Oh panhandlers, they're tricky ones! I was in Chicago about a year ago and a dude walked up to me and said he needed some money so he could get the education he always wanted. I said "Dude, I'll give you change. But don't tell people that you're gonna spend it on education." He laughed, got his .74, said thanks, then scurried away. Gotta love it!
The City of Denver did a survey a couple of years ago regarding the panhandling in the area. They estimated that people gave away an estimated $10 Million dollars a year to the panhandlers in this area.
I graduated from ISU in 1986 and took my first job in Chicago, riding the Chicago Northwestern line in from Mount Prospect (and later other 'burbs). I'd shuffle along thru the station (like cows being led to the barn) with the other early morning commuters, eventually coming out onto Madison Street. Every day for six years, there was a blind African-American male in a wheelchair (he had no legs) sitting in the exact same spot outside the entrance / exit, both morning and evening. Rain & snow didn't seem to matter; he was always there....
Fast forward to approximately 2002. I'm visiting with the family (mo-in-law's place in Elmhurst) and pick up the Sunday Chicago Tribune. There's a feature story on "panhandlers" and the main subject is my guy from the Northwestern Atrium Train Station. The poor disabled guy's offspring transport him to his "spot" for the morning and evening "rush" and his estimated $60,000 / year "in change" support a large extended family!
I'm not entirely heartless, but this story made me want to throw-up! What's wrong with people?
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. - Mark Twain
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