Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Homeless Rather Get Handouts Than Work


A Phoenix news crew with hidden cameras went around the city to see if the homeless people would actually accept work as their cardboard signs claimed. They offered $20 to each homeless person in exchange for one hour of landscaping work.

The result is not surprising.

Homeless people would rather stand at street corners to wait for hand-outs than do actual work.

To all the people who say "if the news crew would offer more money, maybe the homeless person would leave his corner".

$20 for one hour of landscaping work is a lot of money.

Plus, don’t forget “beggars can’t be choosers”.


  1. wow $20 an hour?!? I only get paid $5.50 an hour.. I have to work over 3 and a half hours to make $20!

  2. I agree, $20/hr is excellent pay. The homeless people that were offered this and did not accept are just losers and probably deserve their lot.

  3. I'm just guessing. . . perhaps the beggars get more than 20 bucks per hour for sitting in some corner of the city?

  4. According to the news program, some beggars gets between $100 to $200 per day at a busy street corner.

    Compare that to most Mexican day-labors would get $50 for 8-hours of work.

  5. maybe if they were offered a full time job they would take it! 20 bucks for an hour of hard labour is not that much when it is a one off and afterwards you get to return to streets and sleep on the side walk!!!

  6. If you're in dire need for money I'm sure you're not thinking: "They're playing with my emotions here." Although not everyone, most get what they deserve.

  7. Apparently "beggars CAN be choosers".

    Fuck the homeless.

  8. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Did they say how many people they spoke to? I wonder if it was a true assessment. If the homeless earn so much more on street corners, I think I'll start hanging around with a sign. There was a tv programme on Oz-tv interviewing homeless and a few actually admitted it was a better life than working. Perhaps they should be moved on if they won't accept work.

  9. Now is that 20.00 before or after Taxes?

  10. If the offer of $20 had been accepted, they might have missed out on the money (shurely over $20) that panhandling would have drawn. Fight the power, you wacky hobos!

  11. The others are typical, but I was really touched by the guy that did do work. They should have given him a bonus.

  12. I know of a guy named Asif Zamir in Toronto Canada who had done something similar with some friends. Offering $20 / hour (Canadian $) for some general labour including office work, including full training and transportation. This was for full time work, but most of the people a.) Didn't show up b.) Were intoxicated when the showed up c.) showed up but didn't do any work.

    On the other hand, there was a *tiny* percentage that showed up on time, did good work and ended up working long term.

    So I think it's still worth it to give them a chance to show up.

  13. Taking that job has an opportunity cost, so if you can make more on the street it makes economic sense to stay there. Selling a bike is one example of that.

    The $100 to $200 a day thing is really high-end. A friend of mine from high school at age 18 panhandled in the Florida Keys to see what he could make. He was making amounts like that because he was polite, young, and people didn't think he was a totally lost cause. Someone old, rude, agressive, or insane wouldn't be doing very well at all.

    Also, let's face it. Your average homeless person isn't an ideal job candidate. You can't get a job without an address. They might be well past their prime, be in physically or mentally poor shape, and not have any marketable skills.
    Do they "deserve their lot?" If you think they do "deserve it" should we allow people to live and die on the streets?

  14. Fact is, if I was homeless, I would stand in a bucket of crap for an hour if you'd give me $20. That's a days food money with something left over.

  15. Here's the tradeoff: imagine you have no social support, no one who'd notice if you're missing, and no cell phone. A stranger pulls up and asks you to get in his car for $20. Do you really think this is a wise decision?

  16. This is exactly the kind of experience I've had personally.

    When I was a kid (about 20 years ago now) I would often ride with my dad during the summers on trips around the country. My dad was a truck driver, hauling high-value products (art exhibits, massive computer systems, military aircraft prototypes, etc) and often the recipient was located in an urban area. Bums were a frequent source of labor, especially "lumpers" -- bums that hang around shipping docks looking for work loading and unloading trucks. Those that recognized my dad were eager to work for him; they knew he paid well. These weren't the sort of problem characters you're referring to, and not all of them were actually homeless -- these were people that wanted to work.

