Went to dropoff Christmas gifts for in need girls at a local church and sign stated "needing gas"

GON

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My Wife typically makes holiday/ Christmas gifts for people that might benefit from the gifts. Typically it has been gifts to people in nursing homes. This year, she read of a program using shoe boxes as a container to make gifts for children. One can pick boys or girls, my Wife picked girls as we only have grandsons so made her feel connected.... beats me but she is a good person..... guess she wishes she had granddaughters.

We can deliver the gifts between 1000-1200 yesterday, at a church off the beaten path in Heber City, UT. As we pull in, we see a older gentleman (our ages) in a older Dodge van, with a sign saying needing gas, in the church parking lot. He was perfectly positioned at a "choke point" so one had to see his sign his van, and him to enter the church parking lot. Even his gas can was perfectly staged.

Of course, my gut is to help. And my day job forces me to ask- how is positioned in the parking lot at a perfect placement of a off the beaten path church during a Christmas gift donation activity. My Wife runs in the church and drops off the gifts. As we leave the parking lot, I see the gentleman again... and noticed his van is idling.

Decided to pass on a gas donation. If I felt he was in real need, I would of assisted. I sensed he was good at what he was doing, and if so did not need our assistance of cash or gas....
 

OVERKILL

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Wow, that's greasy!

We have a local crew that apparently carpools and makes quite a killing begging at the intersections. Seems like capitalizing on people's generosity can be quite profitable.
 
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Nashville, TN via Memphis
Wow, that's greasy!

We have a local crew that apparently carpools and makes quite a killing begging at the intersections. Seems like capitalizing on people's generosity can be quite profitable.
Same. They have a minivan. And ive seen them surreptitiously using their mobile phones and smoking.

There‘s also a miniature landfill next to the overpass where they throw all their trash, urinate, and defecate.
 
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There are two sides to that coin. I have seen a few ( very few ) who were taking advantage of peoples generosity, and I could figure out that they were abusing things by asking for donations. I saw one mixed race couple with a white Cadillac with the hood up and one side of the air scoop below the front of the car hanging low, in a parking lot at a local grocery store. He said he was a traveling preacher and needed money to buy a quart of oil for his car and only had a few dollars and asked me if I would match him a few dollars. The car was only a couple of years old, and they were well dressed. I walked away from him. Then about two months later I was in a parking lot of a Home Depo about 8 miles away from the first place that I saw him, and he tried pulling the same scam on me again. About a mile from the Home Depo I spotted a parked police car and told him the whole thing.

But also I have helped some when they needed it. I saw one who needed stuff and stopped and escorted him into the local McDonalds and told him to order something to eat and a drink and I would pay for it, and while he was eating, I got a gift card that would cover his next meal, gave it to him, and left.

Then there was a young man who approached me when I was sitting outside a pizza and hoagie shop waiting for my hoagie to be made one summer evening. He asked me for money for something to eat. I told him I do not carry cash, but if he would wait a few minutes until I picked up my hoagie, that I would go across the street with him to the McDonalds and use my credit card to buy him any food he wanted. He turned around and walked away.

I use to carry a $5 gift card for McDonalds to give to any person who was looking for a handout, but now days will not even do that.

When I was young my dad told me " buy a bum a meal, but do not ever give them cash because they will only spend it on booze."

Now days with all the layoffs, there are going to be a lot more people who really require help, be it food or Christmas gifts for children.
 
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I have two brothers who were teachers ( one is still teaching ). Both have told of students who were wearing poor clothes and worn out shoes, and living with there family who did not have a home or apartment. The retired brother has actually helped some get into a home and does that sometimes since he retired.
 
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About 10 years there was a story in our local media about a guy who got busted for basically pimping pan handlers. He had collected a bunch of drug addicts and put them up in a house and was supplying them with drugs. Every morning he would drive them around and drop them off at intersections and pick them up after their "shift" and take most of the money. This has to happen more than we think.

