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ToddF

Homeless and poor everywhere

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Where we live they advise giving to the food kitchen and the food charities and please don't give to the beggars.  Help feed them but don't support their habits or money grabbing.  When we worked in down town a coworker and friend used to offer someone asking for money a hamburger at the drive in.  Not one ever accepted his offer.

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6 hours ago, Randyretired said:

When we worked in down town a coworker and friend used to offer someone asking for money a hamburger at the drive in.  Not one ever accepted his offer.

I have been to a McDonald's where a guy was moving from one uncleared table to another eating whatever was leftover at each table. Do you think he was doing that to save his money for beer and cigarettes?

Linda

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Another big problem we observe as we travel around this great country is trash. It is amazing how much trash we see along the roadways and in parking areas and even sometimes in RV parks! If I was homeless and "down and out", and I could stand on a street corner and beg for money, I would switch gears and go to business establishments and ask for a manager. I would then offer to pick up all of the trash in the establishment's parking lot and landscaped areas. I would express appreciation for the opportunity to serve a purpose and gladly accept a free meal or small stipend, although none was required. While camp hosting along Minnesota's North Shore last summer, I went out every night and rode my bike along Hwy 61 on beautiful Lake Superior and took a small grocery bag and stopped and filled it up with the trash along the roadway. It is absolutely amazing what people throw out of their vehicles. It took me a month, I cleaned up 5 miles of highway (both sides). Cig butts are the #1 item. Used baby diapers are the worst item to pick up.

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2 minutes ago, chirakawa said:

I'll say one thing for this thread, there's no shortage of opinions.

Isn't that what a public forum is for? I think that would apply to most subjects.  😊

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9 hours ago, sandsys said:

I have been to a McDonald's where a guy was moving from one uncleared table to another eating whatever was leftover at each table. Do you think he was doing that to save his money for beer and cigarettes?

Linda

Most major cities and a number of smaller cities have soup kitchens where one can get a nutritional,  safe meal.  By giving to support this seems like a better option and then I know what my donation goes toward.  As I said this type of giving is supported in the area I live in.  If you prefer to give haphazardly that is your choice.

Edited by Randyretired

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After living in Scandinavia and China I've seen a couple of "solutions" & I don’t believe we would find either acceptable. Learn to say " No money, go away" in what ever language works.

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5 hours ago, Randyretired said:

Most major cities and a number of smaller cities have soup kitchens where one can get a nutritional,  safe meal.  By giving to support this seems like a better option and then I know what my donation goes toward.  As I said this type of giving is supported in the area I live in.  If you prefer to give haphazardly that is your choice.

I don't give haphazardly.  I give only to organizations my church has approved like Habitat for Humanity and the local food pantry as well as foreign missions. But, I also try not to judge those who are living the best they can without pan handling. I do NOT support pan handlers. In fact, I have reported them found in rest areas and truck stops so they were forced to move on. Like you said, there are resources available to them if they choose to take advantage of them. But, I also don't like the way some organizations make the poor listen to evangelizing before they serve those people. I find that disrespectful of whatever faith the clients already have.

Linda Sand

Yes, I have some strong opinions. :)

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16 hours ago, sandsys said:

I have been to a McDonald's where a guy was moving from one uncleared table to another eating whatever was leftover at each table. Do you think he was doing that to save his money for beer and cigarettes?

Beats me, but I'm guessing you think so.

 

23 hours ago, Randyretired said:

Where we live they advise giving to the food kitchen and the food charities and please don't give to the beggars.  Help feed them but don't support their habits or money grabbing.  When we worked in down town a coworker and friend used to offer someone asking for money a hamburger at the drive in.  Not one ever accepted his offer.

I, like I think most thread posters, have only cursory experiences with the homeless . . . 

 

On 12/29/2019 at 10:16 PM, jcussen said:

Talked to a 20's something panhandler the other day at a traffic light, his sign said "laid off and I have a wife and kid to feed". Told him I needed some help to clean up the yard around the house. Offered him $15 an hour and would pick him up and drive him home everyday. He said "No Thanks". Thinking he was making more that $15 an hour panhandling.

From this single experience,  it seems you've come to a conclusion about panhandlers in general.

 

On 12/30/2019 at 10:08 AM, NDBirdman said:

A few years back, local new station did an investigation on them, I watched it.  They filmed a homeless couple, one sat in the car in the parking lot while the other stood on the corner with the homeless sign begging.  The car was a new Caddy SVU.  Homeless my arse!

Sounds like a really in-depth investigation.

 

On 12/29/2019 at 9:12 PM, ToddF said:

Every town has a food shelf.
Churches all try to help.
Parents in this income bracket pay no income tax and get the earned income tax credit if they have wages.
The feds give out Social Security Disability to anyone with a bad back. 

Sources for these claims? Seriously, "anyone"?

 

On 12/29/2019 at 9:12 PM, ToddF said:

Happy to get home, we don't have this problem in my town of 60,000 . . . Here in Burnsville, MN, I've never once encountered one in 20 years of living here.