    When there weren't any lumpers around though, my dad would drive around the local area looking for bums on street corners holding signs offering to work for food or money. He'd stop and talk to them, and NOT ONCE in the times I hung around my dad did any of them ever take him up on the offer. And we're talking $100 for 2-3 hours work; my dad said this was typical. We'd end up doing the work ourselves.

    I'm a really liberal guy, getting more so as I get older. I'm an environmentalist, a supporter of animal rights and generally opposed to conservatives in this administration and beyond. But here is one place where my views lean to the right -- these people are a parasite on our society -- leeching tax money and spreading the disease of social decay.

  17. I lived in DC and there were two guys who always were on a corner in Dupont Circle. I'd give them my spare change sometimes, until the day I realized that they lived in the same building as my boyfriend. A building that I couldn't afford to live in.

    It is hard to tell who genuinely needs help. So now I save up my money for specific charities instead.

    I blame the destruction of the state run mental health system that poured people out onto the streets during the Reagan administration.

    Truthfully, some of these guys probably aren't physically capable of an hour of heavy labor. Some of them wouldn't want to get in a car with someone unknown, even if it were for a nice bit of money. I might be leery of that too.

    Okay, enough of my liberal wishy-washy crap... the situation sucks and I have no real ideas for how to fix it.

  18. Honestly, if we were to kill the vast majority of homeless folks, would anyone care? Would anyone out there really miss them, except for perhaps the CEOs of distilleries of cheap wine? Would the world be a worse place in ANY way if these people weren't here?

    Maybe Jello Biafra was right.....

  19. I work in retail. Every day, we have some bozo coming in trying to lift one of our goods. It's these same people I see day in and day out asking for hand outs. They can be quite aggressive if you refuse to give them what they want. Honestly, I think these people need to be removed from society until they are good and ready to actually contribute. I'm very unwilling to give them my hard-earned money just so they could insert heroin into their veins.

  20. drbloggingon had some very valid points, but the obvious solution escaped her. It's like dandelions or crabgrass in your lawn. If you do nothing, it spreads. You do not try to live with it, you eradicate it. Likewise these vermin need forcibly rounded up and disposed of. If I were king for a day, they would all be made into pet food.

  21. I've spent a bit of time in Peru and Chile. It's interesting to me that all the beggars there are women that can't find jobs.

    Here it's almost always men.

    I don't understand why.

  22. Living homeless is a lifestyle choice. Everyone in this country is free to succeed if they so choose. The losers choose not to succeed. Rewarding them for their poor choices is asinine. The absolute best thing that could happen to such a person is allowing him to hit his personal bottom and he aquires the Gift of Desparation, which will empower change.
    Enabling homeless by giving them money for standing on a street corner only enables them to continue with their lifestyle and hurts them in the long run.

  23. After watching the report, all I can say about the last guy who didn't hesitate to hop in the truck and go to work is: Give that guy a full time job! He'd be perfect for a construction or landscaping job!

    Sure, there are worthless bums who just want to leech off society, but this kid is willing to work! I'm very happy that the reporter made certain to emphasize that this kid, who's a recovering addict, didn't hesitate, did the work, and was thankful for it.

    So anyone out there in Phoenix who wants to really do good for a homeless person who's actually out to better his situation, call up the station and track this kid down!

  24. "I blame the destruction of the state run mental health system that poured people out onto the streets during the Reagan administration."

    Truth is, people were upset that we institutionalized these folks. So, we de-institutionalized them. Now folks are upset that we de-institutiopnalized these folks. So now do we institutionalize them?

  25. People try to point blame all of the time. It's high time America faces up to one fact that is apparent in society today: you can't blame everyone else for a problem that could be solved on your own. Blaming someone else is not helping, doing something about it is. It's the homeless peoples' fault for being homeless. No matter what, you can get cleaned up at a shelter and get a job in landscaping or something, just like the experiment attempted. Nobody owns up to their own shortcomings anymore, and it is disgusting.

