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Beggers

Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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3/3/2011 10:35:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Today as Vi and I were driving out of a store parking lot, we saw someone begging for money (but that's pretty typical at this spot for some reason). However while it's usually some guy, this time I really thought it was a little girl. She looked about 12 to me. Her sign said she needed to help her family. I had just read an article about the kids forced to help beg for their family, so I immediately made that presumptuous connection and felt sorry/the need to help her.

Neither of us hesitated to pull out some singles we happened to have on us - about $4. As soon as the girl approached our car for the money, she said "God bless you..." and it became immediately apparent that this woman was a meth addict. I had completely misjudged her age. With her mouth open, I could see evidence of her habit. We've studied drugs quite a bit; I know a meth head when I see one.

As the light turned green (inb4 I should have asked for my money back), I realized that I shouldn't feel regret or resentment. I realized that $4 is not really all that meaningful to me. Meanwhile, this woman is a meth head (at best, a recovering one but not likely). Her life is clearly of inferior standards to mine, in my humble comparison.

Even if she uses that money for her next fix - how sorry for her :( How miserable and pathetic a life she has. I just couldn't be upset about "what I could have done" with that $4 or how much she doesn't deserve it. I just felt genuine pity and compassion. I wonder her poor story? Likely she was some dumb teenage whore who got involved with the wrong crowd. I see it happen ALL the time. I feel lucky to not be in her position.

I know many "Christians" here would be like "Eff that b!tch - get a job." Question - how do you guys feel/react to homeless people or beggers? What are some of your experiences? Do you mostly see them in the city or suburbs? I know most are full of it, but some are legit.
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Xer
Posts: 7,776
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3/3/2011 10:41:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I never give to homeless people or beggers.

They usually disgust me or offend me, I never feel bad for them.

Also, this is another reason why drugs are bad. :)
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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3/3/2011 10:41:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm personally hesitant to help a beggar when I see one since it tends to be more often than not they're just drug addicts looking for money to support their addictions. I think the best thing a person could do to help is beggar is to take them out for breakfast or lunch to ensure they're not just looking for drug money. I know of some people who have done this.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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3/3/2011 10:42:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:35:19 PM, Danielle wrote:
Question - how do you guys feel/react to homeless people or beggers?

I feel empathy for them since I've been in the same position. And when I did beg for money, it was in places (like Oslo) where they aren't open to giving you money. I remember sleeping on corners after falling asleep during begging and then waking up to my change jar being stolen. :/

What are some of your experiences?

In Seattle, there are tons of beggars. I've befriended many of them and help them out when I can since I'm downtown frequently and have even counseled some of them. I think the saddest experience was when I met an 11 year old girl downtown who had been abandoned by her parents while they were visiting. They had left her by herself and when she finally made it back to the hotel, they had cleaned out the room and left. They left a note saying it was for her own good. I let her crash at my place for two weeks until I found a shelter for her. :(

Do you mostly see them in the city or suburbs? I know most are full of it, but some are legit.

City, definitely.
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,282
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3/3/2011 10:45:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Mostly I wonder how I can help them without enabling them. I remember one time in Boston, walking to my apartment, a druggie asked me money for food. I told her I had time and would buy her some food and she actually declined the offer. I then came to realize that this person was going to do what she does whether I help them or not. So I do not see any difference now whether I give to a begger or not from that experience. My charity now mostly goes to the Salvation Army since they have a small chance at giving these poor people some lasting happiness and hope for a future in rare cases. Better than nothing.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/3/2011 10:46:04 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I like to play the "Real or fake?" game while riding the subway. I don't know f you remember, but there are some real characters riding the A,C,E line :P

But back to the question. There are two things I feel.

The first is the natural human reaction. Sometimes I feel sorry for a person and I would give them money. Sometimes I don't. Rationally, after thinking about it, what I was doing was purchasing a service. I purchase good feelings.

Now, I have a general rule. If the person is simply asking for money, I don't give. If the person is actively trying to earn money and I am pleased with what they are doing, then I will be generous. I've given $3-$5 to people before for great performances. There was a homeless man who sang a beautiful rendition of "Shenandoah" on the subway, I gave him $3.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 10:49:14 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I honestly wish I could be more compassionate about it... I'm still stuck in the mentality that homeless people choose to be homeless a lot of the time, or are homeless as a result of their own actions (and therefore don't deserve my sympathy), even though a huge percentage of them are mentally ill.

