[Summit] Panhandlers

Emlyn Addison noisyblocks at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 13:11:25 CDT 2016


"vast fake-homeless conspiracy" ;)

Granola bars are a good idea, and kill two birds with one stone.

On Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 1:54 PM, Anna Highsmith <anna at occupant.org> wrote:

> 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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>>>>
>>>
>>>
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>
>
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