If you want an education on how sophisticated "street people" can be, check out the /r/vagabond reddit. They have close to 900K members!
https://www.reddit.com/r/vagabond/
 
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Connecticut
I pass a guy almost every day holding a sign asking for spare change on my way home next to a stop light. Could he really be in a bad situation and need help? Possibly, but I've seen too many of those scam videos to trust anyone. It's sad, but many people in that situation are unable to get jobs because of an addiction, and giving them money will only prolong their addiction. What they really need is a rehab facility. The thing with homeless shelters is many of them require you to be clean before they take you in, if you use drugs they want nothing to do with you.

I also don't trust those giant donation funds like Susan Komen, etc, because most of the time they have to pay everyone working for their "non-profit" before the money you donate actually trickles down to the cause. If you want to donate money, help someone locally in your friend circle who is taking care of a sick relative, is down on their luck, or needs help fixing a vehicle and can't afford the repair. It will do a lot more good to help your local community.
 
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South of Metro Atlanta
I’ve offered to buy food and / gas for these beggars at gas stations. They always said they needed money for that.
Never had one take me up on it. They just want cash.

there’s a reason people stand on the street corners and ask for money versus getting a job - because people give it to them.
 
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We give money to the San Antonio Food Bank every year and I think it is well spent they are feeding people who need it.

I do not give anything to folks, as sad as it may seem, on the street.
 
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I have two brothers who were teachers ( one is still teaching ). Both have told of students who were wearing poor clothes and worn out shoes, and living with there family who did not have a home or apartment. The retired brother has actually helped some get into a home and does that sometimes since he retired.
This is the best kind of charity. The kind where there is a personal connection between the giver and the people being helped. Where there is an exchange of gratitude, affection, compassion and all those related human emotions.
 
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Chicago Area
I’ve offered to buy food and / gas for these beggars at gas stations. They always said they needed money for that.
Never had one take me up on it. They just want cash.

there’s a reason people stand on the street corners and ask for money versus getting a job - because people give it to them.
Had a coworker who got stopped coming out of a sub shop once by someone who claimed to want money to eat. Coworker didn't have anything smaller than a $20 on him so he offered the person half of his sandwich instead of cash. Turns out the person didn't like tuna so he want on his way.

On a personal level, I remember seeing a family camped out at the local Walmart, older van, claiming to need gas money. A week later I saw the same van/family in a different Walmart about 10 miles down the road still claiming to need gas money. I guess that van was a real gas-hog...
 
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MA
There's always some excuse to ask for money. I've had people ask me for subway fare which is about $2.40 so they can get home. And then they keep asking me a few more times. I feel like telling them they asked me last week and why do they always need subway fare weeks later?

At least it's easy to tell them no. What's the asking rate in your area? I remember when I was a kid, they used to ask for a dime or quarter. Now it's mostly a dollar but I had someone ask me for $3 recently.
 
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At a major I-10 intersection 20 minutes east of Houston, a man and woman roll up in a nice SUV an park it a half block away. They get out with "poor me" signs and he takes the north side of the intersection while she goes over to the south side. They have tats, vaping products,, and raggedy clothes. One or the other usually has a dog on a leash with them. They "work" the intersection for a few hours, then take their haul, load back up in their SUV, and drive away until tomorrow. Total SCAM.
 

JC1

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Oshawa, Ontario Canada
When I worked in Chicago there used to be a guy standing next to the on ramp with a sign saying he needed money to get back to Tennessee. Was there for a few months.

When I worked in Cleveland one day walking at lunch this guy with a crisp white Cleveland Indians hat asked me for money. I called him out and said really buddy you need money and you're wearing a brand new hat???
 
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We give money to the San Antonio Food Bank every year and I think it is well spent they are feeding people who need it.

I do not give anything to folks, as sad as it may seem, on the street.

I donate canned goods, etc to my food bank and disabled veterans box and goodwill. These “street corner/beggars” got busted a lot in past two years too. I turned them in when end of day they used my off street parking that’s posted with signs changing into their nice lavish clothes in a new Escalade
 
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