I tend to give money to people who work for it though. I was once out with a guy I was dating, and some guy approached me and asked me to buy his CD. I told him I don't listen to rap and he was so earnest that he had a couple of RnB songs on there that I told him to serenade me, which he did, right there on the spot. So I bought his CD.

I'll be honest... when I drive downtown I tend to lock my doors and ignore it. I keep saying I'm going to volunteer at a soup kitchen or give away gift cards for fast food restaurants and I never make the time.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 10:51:52 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:46:04 PM, Kleptin wrote:

Now, I have a general rule. If the person is simply asking for money, I don't give. If the person is actively trying to earn money and I am pleased with what they are doing, then I will be generous. I've given $3-$5 to people before for great performances. There was a homeless man who sang a beautiful rendition of "Shenandoah" on the subway, I gave him $3.

Exactly. I paid $5 for a CD that I ended up giving to someone else. If they're working for it I don't mind. Squeegee kids on the other hand >.<
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,282
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3/3/2011 10:54:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/

I just have not met the right homeless person Ann, I am sorry :(
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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3/3/2011 10:56:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/

I live in a small town so I haven't really experienced too many homeless people.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 10:56:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/

In Canada, there's just no excuse to be homeless. The government practically gives away money. Unfortunately, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill and refuse to help themselves. But should that really be my problem?

When I was in Nigeria I cared a whole lot more about the homeless because I know the government doesn't do crap to help them.
annhasle
Posts: 6,657
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3/3/2011 10:59:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I just find it amusing (and saddening) that I'm the usual target of being cold or unemotional but I'm the one being the most empathetic right now. :)

Yes, many are mentally ill -- I see that as even more reason to help them out. I'm familiar with Canada's hand-outs and I'm with you noentity, I would be less caring in Canada. But for those of you in America -- I'm a little disturbed by your cynical attitudes. <sigh>
I'm not back. This idiot just upset me which made me stop lurking.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,282
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3/3/2011 11:03:36 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:59:33 PM, annhasle wrote:
I just find it amusing (and saddening) that I'm the usual target of being cold or unemotional but I'm the one being the most empathetic right now. :)

Yes, many are mentally ill -- I see that as even more reason to help them out. I'm familiar with Canada's hand-outs and I'm with you noentity, I would be less caring in Canada. But for those of you in America -- I'm a little disturbed by your cynical attitudes. <sigh>
The reason I do give to the Salvation Army is so that they can have a handout like Canada. Most importantly food, not just money.
Sangers
Posts: 419
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3/3/2011 11:06:46 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:56:13 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/

In Canada, there's just no excuse to be homeless. The government practically gives away money. Unfortunately, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill and refuse to help themselves. But should that really be my problem?

When I was in Nigeria I cared a whole lot more about the homeless because I know the government doesn't do crap to help them.

That's not really correct. There are ALWAYS those who aren't eligible for government support, because they don't "fit" the criteria. I live in Fortitude Valley, so I do see a lot of beggars/drug addicts, and yes there are beggars who became one because of their addiction, etc, but I'd like to assume that the number of "legit" beggars are substantial, and "the choice to drugs" is not sorely responsible for their position. So I give money o.0 and I feel good about it :D
J.Kenyon
Posts: 4,194
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3/3/2011 11:12:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Giving money to homeless people is generally a bad idea, as a lot of them are drug addicts or alcoholics. I've never lived in a big city, so I very rarely come across homeless people, but I've given away an extra McDonald's hamburger a few times when I have seen them.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/3/2011 11:12:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:59:33 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm a little disturbed by your cynical attitudes. <sigh>

I don't think it's surprising. Those of us who grew up privileged take it for granted. Those of us who fought for what we have resent people who don't fight for themselves. The vast majority of us are still reeling from the economic recession. With so many members of the middle class recently struck with misfortune, is it that surprising to see them lash out at the poor, who traditionally leech off of them like parasites?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 11:18:13 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:06:46 PM, Sangers wrote:
At 3/3/2011 10:56:13 PM, nonentity wrote:
At 3/3/2011 10:52:50 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm kind of saddened by ya'lls perceptions of the homeless. :/

In Canada, there's just no excuse to be homeless. The government practically gives away money. Unfortunately, a lot of homeless people are mentally ill and refuse to help themselves. But should that really be my problem?

When I was in Nigeria I cared a whole lot more about the homeless because I know the government doesn't do crap to help them.

That's not really correct. There are ALWAYS those who aren't eligible for government support, because they don't "fit" the criteria.

