Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 657476 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2010 on: November 19, 2013, 07:12:32 PM »
The local homeless population near my work is now panhandling with their pet dogs with them. The dogs look to be healthy, but I worry about them.    :(

Tea Drinker

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2011 on: November 19, 2013, 08:06:45 PM »
The local homeless population near my work is now panhandling with their pet dogs with them. The dogs look to be healthy, but I worry about them.    :(

Without getting into a lot of politics: I read a book years ago by a man who had been homeless for a while, about those years of his life. He had a dog with him, and said that he and the dog took care of each other: a man sleeping on a park bench with a dog is safer than a man asleep by himself. At one point he was offered a one-month bed in a shelter, but would have had to give up the dog, with no guarantees for her safety, and a month later would have been back on the street alone. If I recall correctly, his would-be benefactor was surprised that he felt that protective toward his dog.
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Miss March

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2012 on: November 19, 2013, 08:18:52 PM »
Sadly, my local Craigslist has had a rash of people posting pleas for money for emergency medical care that their pets supposedly need. At least 2 such postings have since been exposed as scams, with people finding that the pictures of the 'ill pet' are actually stolen from veterinary websites, and today someone posted that they offered money for a cat's surgery if they could donate straight to the animal hospital and the poster more or less gave them every excuse in the world for why they could only accept cash. It's sad that people would use our concern for animals to try and scam money.
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ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2013 on: November 19, 2013, 08:39:37 PM »
I know there is a camp in the woods a few blocks from the area I see the homeless woman and dog. What I don't understand is why much of our homeless live so far away from the shelters and kitchens that serve them. I try to give food and drink, not money.

gramma dishes

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2014 on: November 19, 2013, 08:49:28 PM »
The local homeless population near my work is now panhandling with their pet dogs with them. The dogs look to be healthy, but I worry about them.    :(

Without getting into a lot of politics: I read a book years ago by a man who had been homeless for a while, about those years of his life. He had a dog with him, and said that he and the dog took care of each other: a man sleeping on a park bench with a dog is safer than a man asleep by himself. At one point he was offered a one-month bed in a shelter, but would have had to give up the dog, with no guarantees for her safety, and a month later would have been back on the street alone. If I recall correctly, his would-be benefactor was surprised that he felt that protective toward his dog.

Sometimes the homeless really are homeless through absolutely no fault of their own.  Many feel disenfranchised and the situations that caused them to be homeless in the first place have also instilled a feeling of distrust concerning their fellow human beings.  They know that their dogs truly ARE their friends in every possible sense of the word.

My husband used to occasionally see a panhandler who would sit on the street between two flawlessly behaved dogs.  Neither of them ever moved from his side.  They didn't growl or bark or lunge at people.  If someone patted one of them, they would wag their tails a bit, but never left their owners side.  My husband said one time he saw someone give the guy a sandwich  and water in a large paper cup.  The man carefully tore the sandwich into three portions (removing the pickles) and gave one section to each dog and ate the other himself.  Then he drank from the paper cup and allowed the two dogs to finish drinking the water.

After that, if he had any small bills on him my husband always left the guy something.  He figured anyone who cared that much about his animals (and whose animals were so obviously devoted to him) deserved to be treated with respect for that reason alone.

Luci

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2015 on: November 19, 2013, 08:54:14 PM »
I know there is a camp in the woods a few blocks from the area I see the homeless woman and dog. What I don't understand is why much of our homeless live so far away from the shelters and kitchens that serve them. I try to give food and drink, not money.

The homeless still want to feel some independence and control, and they sometimes feel somewhat dehumanised by some of the treatment in these shelters. Some feel they do not deserve the help or do not feel they can ever repay it. (But I don't know why they feel getting alms is not receiving help.) This I heard from a volunteer at a soup kitchen/shelter years ago.

The story above is a good example of that: dehumanised because they can't keep their true friends.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2016 on: November 19, 2013, 09:23:43 PM »
O/T, but DH and I have a plan that should we come into a significant amount of money, we would start a family shelter as well as a singles shelter. With all the counseling and resources necessary to help people. That is rare in this state.

MommyPenguin

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2017 on: November 20, 2013, 12:23:26 AM »
I know there is a camp in the woods a few blocks from the area I see the homeless woman and dog. What I don't understand is why much of our homeless live so far away from the shelters and kitchens that serve them. I try to give food and drink, not money.

