Help The BeerlessHere is a link to a News Story video for you, Click Here. The whole gist of it was a reporter went out and offered a bunch of guys panhandling $20 if they would do an hours worth of manual labor and all but one refused.

This story reminded me of a time about 15 years ago when I managed a store in Santa Barbara, Ca. A group of pan-handlers “worked” the intersection out front and when they had accumulated enough money, they would come into my store and buy the cheapest jug of wine I sold and a pack of cigarettes. They would then return to their “Camp” located in a field behind my store and drink until they passed out. Eventually, they would wake up and do it all over again. I remember thinking to myself what a sad existence this must be.

More recently, when I worked at the Mall in Frederick, Md. The very busy intersection on my way home one day yielded a man holding a sign that said…”Traveling disabled Veteran, Please Help”. The fella must have took a respite from his road trip because I saw him regularly for the next two years. A quick chat with the clerk at the Convenience Store at the intersection confirmed my suspicions… beer, smokes & drugs.

Now I’m not doing that “EVIL-STEREOTYPING” that I’m sure has popped into your head by now, I’m sure there are plenty of legitimate cases. All I’m saying is that when I give charity, I don’t wish to support an individual’s debilitating habit. I remember a time in my life when approaching the entrance to a grocery store and spying the Salvation Army bell-ringer, I felt awkward and wanted to walk by this individual as quickly as possible with my head down… Just someone else asking for a hand-out. Life experience has taught me differently now and I don’t hesitate to drop what can in the bucket because I feel good that my donation is going to folks who have a real need.

End of Rant

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5 Responses to Bums

  1. Xerraire says:

    With that kind of honesty in your photo there, Lord only knows what kind of signs we will be seeing. I don’t even want to think about it.

    You sure see some interesting things in your line of work. 🙂

    Miquel had his first experience with a shoplifter at CVS, he was rather shocked. I told him you could tell him a lot of stories!

  2. phydda says:

    I remember the panhandler that lerked at the mall entrance. It seems to me that there was a “gang’ working the same area. A very skinny woman, a young girl, a tall thin guy with pictures of his “kids?” stapled to his sign, a rather large fellow with a “hurt” leg (that never seemed to get better), and a fellow collecting money for a church. They took turns working the mall entrance. There was another fellow in a Chevy who would pick up the Gang and take them … (home?) when the mall closed. Like you, I’d rather give to the Red Cross or Salvation Army. Then I know the money is going to actually help people.

  3. tasha says:

    Ya’ know….I KNOW that alot of people get down on there luck….that is understandable. But what I can’t understand is why they don’t seek REAL help – makes ya’ wonder if they don’t actually WANT to live that way.
    Just last week there was an article in our local paper about the homeless and the help that is available to them. The reporter interviewed 20 homeless people, informed them about the help available and only EIGHT of them WANTED the help. IT JUST KILLS ME! There is an ageny that will actually give them a mailing address and help them get social security benefits, disability, or welfare assistance. TWELVE people DENIED the assistance. I guess they just didnt want to leave their
    ‘accomodations’ under the bridge, or along the river in their tarp tents. They would rather beg and steal for their EXISTENCE. I just can’t seem to find any sympathy for those 12 idiots……..the end of my RANT!

  4. Night Owl says:

    Yes Barb,

    It sometimes provides me with quite the interesting insight to humanity. You would simply be ASTOUNDED by some of the things people do when they think others aren’t looking!

  5. Night Owl says:

    Here’s the thing Tasha. Reading that article confirmed a lot of my theories regarding why most of them do not want to “Seek Help”. Apparently, being a vagrant is quite lucrative. Two hundred dollars per day seven days per week works out to more money than any of them (or most of us) have the potential to earn with an “honest job”. And since the majority of them have some kind of addiction to support, that becomes their priority. Not their self respect, pride & dignity.

    I think of it sort of like SPAM email. Our inboxes would not be bursting at the seems with the stuff unless lots of people were buying the nonsense. Bums will continue to pan-handle until it become no so lucrative for them to do so.

    Call me a hardliner, neoconservative, cold hearted whatever… perhaps I’ve just seen too much nonsense in my time.

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