If it's gotten to the point that you're homeless, I'm pretty sure you'd qualify... The only real requirement for welfare is that you have an address for them to mail you the cheque (which could be a shelter you're staying at). And if you have a disability or mental illness that prevents you from working there's a cheque for that too. And if you really want help for your mental illness there are a ton of free programs.

I live in Fortitude Valley, so I do see a lot of beggars/drug addicts, and yes there are beggars who became one because of their addiction, etc, but I'd like to assume that the number of "legit" beggars are substantial, and "the choice to drugs" is not sorely responsible for their position. So I give money o.0 and I feel good about it :D

What is a "legit" beggar though?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,282
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3/3/2011 11:18:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:12:06 PM, J.Kenyon wrote:
Giving money to homeless people is generally a bad idea, as a lot of them are drug addicts or alcoholics. I've never lived in a big city, so I very rarely come across homeless people, but I've given away an extra McDonald's hamburger a few times when I have seen them.

This is the way I feel. There was a time in my life I literally did not eat for a week because I was denied food assistance just as my money ran out. I ended up taking a job at a dairy plant luckily as a temp worker stacking pallets just to get the free overstock yogurts so I could eat. I was very close to having to turn to a Church or something else for help. It's not at all that I do not feel empathy for them, it is just that I would rather give to Salvation Army than directly to the beggars, only for the reason they will ensure food, regardless of their mental disabilities.
TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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3/3/2011 11:20:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:12:47 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/3/2011 10:59:33 PM, annhasle wrote:
I'm a little disturbed by your cynical attitudes. <sigh>

I don't think it's surprising. Those of us who grew up privileged take it for granted. Those of us who fought for what we have resent people who don't fight for themselves. The vast majority of us are still reeling from the economic recession. With so many members of the middle class recently struck with misfortune, is it that surprising to see them lash out at the poor, who traditionally leech off of them like parasites?

Yeah, I think that viewpoint itself is very misplaced and what Ann is referring to...
Sangers
Posts: 419
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3/3/2011 11:20:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:18:13 PM, nonentity wrote:
If it's gotten to the point that you're homeless, I'm pretty sure you'd qualify... The only real requirement for welfare is that you have an address for them to mail you the cheque (which could be a shelter you're staying at). And if you have a disability or mental illness that prevents you from working there's a cheque for that too. And if you really want help for your mental illness there are a ton of free programs.

illegal immigrants are a solid example for me :P

What is a "legit" beggar though?

I was referring to the OP
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/3/2011 11:24:28 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:20:03 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
Yeah, I think that viewpoint itself is very misplaced and what Ann is referring to...

I would give an even 50-50 split to the people who are poor due to laziness and people who are poor by misfortune. Regardless, it does not change the fact that they take more from society than they give. Medicaid and Food Stamps are not cheap. They are services I pay for but never get to use.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 11:31:27 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:20:24 PM, Sangers wrote:

illegal immigrants are a solid example for me :P


I don't think Canada has that problem... But again, one could apply for refugee status or something. It kind of defeats the purpose to go somewhere illegally to be homeless lol

I don't know how things work in Australia or the US or anywhere else... I just can't muster the sympathy to give money to a beggar on the street. As I said before, I'd love to volunteer in a soup kitchen... and I regularly donate clothes and canned food and toys. A percentage of every one of my paycheques goes to charity. I care about helping people. I just don't care about helping them that way..
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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3/3/2011 11:34:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:31:27 PM, nonentity wrote:
A percentage of every one of my paycheques goes to charity.

Mine too. They're called "taxes".
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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3/3/2011 11:36:05 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 11:34:34 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 3/3/2011 11:31:27 PM, nonentity wrote:
A percentage of every one of my paycheques goes to charity.

Mine too. They're called "taxes".

L-O-L
juvanya
Posts: 613
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3/4/2011 12:04:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Theyre annoying as hell. I always say "sorry no" and wave theme away. There was one guy who opened a door for me and Insert, so I gave him a few dimes. At least hes working...
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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3/4/2011 12:05:40 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/4/2011 12:04:36 AM, juvanya wrote:
Theyre annoying as hell. I always say "sorry no" and wave theme away. There was one guy who opened a door for me and Insert, so I gave him a few dimes. At least hes working...

