yourself as a victim of circumstance.

I'll help anyone who is willing to help themselves and who has some decency towards other human beings. If you exploit me, others, the system: forget it. I'm sorry. Not my gig.

If someone needs to go to the hospital, I'll be there to help you. I won't ignore you. I know the shelters around here, and I know the system.

The reality is that Shewolf is mostly right in my experience. The ones working their asses off and trying hard often go unnoticed and without the support they really need.

A shelter is good but it doesn't answer all their problems. These people are working a steady uphill battle and need ongoing, constant support from many sources.

But you know what? Start with that job in service...I'll guarantee you'll get around here...if you will only just try. And get off welfare. Welfare is so evil in my city - it destroys lives rather than empowering them. The system needs a lot of work.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 10:48 am
Chai wrote:
You know, I often wonder how much they make during a typical day.

On the very first episode of the television program 60 Minutes, one of their stories was about a panhandler in Manhattan. One day, after leaving his high-paying (and stressful) job in the city, the man was mugged, so he started to panhandle to get train-fare home. He was astonished at how much money he got with his sad story, and later learned that his suit and tie had been a liability--that he could have made even more in crumby clothes and with a better story. So, he became a full-time panhandler, and in the late 1960s, alleged that he was taking in in excess of $30,000/year.

This angle is not new, either. In the Sherlock Holmes story The Man with the Twisted Lip (1891), the title character is a prosperous young man who works in "the City" (refers to the old center of London, which is the heart of the financial district), and who has disappeared. Holmes eventually exposes a beggar suspected in the murder of the young man as the young man himself, who had been going into the City each day, disguising himself, and then begging, at which he made more money.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:04 am
I think it all depends on the person honestly.

when i was a teenager, people not only took pity on me, but a lot of times people gave me money in hopes of sexual favors.. even when they were denied their wishes, they would give me more in hopes to persuade me.

Once, I got 200.00 from an older man and all he wanted was for me to flash him.

yes. I was at a STOP LIGHT when he asked me.. and he gave me the money and said " show me your tits. I have more"
I laughed..thinking he was joking.. he squealed away from the intersection flipping me off when the light turned green and did not take his money back.

A drunk dirty man/woman makes people scared and most will not even look him in the eye. I am willing to bet those types get only a hand full of change.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:09 am
I saw that very episode Set.

I figured that in this day and age, that line, even if true, wouldn't be believed.

Hearts in Atlantis, by Stephen King, is divided up into 3 parts....the 3rd section, which can be read alone, is about this man who calls himself "Blind Willie"

He's a Vietnam War Vet who does penance by posing as a begger.

Each day he commutes in a business suit from his home in Conn. He goes into this empty office he rents, changes into his begger clothes, goes down the back way, and appears on the street. Strange thing is, when he puts on his dark glasses, he really does become blind.

He keeps the paper money, and donates all the coins he gets (a lot)

I thought it was really interesting.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:13 am
Some people claim that the character "Blind Willie" was based on the Neville St. Clair/Hugh Boone character in Doyle's The Man with the Twisted Lip.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:16 am
it has crossed my mind to stand on a corner with a sign sometime..

clean clothes.. looking people in the eye..

with a sign that says something realistic .. like..
Help with my electric bill needed.. or something..

I wonder how well that would work..
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:30 am
Write the book Wolf.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 11:46 am
I actually did....

got right up to the point of submission.. with a little interest..

and just never did Confused
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 12:02 pm
oh shewolf, you really should.

I had heard about this book called "nickled and dimed", about this newspaper writer who went out and lived as a member of the working homeless for a period of time.

Although it was an learning experience for me, mostly I learned more about the crappy working conditions for people at Walmart, and how supposedly franchied cleaning companies have their workers use the same rag for cleaning the bathroom as for the kitchen counters, etc.

For the rest of it, about the woman, I thought the booked sucked. You would be able to do a so much better job.

For instance, the writer was talking about how she rented a cheap hotel room with a hotplate, and how she was going to boil herself some lentils...ok, fair enough, lentils are cheap.

Then she goes off explaining how she had to go to walmart to buy a pot, a pot holder, a ladle, a spoon, a bowl and plate.....

Jesus H. Christ.

I would've walked to the goodwill, got a dented pot for a buck, stopped by mcdonalds and asked them for a plastic fork or spoon and a couple of salt packets, grabbed a few napkins on my way out, used one of the bathroom towels as a potholder, stirred the lentils with the plastic fork and eaten them straight out of the pot.