The homeless still want to feel some independence and control, and they sometimes feel somewhat dehumanised by some of the treatment in these shelters. Some feel they do not deserve the help or do not feel they can ever repay it. (But I don't know why they feel getting alms is not receiving help.) This I heard from a volunteer at a soup kitchen/shelter years ago.

The story above is a good example of that: dehumanised because they can't keep their true friends.

I'd imagine it might also be because of vagrancy laws.  You'll basically be kicked out of wherever you're trying to sleep and told to "move along."  Move along to where, exactly?  Unless they happen to have been lucky enough to get a bed in a shelter.  So they go hide in the woods, where police are less likely to come across them and kick them out, and they're out of the way.  I know if I were homeless, I'd probably head for the woods, too.

Margo

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2018 on: November 20, 2013, 06:10:47 AM »
It may also be safer, with less likelihood of being attacked or robbed.  And Safe(ish) sheltered places which are also close to shelters and soup-kitchens are likely to be popular, so in an area whether there are a lot of homeless people, such spots are likely to be at a premium.

In the UK, there is one charity (http://www.mungos.org)which supports homeless people which specifically provides hostels which accept pets, to try to avoid the situation where people can't access hostels or other support because they cannot take their dogs.


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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2019 on: November 20, 2013, 08:17:05 AM »
Sometimes the homeless really are homeless through absolutely no fault of their own. 

Only too true. A Baptist minister told me about a man whe was homeless, because when he was in hospital, his partners house burned down, and she was killed. As they were unmarried, and she had no insurance, he got nothing. He was ex-Army, and had no home other that that one.

Twik

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2020 on: November 20, 2013, 12:07:35 PM »
Sometimes the homeless really are homeless through absolutely no fault of their own. 

Only too true. A Baptist minister told me about a man whe was homeless, because when he was in hospital, his partners house burned down, and she was killed. As they were unmarried, and she had no insurance, he got nothing. He was ex-Army, and had no home other that that one.

Absolutely. There are many people who are homeless through no fault of their own, or understandable faults, at least. Any one of us might end up in that situation, if the cards fall in a certain way.

The problem is that there is are people who are quite willing to *pose* as needing help if they see freebies associated with it. It's one of the biggest problems with the "safety net". How do we get help to those who need it, quickly and respectfully, while putting procedures in place to keep away the moochers and scammers who have been listed in so much detail in this thread, and stopping them from draining away the help from those who need it?
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CakeBeret

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2021 on: November 20, 2013, 01:14:41 PM »
Cracked.com did an excellent article a week or two, something to the effect of "5 things you didn't know about being homeless". The author had been homeless for a period of time; he had been unexpectedly evicted because his roommate had failed to pay their rent. It's a very informative read.
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hermanne

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2022 on: November 20, 2013, 01:20:03 PM »
Cracked.com did an excellent article a week or two, something to the effect of "5 things you didn't know about being homeless". The author had been homeless for a period of time; he had been unexpectedly evicted because his roommate had failed to pay their rent. It's a very informative read.

http://www.cracked.com/article_20720_7-things-no-one-tells-you-about-being-homeless.html
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Shalamar

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2023 on: November 20, 2013, 02:58:59 PM »
I was going to mention that Cracked article!  Regarding "why do the homeless live in the woods" - the author of that article said something like "Basically, if you want food that isn't processed or fast food - in other words, 'real' food that you have to cook - you need to cook it away from city streets, otherwise you'll be in trouble with the law."

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2024 on: November 20, 2013, 03:52:07 PM »
I met a home less retired minister in her late sixties, she'd relocated from Florida after three hurricanes in one year wiped her home out three times.  Her home owner's insurance apparently ran out of money and she could not get the house fixed up enough to make it liveable, so she was living out of her vehicle with her cat. 

She had some money (coming from a retirement pension though her denomination) but not enough to fix up the house or buy/rent another one without being able to sell the one in Florida (nowhere near enough for two mortgages & living on or rent, living expenses, and a mortgage).  The mortgage could be cleared because the house couldn't be sold without extensive repairs that she couldn't afford...so, around & around things went, leaving her living out of her vehicle.
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