Oh yea, in the Montreal metro. I remember that.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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3/4/2011 12:18:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 3/3/2011 10:59:33 PM, annhasle wrote:
I just find it amusing (and saddening) that I'm the usual target of being cold or unemotional but I'm the one being the most empathetic right now. :)

Yes, many are mentally ill -- I see that as even more reason to help them out. I'm familiar with Canada's hand-outs and I'm with you noentity, I would be less caring in Canada. But for those of you in America -- I'm a little disturbed by your cynical attitudes. <sigh>

ultimately its a self defense mechanism. especially if you live in a large city and see a lot of homeless people, allowing yourself to feel sympathetic towards each one would be a huge emotional drain. not to mention the fact that in my experience if you are kind towards them they simply become more demanding in regard to you. one lady tried to follow me home once after talking to me for several hours at my job. we let another in our store and gave her food occasionally and she started coming in and stealing from us. etc. i don't mean to sound callous, but often times if you attempt to help the homeless you get burned. i know they are in need, and even that its often not their fault the position they are in... but its not my fault either. from your position of self interest above all things this should actually make perfect sense. allowing yourself to pity the homeless is harmful to you, and the majority of the time the person you are pitying is a stranger. so... whats the benefit? in some cases you get to feel like a good person (as kleptin said, buying the warm fuzzy feeling lol). is it worth it?

of course i understand you have personal experience in this area which affects your judgment... but i am surprised that you would be surprised at other's views since they are perfectly confluent with your own in most areas.

also @ kleptin... i haven't seen anyone lashing out at the poor in this thread lol. all i've seen is a bunch of people who don't feel responsible for them and are susceptible to varying degrees of pity which may or may not result in taking action. i don't see it being born of any ill will towards them.
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
juvanya
Posts: 613
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3/4/2011 12:21:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I spent a few hours "homeless" once. When I had left Insert in BC, I had the bright idea to coordinate my transport back to NJ in the most retarded fashion. I had a plane already booked from the regional airport to vancouver. I couldve flown from Vanc to NJ, but it was like $150 cheaper to fly from Seattle, so I booked a Greyhound between the two cities for 550am. I arrived at the station Pacific Central at like 1030pm and two hours later I found out the station would be closing. (which is BS. there are early departures and people have nowhere to stay) So after being thrown out, I went to what I thought was a hostel, but was really just a pub. Then at 1 or 130, they kicked me.

I managed to find the hostel, but it was $20 a night (for 3-4 hours? f that). The guy at the desk said there was a McDicks up a few blocks and a Tim Hortons elsewhere that were 24 hours. So I ended up there. The station opened at 430, so I had about 3 hours to entertain myself. I had been writing letters, so it was ok, but soon I realized the place had a whole bunch of homeless people. I also realized I literally had no place to go and that warmth and roof meant so much. I felt homeless.

It was such a miserable trip back, not to mention sad to leave her. I think I was literally travelling for 24 hours straight without much sleep..
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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3/4/2011 2:10:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
When I was homeless, I didn't ask people for money, I asked them for food.

I played guitar, and people gave me money anyway, though.

Being homeless sucks, and not everyone is homeless because they do drugs.

My parents died, so I was on my own when I was 18. I worked at UPS, and was in charge of processing packages over 70 lbs. The work broke my back, and after recovering from surgery, I found that I wasn't able to do the work AT ALL anymore, not even the light stuff. No one would hire me, so there eventually came a point to where I had no where to go.

There was a time when I voluntarily wanted to be homeless.. I wanted to be a traveling Christian preacher of all things. I was put in a mental hospital. By the time I had no choice but to be homeless, I was no longer a Christian, and family wasn't as tolerant as they are now.

It wasn't my fault. Theres nothing I could do. Broke back foo with what most people consider to be the bare minimum amount of acceptable education.

I absolutely loathe the insensitivity that is displayed towards the lower class from the middle and upper crusts. They have no idea how hard it is to even scrape by with just a high school diploma even. Factor in that you can't do manual labor(which is where all the good paying jobs are if you didn't go to college), and you are really up sh!t creek.

Because of the sh!t I went through though, I feel invincible. My greatest spiritual development happened when I had nothing, and was forced to sort through my own thoughts.

Anyway, that aside, something needs to be done about the lower class, and I'm not talking about shipping them away on a special train that rolls into town.. I mean, distribution of wealth.

If we are going to have a state, everyone should be guaranteed a place to live, food, and an education. A proper education at that. Too many people who have amazing potential are kept down because of the fact that they were unfortunate enough to be born poor.

Seriously, I'd be homeless right now. I'm living in a church. Do temp work, apply for jobs.

Barely anyone is hiring, and if they are hiring, they don't hire me. Plus, like I said, I'm very limited in what I'm able to physically do now, I am almost in constant physical pain.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp