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Real nice.

Awwww, did they all give 'till it hurt?

What about what Jesus said?

Are panhandlers now somehow removed from Jesus? Are the poor not always with us? Do we not forgive our brother/sister seven times seven times?
What of the prodigal son?
Kill the fatted calf: spare a dime, brother.


Why is it wrong to give to assistance agencies instead? Why can't these individuals go to the assistance agencies? After all, that's what they're there for is it not?

I don't think the agencies are what everybody needs. There was a good article in FFWD last October about a man who panhandles who is on AISH. He panahandles to supplement his disability income beacuse it is just not enough for rent, food, and the basics.

I don't like that these ads make it seem like addiction is the reason people are poor.

So you have one individual on AISH vs 100 who are'nt...

Waaay back when I was a single mother, I decided to apply for subsidized housing. It was as much as my pride would allow me to do since I refused to go on any sort of 'assistance'. I was hoping for a particular housing complex in Ranchlands (Calgary) because I knew someone who lived near by.

I was told that the wait list was a year.

Soon after I applied, the news broke about a man who lived in that same complex, was on public assistance, had a friend living with him who was on AISH, and who panhandled. He was neither disabled NOR was he hurting for money in any sort of way... he was just taking advantage of the group guilt conscious that funds panhandling. He didn't have to look anyone in the eye, he just had to sit, head bowed, in a useless wheelchair and collect cash and then roll around the corner, load up the wheelchair in his car and drive his fully able-bodied self away.

It may have been more difficult for him to actually go into the agencies to get funding because then he's have to look someone in the eye to get his cash.

The fact of the matter is... I do not go downtown because of the drunks and panhandlers. So you may think that the businesses are evil for wanting to get rid of them, but they are speaking the truth. People like me - who give to the shelter and donate money to the associations - do not want to take their five year old sons down to Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary.

I've been harassed, flashed, approached and bullied by drunks and panhandlers. It won't stop me from giving to the associations so that those who are willing to ask for the help receive it... but it will stop me from giving to anyone who can make a sad puppy dog face.

Don't forget that many homeless people (in Ontario at least) suffer from some sort of mental illness. So even if they did have the money, they aren't getting the help they need.

I agree with you 100% on this. Don't kid yourself that you're being kind by being stingy. I however believe that we need to push for more government intervention on behalf of the homeless such as more aid centres and mental health facilities.

Poop Pal, always the government-interventionist-socialist... One day she'll grow up...

Wait what's the government supposed to do Richard? Oh that's right GOVERN the people.

Hey thanks for this blog - I found it through a mutual friend in Calgary - he pointed this out to me. I currently live in Seattle, but was a medical student in Denver the last 4 years. I can't believe the campaign they are running there now. I worked for 2 weeks at the county and city jail infirmiry. The jail docs told me that every time there was a basketball or football game, the police would round up drunk bums, even if they weren't doing anything, and "clean up the streets" for Mr. and Mrs. Smith coming to downtown from the 'burbs. It was appaling.

I don't know for sure if panhandling helps or hurts - I'm sure it depends on the situation - but all the money they are spending on that campaign could be paying for several prescription medicines that these people often need for their mental health diangoses. It's sad.

I am a 17 year old 11th grader. For my 12th grade project my subject is panhandling. Now I have my opinions and I have learned a lot. I realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion and not everyone is on the same page.

I beleive due to personal experience (I live in Bellingham WA, so I have some idea of panhandlers do) an lots of research. The conclusion that I have come up with is that panhandling is NOT a positive thing for the individual panhandlers or the community.

We give to panhandlers because we as a community we should feel obligated to take care of those in a situation less fortunate than ourselves. But we should also feel obligated to make sure that they are getting actual help. Some panhandlers are happy with their situation, but not most. 7 out of 10 panhandlers struggle with an addiction, but those other 3 might be mentally disabled (probably not even that many). Through research I have come to the conclusion that simply having social services for the homeless, would eliminate panhandling, and therefore eliminate those panhandlers who may be just taking advantage of peoples sympathy. Its not uncommon for people in this day and age to take advantage of a plight (homelessness) and make the most of it.

With only social services we can make sure that proffessional social service care providers can make sure that all those who actually need help get it.

I have heard coupons for major grocery chains offered up as a supplement, but even that makes me hesitate. Because even the woman who suggested it said "I don't see how 2$ vouchers can translate into drugs." But what she wont think about is that someone who really wants something will try very hard to get it.

The best solution I see to making sure that panhandlers or just homeless people who really need help get it is from a social service. If everyone gave to social services we would not have panhandlers sitting on corners begging for money. They would get help from social services. And when they get reinstated to a positive role is society, they can buy their own alcohol.

This is a complicated subject. But we need find a solution rather than rant about how pissed we are and how stupid an individual group is for singling out a perverse group who is taking advantage of those who wish to help. And I realize that not all panhandlers are faking their situation. They actually do need our help. SO lets help them.

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