Pay a visit to Burnside's Walmart.

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" The feds give out Social Security Disability to anyone with a bad back.  "

Really I have had a back injury since 2000 and the Feds haven't given me a dime. When the Obama people were greatly expanding the SSD program I possibly could have gotten in on it, but being honest (or at least try to be) I didn't go down and lie about it. This despite the fact that I would not have had a problem getting medical support for this.

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11 hours ago, chirakawa said:

I'll say one thing for this thread, there's no shortage of opinions.

Yea, but we all agree, there is a problem. Solutions however, are elusive.

Then, there is this:

“Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”


Teddy Roosevelt

 

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1 hour ago, Zulu said:
On 12/29/2019 at 11:16 PM, jcussen said:

Talked to a 20's something panhandler the other day at a traffic light, his sign said "laid off and I have a wife and kid to feed". Told him I needed some help to clean up the yard around the house. Offered him $15 an hour and would pick him up and drive him home everyday. He said "No Thanks". Thinking he was making more that $15 an hour panhandling.

From this single experience,  it seems you've come to a conclusion about panhandlers in general.

What would  make you assume this?

Edited by jcussen

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Well there is a solution, but our weak spined politicians will never do it. The solution:

1) Cut them off from any federal handouts unless they come in for treatment and continue with the treatment program. Miss a check up? Then no money at the next disbursement. They must reside in approved residences no living on the street.

2) For the non-psychotic, no work no money. With the unemployment  rate at 3% anyone can find a job. Feds should provide bridge money for a very limited time to them to get them back in a living space and with a job.

3) For the non-mentally ill a lifetime limit on how long anyone can receive benefits of any kind. This is not to apply to folks injured on the job or in the service receiving benefits for that.

4) Anyone is free to ignore this an live on the street with no federal payments at all. The states are of course free to fund whatever they want so long as the pay for it 100% out of their monies.

That would deal with the problem PDQ

Edited by agesilaus

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17 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

That would deal with the problem PDQ

You are right, that would be dealing with the problem, but not solving it.

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I'm not trying to drag politics into this, but I fail to see how this issue can be discussed without mentioning the places that have the biggest problem. And of course I realize that people do have real problems and sometimes need help. I am service connected myself. That's why in my list of solutions I mentioned that people should be able to get assistance for a limited time. The problem arises with people who are able to work but stay on welfare for their entire life and are enabled to do so by the social work structure in this country.

But that isn't what we are talking about, those folks are not sleeping on the sidewalks.

 

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Recapping some of my proposed solutions...

Acknowledge the homeless and beggars  with a "resource sheet".

Donate to local organizations with a long history of success in providing services to this population.

Call out fraud to the appropriate authorities if you witness it and are certain of your conclusions.

If you decide to "engage" these folks (or walk amongst them), carry mace or pepper spray as a possible self-defense tool. (I have starting doing this also because of loose and aggressive dogs I encounter.) Halt! is a product I found online that is marketed as a dog repellant. These folks,who are often mentally ill, can pose a danger as we just saw in the Texas Church shooting. Don't pick these folks up in your vehicles or offer to take them to restaurants or other locations. (Just my opinion).

And in the case of the guy on the scooter in Las Vegas, riding up and down the lanes in between cars with his dog on his scooter, I should have called the police.

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Part of the difficulty in resolving the problems of homeless people is in realizing that there is no single solution because there are so many different reasons for the problem. It seems to me that most of us want to find one or two simple ways to resolve a problem that has many, many different causes. It is true that many of the homeless choose not to take advantage of resources available to them, but there is a very fine line between pressuring someone to do what is best for them and violating that person's civil rights. It used to be that those believed to have mental problems were locked away "for their own good" but we don't do that today. The same is true for poor people in general as there are no more "poor farms" to force those needing help onto. This country was founded on the principle of individual rights, which is the thing that makes us unique in the world. Making help available to those in need can only go so far until we choose to force those people to take advantage of that help. 

Edited by Kirk W

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14 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Yea, but we all agree, there is a problem. Solutions however, are elusive.

 

My comment wasn't intended to be critical, just pointing out that there is a wide range of opinions on the subject.  I guess I'll share mine.

Homelessness is nothing new to America.  I suppose each generation had their name for such people............bum, hobo, derelict, wino, tramp, drifter, etc.  I think there are a variety of reasons why they are more plentiful and more visible now.  We've also always had street hustlers, as long as there have been streets. 

Perhaps, like someone else pointed out, there are locations which are more accommodating than others.  With our electronic age, word spreads fast about these places, even homeless people have access to information.  The homeless are no different than most people in that they prefer to gather in a group, for societal and safety reasons. 

As far as why there are such great numbers of homeless in such an affluent society, I suppose there are many reasons.  Some have already mentioned mental illness and substance abuse.  Maybe some of it is our own fault, as individuals.  Perhaps some of these people we see now on the street would have been more welcome at home in the past, the crazy uncle or wayward child or troubled sister.  But, we are generally a more selfish group than we used to be, even turning out our parents to institutions in their old age instead of taking them in like in the past.