  26. I'm also in the DC area, and the panhandler that's been across the street from my office for as long as I can remember lives in my neighborhood. In fact he owns a house and drives a Lexus. If he doesn't drive the Lexus in to "work" we frequently ride the same metro train.

    $20 an hour plus transportation time is simply not enough to maintain the lifestyle that he has become accustomed to.

  27. I wondered one day, WHAT would it take to become homeless...you really have to mess up every relationship with every friend you have, relatives, etc. You have to be a COMPLETE moron..

  28. I lived downtown Nashville, TN for four years and we had quite a few panhandlers in the area. Evertime I was asked for a "buck to help get some food", I always offered to make them something to eat and bring it back down to them. In the four years I lived there I can count on one hand the number of times I was taken up on my offer.

  29. Face it. Most homeless people are that way for a reason. They are a waste of space and oxygen. A while back I was on my way home from the grocery store and saw a homeless man holding a sign that said 'will work for food'. I stopped and offered him some supplies that he could make sandwiches with. (bread lunchmeat and cheese). He said' Why the F%$k would I want that!? I don't want that S$%t!'

    They are homeless because they want a free ride. Here's an idea... Take one days worth of your begging proceeds and buy some decent clothes. Then go try to get an interview so you can get some real work. Quit begging from the rest of us hard working citizens.

  30. I agree with Ran... the guy who was willing to do the work really did work his butt off! He deserved that $20 and more! I hope he can get his life together, because it looks like he is sincerely trying.

  31. $20 an hour? I'm about to graduate from college and I know that it will take me MANY years to attain that salary (if ever).

    Here in WI, we have problems with panhandlers on our downtown city streets. I can't count the number of times I have not given money and then have been called derogatory names. It's sad because the few people who really need help are not getting it because of these people.

  32. I remember watching on TV about a beggar in NYC, circa early 1990's. He didn't have legs and rolled himself around on a cart with his hands. His spiel was that he was a Veitnam vet and lost his legs because of a landmine. And he looked the part of a beggar, dirty, ragged clothes, a real mess. He begged all day, every day all over NYC for years. I forget how much money he actually took in on an average day, but I believe it was about $200.
    Just enough to own a nice house in a middle class neighborhood right across the river in NJ, and send his son to medical school. Which is what he did.
    lol, what a scam.

    I also remember a Mensa question put to it's members (you know Mensa, the genius people).
    The question was something like, how should the homeless situation be solved in a permanent way?
    Mensa members answered overwhelmingly.....kill them.

  33. Wow, someone needs to learn the meaning of "CAPS LOCK". Poster may have a valid point, but after the first couple words I moved on to the next post.

    Anyway, my story, lived in Austin, TX and had a Professor from the University spend his summer vacation begging on 6th st (Main street with all the bars that the college kids hang out at) and he ended up making more in his 3 months of begging than he did working 9 months as a professor. Go figure...

  34. One radio talk show host did an experiment. He stood at a busy intersection with an empty bucket with a made up charity name on the front. He didn't have a popular face and people didn't recognize him.

    The results: He said he averaged about $35 per hour for 6 hours. He ended up giving the money to a reputable charity.

  35. John Stossel did this on 20/20 a couple of years ago. I think it was only $10/hr, + bus fare to and from the job. Only one guy showed was interested, and he backed out at the last minute.

  36. There are a lot o myths out there about the homeless, such as Reagan put them all out there by closing mental hospitals, etc.

    The truth is that there are a large number of people who have realized they can make good, untaxed money by begging.

    The only way to stop it is to stop giving money to individuals. There are plenty of worthwhile charities out there that help the truly needy.

    Just tell the panhandlers that you've donated money to charity so they have a hot meal and a bed for the night. The truly needy will be grateful. The scam artists will curse you.

  37. I actually needed help working in my yard, loading and unloading dirt. I asked six people before I stopped asking - $10 an hour and food, all who had will work for food signs - none accepted.

