[Summit] Panhandlers

Anna Highsmith anna at occupant.org
Mon Jun 13 12:54:55 CDT 2016


I keep granola bars in my car and hand them out the window when I can
safely stop next to a panhandler. People have always been grateful, even
the one guy who refused with a grin because didn't have enough teeth (and
demonstrated this). He was still grateful for the offer.

A granola bar is a pretty easy way to put a little love in the world. And,
I admit it, the more cynical side of me says, if all they get is
sandwiches, bottles of water, and personal care items, the few who may be
out there as part of a vast fake-homeless conspiracy will find another
racket. The ones who really need a little help will continue to be grateful.

Anna
Colonial Rd



On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 1:35 PM Emlyn Addison <noisyblocks at gmail.com> wrote:

> So am I, Bob. But like I said, the cheaters ruin it for the rest of us,
> yet they can count on the fact that we'll continue to give.
>
> (Telemarketing firms, however, are a different beast.)
>
> On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 1:15 PM, Robert Mathiesen <rmath13 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> 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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>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>> 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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>>>>
>>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>
>>
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