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25 January 2012 @ 10:55 am
Too many grabby hands.  
Let's see if I can stir up some shit.

This is a rough time economically. There were many struggling out on the streets before everything went tits up.

BUT - don't you need a permit to be soliciting money on the street? Otherwise, you're a panhandler, and they are not allowed.

I see so many panhandlers - there's one at virtually every exit ramp. It makes me wish we had, for lack of a better term, "bum alerts": a number you could call to report an illegal panhandler's location. Police would come, ask what services the person needed, and take them to the appropriate agency for assistance. Plan for alternatives, because we know the demand is going to be higher than the supply.

Once this has been done, and every effort has been made to get needed help, it should be noted if the person is continuing to work with the agencies. If they refuse help and return to panhandling, they are essentially saying they would rather do something illegal. And what are we supposed to do with people engaging in illegal acts (Wall Street punks notwithstanding)? Well, arrest them. (Yes, I know prisons are overcrowded; if we'd spend less time harassing pot smokers and whores we could free up some space.)

I want them to not be in the street where I have to avoid hitting them. I want them to put as much time into getting out of the cold as they spend standing in it. They can't have all given up on getting out of their situation, can they? I'm trying not to be all "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" about it, but sometimes I wonder.

Either this, or I'm going to have to figure out how to mount a discrete gun under my car that shoots some sort of dart into a bum's ankle, laced with something.  Step away from my car!
If You Saw Me You'd Know I Was: aggravatedaggravated
alphak10alphak10 on January 25th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
what urks me is... 1) the woman who aproached me in two different parking lots more than 10 miles apart in the same week with different stories. 2) the "war vet with only one arm" game I see on the exit ramps where I can see the other arm hidden in their shirt. I have seen panhandlers in better cercomstances than I am in. They try to tell you that they can't get ahold of the agencies to help, that they were rejected... Some of those agencies I knew were not filled and do not even reject drug addicts so I knew they did not try or did not even need them. There are thousands of people out there who NEED help and jerks like this want to ride their coat tails. It used to be such a dishonor to beg. That when you had to of course people gave because they knew you tried everything else.
Fabled Apteryx: Friendsdakiwiboid on January 25th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
I pulled over and called 911 once about a panhandler
who was standing out in the blazing sun swaying and glassy-eyed. He looked as if he was coming down with heat stroke. I heard the sirens coming before I got another block.

I agree with you about the dangers of them standing at the exits, and honestly, I thought it was illegal for them to beg in some of the locations they've chosen.

They can't do it in most of the County, except for recognized charities.