    My father, during his 60s, a WWII paratrooper made soup and sandwiches for the poor in Dallas for months before stopping because the food wasn't enough and they attacked him when he wouldn't give money or cigs.

    I had a roomie who told me of his life in his cardboard condo after he quit a $50k Air Traffic Controller job (not laid off - quit) - he made great money in California then bought a car and came to Texas. After several months of living for free,he quit the job where we worked and left calling me a Capitalist for asking for the rent.

    It's a lifestyle not a situation.

    I tend to agree - don't give them money.

  38. I lived in a town with a state mental hospital in the Reagan years. I can firmly say that the number of homeless and people panhandling strongly increased upon closure of the state hospital.

    You can easily argue that essentially imprisoning people in a state hospital is bad; you can also argue that putting them out on the streets is bad. There obviously needs to be a compromise or a different solution. Obviously that solution is going to involve the use of the CAPS LOCK KEY.


    60 percent of the homeless in downtown Los Angeles have one or all four of these problems.

    1. Ex-offenders who get denied a job because of their record.

    2. Have a drug addiction, and can't work, need the money to buy drugs.

    3. Serious psychological
    -Psychiatric issues that need extensive medication and therapies.

    4. Hopeless and lazy. No self worth or self-esteem. They want it all on a platter without working for it.

    Only and IF we fix all of these problems by addressing the needs and "requiring" mandatory medical/psych care, enrollment in a training program etc will we ever see a decrease in this population.

    Homelessness has become a way of life for many. If they applied themselves things would be drastically different.

    I do believe that panhandling does rack in lots of money and it is easier to ask than to work. That is the shame. Actually, maybe a Sham.

    I can only focus on one segment of this population. Those convicted of a crime and.

    We live in a very judgmental society. People will NOT help anyone anymore, and non-profits who get huge amounts of money from the government to do the job instead waste the money on many other things verses what it is meant for.

    All of this faith Based hullabaloo is a scam. The government gives them money to help solve the problems and it is a waste. Proven fact: .10 of each dollar gets spent on what on services. The rest is on management salaries, office space, and the trappings of "looking" like you are working hard. It is all a bunch of bunk.

    Anyway... enough said:

    If you are an Non-Violent ex-offender, you can contact me at:

    The National Non-Violent Ex-Offenders Legislative Lobby. We work hard to pressure government to change the law and PREVENT discrimination against ex-offenders in employment and housing.

    Here is the link.

    My story is at:


    Happy Holidays to all.


  40. feed the homeless to the hungry......problem solved

  41. I went on a college trip to China with 3 other classmates a few years back. The situation with beggars is different there (many are people from rural areas who moved to the city to find work but then can't because they're there illegally). We wanted to help, but realized that giving money was a bad idea, so on the last night we finished off our trip allowance by grocery shopping and gave away bread, tinned meat, etc. A couple dozen people showed up when they heard about it, and I got to talk the little kids in my rudimentary mandarin. They were great.

    So I'm in total agreement with those people who said 'offer them food' (or old clothes, or a hygiene kit, or whatever). Those who really need them will take them.


  42. It's a sad situation to be homeless, alright. I can't imagine many worse things. But a lot of them seem to bring it on themselves. All credit to that kid who worked for his $20 and I think he should've recieved a little more, especially since he was on tv.

    In my own experience, a friend of mine once bought a burger and a coffee for a homeless guy and his dog, and the guy seemed very genuine. He gave the meat from the burger to the dog and sat there munching the bread and drinking the tea. The homeless guy was very greatful.

    I suppose there are good and bad in all types of people, just the bad seem to over ride the good most of the time.

  43. These vermin could be eliminated if NO ONE would give them money. The only reason these scum do it is because it works. Every time you gives money to them you are reinforcing their behaviour.

  44. I just don't understand why some of you absolute MORONS think that it is the burden of the successful to whitewash their own successes and take care of the poor. Why should they?

    Work hard, educate yourself, stay off drugs, stay out of jail, get a great job, work even harder...all to what? Take your money and give it to someone who's been sleeping for the past 10 years? Why? Who is this benefiting?

  45. I refused to 'donate' to a downtown bum's 'cause' once, and guess what?-I got the cold stares from my girlfriend over it. When I tried to tell her it was a conjob, she got even more offended, as if I'd called her stupid...which I believe she really is.

  46. "Obviously that solution is going to involve the use of the CAPS LOCK KEY." ROTFLMAO!!!

    An observation: one of the most "intelligent" people I ever met happened to be a homeless guy who always wore a blue denim shirt and "lived" in San Diego's Balboa Park for several months, about 10 years ago. His name was "Dave"--if I recall correctly--and I swear this guy had to have at one time been a highschool math teacher or undergrad professor based on the math concepts we'd discuss and he'd try to teach me. I'll never understand how a man of his intellectual caliber could be homeless. I imagined maybe he'd just gotten out of prison for some white-collar crime and couldn't land a decent job anywhere--but that's pure wild speculation. I never did get around to asking him, and I never did see him again when I returned from Stanford. But it totally changed my view of homeless people. Some of them out there could very well be some of the most capable people--yet out there they remain. Why? WHY?! It drives me nuts if I try to understand the reason.

  47. As I'm typing this, there are a pair of homeless, and I hesitate to call them this, people on the lawn outside of the apartment where my wife and I live.

    Now, I was raised in a manner that taught me that you try and deal with everybody with a modicum of basic decency, and I do. However, the homeless people in this neighborhood (which is a pseudo artsy, low income hippy haven, it irks me as I have no sociopolitical affiliations and have no desire to be part of their "community", we're only here because the rent is $395 a month) have no basic respect or decency and conduct themselves accordingly.

    The two that are out front right now are both so drunk that they can't stand up, and there is an alcohol detox center less than a hundred feet from where they're currently passing out.

    They're argumentative, rude, obnoxious, ungrateful and somewhat of a hazard as there are a number of small children that live around here and these people are drunk in public, with open containers, sometimes shooting up, urinating and defecating on the property, all where a small child has a reasonable chance of witnessing this behaviour.

    Granted, some people who are homeless genuinely want to better their situation, and there are quite a few like that where I live, the majority that I see on a regular basis, and I see a lot, are like the two out front of my place right now.

    They don't care about themselves, they show no respect towards anyone or anything, save for the beer they currently happen to be swilling. They've no interest at all in getting out of their situation and they deserve no compassion, sympathy or help.

    This is a problem that no amount of charity will ever do anything to help, history bears this out as do the facts of your own eyes. The homeless are still homeless and their numbers aren't decreasing as would be expected if all of the charities that worked so hard to help them had even an inkling of success.

    And the police are just about useless as far as this goes.

    Not more than an hour ago, my wife and I left the apartment to walk to the grocery store where she works. As we were passing by the vagrants on the lawn, a Eugene Police Department patrol car rolled by with two officers in it.

    Keep in mind that the vagrants in question are no more than five feet from the street and are visibly intoxicated with open containers of alcohol.

    What do you think the police did?


    Just drove by at a reasonable rate of speed.

    The cops weren't on their way to an emergency as evidenced by the lack of any sort of urgency on their part, and the vagrants in question were obviously violating at least 2 laws here in Lane County.

    Before you tell me that we should report these people to the police, let me assure that we have on numerous occasions, as have at least two other residents of this apartment building.

    This problem has been ongoing over the last 3 months and there's no sort of resolution in sight.

    According to the police department here, the vagrants in question were kicked out of the park across the street from where we live, and that is the reason they have taken up squattership on the front lawn.

    Wow, I guess I needed to vent about that.

  48. the person who left a comment "I know a person in Toronto who did that, his name is asif zamir"; this person works for a church..but he steals money from people so that he can give it away? he has stolen thousands of dollars from people and he goes online and says that he donates a lot of money?? who does he think he is? robin hood? or robbing hood?

  49. The FAKE homeless are everywhere in Chicago.
    I say there FAKE, because I see it everyday. They
    are there because people think they are doing some good for these Drunk or Drugged out Bums, by giving them a few bucks. But in FACT they make a lot more money then most of us. They are organized in some parts of the city. They go to work (Easy Work) in there eyes. Think about it if you ask 100 people in one hour for some money, you will get at least 20 of them to give you a buck, well thats 20.00 HR. for standing and looking like crap.
    So I say don't bother, give your money to your church or to the red cross or even to the Blind.

  50. I recently had an experience with a bum that left me dumbfounded.

    Many are career bums by choice not circumstance. You can't pay a man to work that doesn't want to work.

    Against good judgement I took one in to help him get on his feet. It never happened. As far as I know he is on someone else's couch right now. When I told him the jig was up and to leave he verbally assaulted me.

    I think Mensa was right. Short of killing the parasites there is no answer to homelessness.

    I never give them money. I work to hard for the little I make.

  51. One of the guys I met through a disabled woman I know, said he made around 60 dollars an hour standing on one freeway off ramp. Most professionals have trouble matching that. Why would he want to work if he can put on a dirty, torn shirt and stand in one place with a sign, put on a fake sad face (like Glen Beck does), and get paid that much?
    Also, the statistics from the homeless shelters are that ninety eight percent of their clients have a drinking or drug problem but none of them will try to get help for it. The average person is too stupid to realise that they are being conned. The people who are really that destitute don't have the the planning skills to immediately find a specific corner to beg at every day in the same location. Panhandling is illegal for a reason. When some of the people who will approach you in a parking lot and don't take no for an answer, start acting too forceful, threaten to call the police and send them on their way. I had one guy I told no repeatedly for about one hundred forty feet to my truck. He thought being persistent was going to win me over. I happened to have a baseball bat, glove, and a softball in the truck that day. I had to pull the bat out and ask him, "What part of NO didn't you understand?" He replied, "Oh, you really meant it when you said no!" In the same way that you aren't supposed to feed the bears, they will become dependent on your help. They lose the drive to go out and look for an honest way to make a living which helps build character. if you keep supporting people who are drinking and doing drugs by giving them money, they will take longer to realise they have a problem and stop looking for help. The percentage of them getting help will decrease and more of them will end up dead. You are just postponing the end. Some of them actually borrow other people's children or pets in order to go sit somewhere and beg, also. Think about that the next time you feel sorry for someone who has their dog or children there looking pitiful. If they are really a family in trouble, they could go to a church, a charity organisation like the Salvation Army or check into the homeless shelter for help.
    Places like that treat families as a priority.
    And what parent in their right mind would expose their children to a life of begging? Wouldn't it be simpler if you were hungry to find a charity dining room somewhere in town to get your children fed? Think about how many churches there are in Phoenix. If you walked up to the office of just about any church they would find a way to get you at least one meal, if not a food box. Why then would you drag your children out to a freeway off ramp to stand in the sun and beg all day?
    People sitting out by the freeway or at a parking lot exit are there to con you.
    Oh, and about the guy who is standing outside the convenience store, ask yourself, why did he pick that location? If you come back tomorrow, he will be in the same place telling the same lies. (I need some money to go to Holbrook.) Anyone who has ever hitchhiked knows that people give you rides and they don't charge you for the ride, that is what hitchhiking means. All he wants is a drink usually. If you are really feelling charitable, tell him, "If you are honest about the money tell me what you really need it for." Most of them will say they need a drink. At least then they are being honest. Every moment they are being honest about having a problem puts them closer to realising they need help. You might tell someone like that, "Here take this money in there and don't waste it on food, you know you want a drink, get something that will last you a while." At least if they get falling down drunk enough they might get closer to hitting their bottom.
    Another thing. Ask yourself, if you were really hungry would you stand out somewhere and beg or go find a charity dining room where they will serve you a whole meal?