[Summit] Panhandlers

Robert Mathiesen rmath13 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 12:15:35 CDT 2016


Of course there are profiteers, Emlyn.  There always are, wherever there is
real need: predators always go where there is prey.  But even so, I give
when I'm asked, in case the person might genuinely be in need.  I'm with
Jim Barfoot and Ethan Gyles on that.   I can always live a little more
frugally than I am at the moment, so that someone else might eat or drink
or have clothes or shelter.  And who knows, someday I, too, may need to
rely on the kindness of others.  --  Bob M

On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 12:58 PM, Emlyn Addison <noisyblocks at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I do still give to panhandlers (though almost never to telemarketers; I
> now donate online), but these latest reports have me wondering if
> Providence's lax enforcement has attracted profiteers.
>
> Emlyn
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 12:45 PM, Ethan Gyles <ethangy at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> With you there, Jim. My personal philosophy is that if I'm carrying a
>> couple bucks and a person on the street asks humbly, I'll give. What will I
>> regret at the end: giving a little away to somebody I don't know who
>> appeared to be in need, or turning away, believing I knew better?
>>
>> Ethan
>> Hillside Ave.
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Jun 13, 2016, at 12:30 PM, Jim Barfoot <barfootjim at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Which should I feel worst about - giving a few bucks to a scam artist who
>> doesn't need it? Or refusing to give the same amount to someone who does?
>> If I can afford it, does the shame of being tricked outweigh the help I
>> could give to someone in need?
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Jun 13, 2016, at 11:58 AM, Emlyn Addison <noisyblocks at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> I vividly recall, in the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, that it
>> surfaced that telemarketing outfits were calling people and asking for
>> donations under the pretense of being charities for the
>> firefighters/police/victims' families directly affected by the tragedy. As
>> it turned out, almost all of these early donation drives were outright
>> scams.
>>
>> Nothing in my experience up to that point had prepared me for such cold
>> selfishness and greed; bottom-feeders looking to score easy money off
>> emotionally vulnerable people. It prompted a mental shift--that I simply
>> refused any longer to trust anyone asking for my money (how many on this
>> list have personally heard the story about needing a few bucks because
>> they've "run out of gas"? I count at least 3 times.)
>>
>> It's the age-old problem: cheaters ruin it for the rest of us. We know
>> that most panhandlers are homeless, hungry, and in need; but which ones
>> aren't? Are they being further marginalized by organized scammers?
>>
>>
>> Emlyn
>>
>>
>>
>> On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 11:38 AM, Theresa Mathiesen <elvamath at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Right after Sept. 11, 2001, I observed something that bears on this
>>> topic (panhandling).
>>>
>>> I was in Tealuxe, on the corner of Thayer and Angell Streets.  (I went
>>> there every day on my work breaks.)  Firemen were collecting money from
>>> motorists stopped at the traffic light on Angell St., at the intersection
>>> with Thayer St.  They were collecting for the families of the firemen
>>> killed during the assault on the Twin Towers in New York City.  Lots of
>>> people put money in the firemen's boots they held out.
>>>
>>> But, ever the scientist, I wanted a "control" -- that is, another
>>> situation, similar but different.  People were collecting money at the
>>> intersection of North Main and Branch Ave.  Or maybe it was Smithfield.  In
>>> those days the people collecting at these intersections wore smocks with
>>> printing on them telling what they were collecting for, but I could never
>>> see the smocks well enough to read them.  So we have to assume that their
>>> charity, if there was one, was unknown.  And just as many drivers were
>>> putting money into these people's baskets and cans as into the firemen's
>>> boots!
>>>
>>> My conclusion was and is that big intersections are fountains of free
>>> money.  "Ask and ye shall receive".  No wonder the people are fighting over
>>> them.
>>>
>>> Elva
>>>
>>>
>>> On Sat, Jun 11, 2016 at 8:50 PM, Emlyn Addison <noisyblocks at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> FYI, just posted today on Facebook by a friend of mine:
>>>>
>>>> "I always suspected that the panhandlers in Providence were part of
>>>> some organized group (vast conspiracy etc.) Today I saw a woman with the
>>>> typical "homeless, anything will help" sign standing at an intersection. A
>>>> man (her manager? handler?) sitting on a low wall on the side of the road
>>>> said to her "you can come over here and sit for 10 minutes, then you have
>>>> to get back out there."
>>>>
>>>> Also today, one intersection away from there, another "homeless" was
>>>> holding a similar sign, but as I passed her I noticed she was texting on
>>>> one of those giant iPhone 6s that she was hiding behind the sign.
>>>>
>>>> I've also seen a new homeless person "relieve" another, as if they were
>>>> punching in and the other person was punching out."
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I doubt it's the norm, but these kind of observations are concerning.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Emlyn
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Andrew Cagen <cagenlaw at acagen.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> I would also be very interested in attending. It would be good if some
>>>>> of the people whom we see at intersections every day were there as well.
>>>>> Andy Cagen
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>
>>>>> On Jun 10, 2016, at 5:33 PM, Tony Adams <aa44ee at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> I would definitely attend such a meeting!
>>>>>
>>>>> Anyone else?
>>>>>
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>>
>>>>> On Jun 10, 2016, at 13:29, Gayle Gifford <gayle at ceffect.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> I’m sure that if the neighborhood were interested, we could arrange a
>>>>> community information session at Rochambeau Library with some of the folks
>>>>> who have strong outreach programs to the homeless.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Diana Burdett, who lives in Summit, is Executive Director of PICA, a
>>>>> really fabulous and grossly underfunded agency (true for all listed below)
>>>>> that has a homeless outreach program that works very hard to help those who
>>>>> are homeless to apply for benefits, have warrants cleared (many of which
>>>>> are for fines they can’t afford to pay), and connect with other services.
>>>>> PICA also runs the largest food pantry in the state (which I first worked
>>>>> with PICA a few years ago they were serving about 250 folks per month. They
>>>>> now serve 12,000) https://www.facebook.com/pvdintownchurches/
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Megan Smith is a fierce advocate and works in outreach for House of
>>>>> Hope CDC. (the organization working with WBNA).
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless is just up the street at
>>>>> 170 Main Street Pawtucket. Their director is Jim Ryczek.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> If folks would be interested, I am happy to reach out to them. Many of
>>>>> the organizations that serve those who are poor or without a home have been
>>>>> clients of mine .
>>>>>
>>>>> Best,
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Gayle Gifford
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> “A 2014 Bankrate survey, echoing the Fed’s data, found that only 38
>>>>> percent of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car
>>>>> repair with money they’d saved. Two reports published last year by the Pew
>>>>> Charitable Trusts found, respectively, that 55 percent of households didn’t
>>>>> have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and
>>>>> that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their
>>>>> finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having
>>>>> enough money to cover everyday expenses. “
>>>>> http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>> Summit at sna.providence.ri.us
>>>>>
>>>>> http://sna.providence.ri.us/mailman/listinfo/summit_sna.providence.ri.us
>>>>> SNA Website: http://sna.providence.ri.us/
>>>>>
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>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>>
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>>>>>
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>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
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>>
>
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