As far as solutions, I don't have any.  I think some of what has been suggested here has merit, but is also an oversimplification.  Heck, even the social scientists can't agree on the best approach.  Tough love only goes so far, it's hard to criticize politicians who want to opt on the side of compassion, yet we can all find fault with how the problem is being handled in one place or another.

The good thing is that there seems to be a lot of public awareness now, as illustrated in this thread.  Eventually, the issue will be dealt with, hopefully in a humane way which benefits both society and the homeless individual.

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On 12/30/2019 at 2:53 PM, rpsinc said:

Most of this topic has talked about homeless due to circumstances.  I am a contractor and have had many refuse to accept work that I had available because they were NOT disadvantaged, they chose to occupy their time by "panhandling" as it is far more lucrative.  Some up to $300/day tax free and without much effort other than standing in a spot for some hours working on the generosity of others that work hard "at work".

I just returned from a job out of town which required me to stay in a motel.  Of course, per diem is difficult to get and more difficult to cover expenses with.  Then add to it that some person decided that the tools in my service truck were of greater value to him/her than to me.  They stole over $3000 worth and it wasnt discovered till we arrived on the jobsite.  3 men without the necessary tools to produce the work that we were "being paid to do".  Had to get that plastic out to buy the tools we needed to accomplish what we were under contract to, and then today figuring out how to pay for that plastic bill, when it comes.  If the negative on the per diem isnt enough then add a $3K negative and this hurts, esp. when what you get paid is what is left over after the bills are paid.  Ouch!

Some of the disadvantaged that I have had work for me, while trying my best to help out a fellow human, only to discover that they are more educated, more intelligent and more capable than I am.  They skipped the line marked "Work Ethic". 

I guess there is a reason why I can sleep well at night.  I do quality work, am honest, dont take what isnt mine, show up on time and stay till the job is done and pay my taxes on time.  I'm not perfect but I sure try my best.

Maybe I will start handing out job applications to those on the freeway offramps.

Why doesn't your per diem cover your expenses? Non union? If I work out of town all my expenses are covered. 

On 12/30/2019 at 4:55 PM, ToddF said:

I drive into Minneapolis often in the Spring and Summer to ride my bike around the Chain of Lakes. The faces on the street corners have become familiar to me. They sometimes have a stash of signs behind a pillar and grab one as they make their way to the corner. We make eye contact and they know me now, I've given them a resource sheet listing every imaginable place to get help. What I get are dirty looks! How dare you not give me cash for cigs and beer! They don't need money for transportation, housing, food, or medical care because in Minnesota all of those things are paid by one government program or another!

I've worked as a tax preparer for 30 years serving the mainstream. At least 50% of the people on disability could work if they wanted to. Sometimes they come in dressed for their "cash jobs", or to go hunting, fishing, snow mobiling etc. There is an underground economy that the government doesn't know about. 

Those who are abusing the system are essentially stealing from those who genuinely need help. 

We are in a great economy, people have money to give, there are jobs out there, lots of organizations willing to help. The outlook is bright if you want it to be.

If you want to help, write down the phone number for the local salvation army office and give it to these folks. (Don't give them money). Truthfully, most of these folks know more about the resources than I ever will.

None of this discussion is intended to minimize the difficulty many of us face in life at times. It's okay to need help!

You are wasting paper giving them a resource sheet, that is not what they want. 

On 12/30/2019 at 5:15 PM, Twotoes said:

 He wanted money for booze and smokes not food.

You think so?

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Blame it on the lawyers. . .

My brother had an office in a light industrial business building.
A guy claiming to just get out of jail came into the office stating that he needed to make bus money - could he do any odd jobs for cash?

My brother hired him to clean up weeds growing along the outside cinder block wall.
After a short time my brother confided to me that he made a mistake - insurance would probably be a big problem if that undocumented worker was somehow injured.  (this event was more than 25 years ago)

It was the last time either of us hired off the street.

 

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14 minutes ago, kurtsara said:

Why doesn't your per diem cover your expenses? Non union? If I work out of town all my expenses are covered. 

Yes, non-union.  In my industry, union work is almost non-existent.  I have never been signatory, have been approached a few times but it really hasnt been a good fit.  I work alot for an international company that sells equipment for warehouses and usually it is sold installed.  Because their service technicians cant accomplish the work in a cost structure that allows for their profit margins, they outsource to independent contractors.  Then they start grinding on price.  Per diem isnt even part of the deal until the travel 1 way is greater than 3 hours, and then its a "discussion".  They have enough subs that if I dont want or wont take the work at THEIR #s, there are others that are in different circumstances that will.

Just yesterday I was given a PO for a job that I bid for $2000.  The sales guy sold the job on his interpretation of "book" pricing, which was $760.  The job is 1.5 hours away, needs $400 in fabricated parts and 5 hours of work to install them.  Also need a rental forklift.  I declined the job.  It was assigned in minutes at $760.  Happens all the time.  

BTW- I am a contractor that self-performs with 1 helper.  Nearing the end of my work life and looking forward to it.  

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