As you know, Civic Center BART station is a popular camp ground for the homeless. It's tough sometimes seeing them there in the rain. Long ago, I used to give change daily, which eventually turned into a weekly amount but in a bigger sum. After awhile, I started seeing the same folks there, and on occasions with a beer bottle in hand. I became a bit disheartened after that observation and stopped giving money away on a regular basis, and instead only when someone appears to be truly in need of a meal.
After a restful weekend, I was in a positive and giving mood, and decided on the train that I would give whatever quarters I had in my wallet to the homeless man who always stands next to the 8th Street side of the station exit. I had 3 quarters, not much, but I figured he could probably use it to buy something at the Burger King across the street. I dropped the quarters in his cup, and he said, "Come on, you got more than that?" I was caught by surprise. I said, "no, that's the change I have." He responded, "Man, how am I supposed to live with this?" I said, "Sorry, that's all I have" and dashed across the street.
When did the homeless population become so picky with the amount you give? I would think any amount has the potential to help someone. I understand that 75 cents can't get you much these days, but it's only a quarter away from a cheeseburger at McDonald's.
But who can blame him? Inflation certainly has hurt us all! 75 cents can't even get you over 8 miles by car anymore with today's gas prices.
I'll tell you what, I would have got in that lazy MF'ers face and told him what he can do with those 3 quarters. Aply the same effort to finding a job, any job, as they do panhandling and you won't have to be a leech on society. And don't give me that They can't help it, or the mental illness excuse, everyone makes thier own destiny. A little hard work and some determination go a long way.
I agree with you. I personally have volunteered at Homeless Connect Days around the city and these homeless, to my shock, go directly to the food and freebies line, while the job kiosks are empty!
Some of 'em make 60-70K from your spare change.
I'd rather give food, or when it's cold out I've been known to put a spare pair of socks or knit cap in my jacket pocket, just in case.
One night I found a young man sleeping barefoot on the concrete outside Dublin station, and I was glad I had a thick pair of socks in my pocket.
Move to Washington, DC. It may be worse than SF in many ways, but panhandlers are very polite there. Actually, most people are polite except for the armed criminals (which, alas, are more common and murderous in DC than in SF).
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