Really girl, you should tell your story.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 12:15 pm
I'd buy a copy....and hell, I'd even watch an episode of Oprah if you were on it.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 12:22 pm
Oh man, I could totally see her on Oprah.
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Reply Sun 4 May, 2008 12:26 pm
I would scare that woman to death Confused
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Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 08:50 am
ossobuco wrote:
Linkat wrote:
I always wondered why there would be homeless people living in cold areas during the winter. I would think why wouldn't you start walking south in the fall - like some birds do. It would be much more comfortable to be sleeping in Florida in February than in New York. Its not like you have anything else to do or anywhere else to be.

Ordinarily I agree with you on many things, Linkat. But I have to say, this is one cold, ice cold, post.

Its a joke.
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Bella Dea
Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 09:00 am
I refuse to give money to anyone on a corner.

1) you make me feel guilty and I should not feel guilty because I drove downtown to see a Tigers game; I worked hard for the money to buy these tickets
2) you ask me for money, not food or clothes, or shoes or baby formula and you expect me to think you're not going to go around the corner and buy a bottle of booze with my $5?

I'd much rather donate $20 to a local shelter. Give my extra to my daycare who does a Mom's Drive to help families with kids who don't have enough. Adopt a family for a day and provide them a nice hot meal. Pay $20 to someone's heating bill (I wish they had ways to do that).

I can think of 100 different ways to help you that don't involve you begging.
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Reply Mon 5 May, 2008 09:03 am
This just in: Homeless man chooses jail over selling $6,500 motorcycle.

William Richard Brooks II loved his Harley-Davidson motorcycle so much he wasn't willing to part with it, even if that meant risking a stretch in prison.

So when a prosecutor offered him a plea deal with only three months in jail for a hit and run -- providing that he give up his motorcycle as restitution -- he turned it down.

"Because that's the last thing on earth I own," Brooks said.

But last week Brooks learned he'd lost his gamble when a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge sentenced him to 15 months behind bars for smashing into another motorcyclist and leaving the scene of the accident.

Brooks, 51, struck motorcyclist Craig Sample, 37, on July 30 as Sample slowed to make a turn in the 18900 block of Northeast Marine Drive in Gresham. The impact injured Sample's back and caused more than $3,000 in damage to his bike.

Brooks, who had no insurance, stopped at first, then fled as a crowd gathered. Someone wrote down Brooks' license plate, but it took Gresham police a few months to track him down because Brooks was homeless and had enlisted a friend to hide his bike for him, according to prosecutor Christine Mascal.

Mascal said she was willing to offer Brooks 90 days in jail because she wanted to be sure Sample would recover his losses. Brooks bought his bike for $6,500 from a Baker City couple shortly before the accident, and that would have come close to covering the damages.

Speaking from the Justice Center jail after his sentencing hearing Friday, Brooks admitted he made a mistake by fleeing the scene of the accident.

"I made sure he wasn't bleeding and he hadn't broken any bones or anything, and I took off," Brooks said.

Brooks said he left because he was worried he might lose his bike, a brilliant blue 2002 Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom -- the bike he always dreamed of owning.

The bike, Brooks said, was the way out of a dark spell in his life. He said his wife died of cancer in 2002, he'd lost his house in Stevenson, Wash., because he couldn't make payments, and he'd spiraled into using drugs.

He said the Harley would allow him to restart work as a heavy machinery operator. Having it as transportation was more important than having a home. Brooks was camping along the Columbia River around the time he bought the bike in May 2007.

A few months later, he crashed into Sample. Police eventually tracked him down, and Mascal, the prosecutor, offered him the deal in March.

Brooks, who was represented by court-appointed attorney Michael Rees, pleaded no contest to hit-and-run but requested a pre-sentence investigation.

A sheriff's office employee would recommend his punishment, in part, based on his previous criminal history, which included drug and theft convictions. Brooks figured the recommended sentence would be lighter than the prosecutor's offer.

But last week, the report came back, and the author recommended 15 months in prison, which is the term listed under Oregon's sentencing guidelines. On Friday, Judge Youlee You saw no reason not to follow the recommendation.

You also ordered Brooks to pay $7,300 in restitution. But that doesn't mean he'll have to sell his Harley. He'll be allowed to come up with the money some other way.

"Am I sad it worked out the way it did? Yeah," said Brooks, who claims his lawyer gave him bad advice. "But would I throw the dice again for my Harley? Yeah. Yup. Yup. Yes, I would."
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