Spare change
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21-01-2016, 06:31 AM
Spare change
So the other day I went grocery shopping. There is a bench in front of the supermarket where people sit down, mostly employees on a break. I have used it to socialize puppies, people come by and talk to the dog and pet them...

Anyway, I was parked right in front of it and when I got into my car the guy sitting there very quietly mumbled something about spare change. That's not supposed to happen, they have to go to the parking lot entrance to ask for help, and this particular supermarket is in a very small town and I have never seen anyone asking for money there.

Anyway, I fished out $20 and asked him to come over and handed it to him. He sat back down and looked at it and his eyes got big and he started trembling. After a minute he went into the supermarket and I left.

The thing is, he was a strong man dressed like a construction worker or such, in his late 30s. He looked like a dad.

I hand out "care bags" sometimes to the people waiting at the parking lot exits - sandwich makings, juice, water, fruit, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, wet wipes...and maybe 5 bucks too. So this is nothing new to me.

Thing is, somehow the image of the guy on the bench stuck with me and I keep thinking about him. He didn't look like he belonged and the $20 elicited such a huge response. He seemed shocked that someone would give it to him. It wasn't horribly cold, but he had no jacket on. Was he trembling from cold or emotion? Or some disorder? Or withdrawal of some sort?

I now wish I had talked to him. Maybe I could have helped. He definitely wasn't your typical homeless person who chooses the life style, he was totally out of place.

Anything like that ever happen to you?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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21-01-2016, 06:50 AM
RE: Spare change
A Les Miserables moment.

I wouldn't dwell on it, Dom, except in a good way. That generosity could have been life changing.

In complete contrast, when I'm asked if I have any spare change, my literalist brain replies "I don't know if it's spare, I haven't finished living my life yet".

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21-01-2016, 06:54 AM
RE: Spare change
No, not like that but I did give a corner worker $10 once in downtown Tulsa that turned into a freak show. Three days later he was on the news in a scam bust because the local TV network did a sting. Evidently someone had complained about him so the TV station did some drive-bys, gave him money and then sent another homeless looking guy in to work the opposite corner.

The guy I gave money to ran him off, threatening violence. A while later they filmed him leaving. He walked 3 blocks down and got in his newish caddy and drove off. They investigated his tags, found out who he was and busted him. Come to find out, his homelessness was his business to the tune of 75+k a year and he lived in a VERY nice neighborhood. This was about 12yrs ago.

Made me pretty mad as I was struggling at that time and could've used the tenner myself. I still give sometimes if I have cash but that's rare. I usually save my contribution for the women's shelter here.

It's hard to see people who are in need begging. Lots of mixed emotions going on. Street pandering is not allowed in my town so I don't see it much here. But we have really good services here to so maybe there's not much need. IDK

I like your idea of the care baggies. That's pretty cool.

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21-01-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Spare change
Don't feel bad for "not doing enough".

You did good.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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21-01-2016, 07:01 AM
RE: Spare change
No. Only drunks ask me for cash and judging by how often it happen I must look as a very kind hearted person. Or fellow drunkard, who knows.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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21-01-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: Spare change
Normally I don't much care why they are asking for handouts. And usually I don't give money but survival items. If they have dogs, I include dog food.

I've slept under bridges myself, I know what life is like for them. If there is an occasional fraud like the heatheness encountered, he'll just not be happy with his care bag. Not a big deal.

This guy was different though, he was embarrassed, he asked in front of a supermarket which can get him jailed. He didn't look like he lived on the street. He looked like a guy trying to get some food - maybe for his kids.

I might drive by there today to see if he is there again...if he is, we'll have a chat.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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21-01-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: Spare change
You did good, Dom Smile. I also try and help the homeless/homeless living on the streets with pets by handing out care packages for them and their pets. I often give out spare change or go through the drive thru at McDonald's and get a couple of burgers and a hot or cold drink depending on the day to give them.

In my years of doing this, I have only seen a handful who have chosen that type of life. Most suffer from addiction, mental illness, some are vets with PTSD, some have simply fallen on hard times. I think the act of another person taking the time to see them as a person in a society where people typically avoid them means a lot to them--almost as much as whatever it is you are giving them.

When I lived in the city, I became really good friends with this one homeless guy (who was about my age) who lived on the streets with his dog. He just wanted to be talked to and looked at like a normal person and not as an "undesirable." I am sure what you did for that man helped him immensely--both monetarily and on a meaningful level. I think you made his day. You did what most people don't. You took the time. You cared. You helped. Smile
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21-01-2016, 11:56 AM
RE: Spare change
(21-01-2016 06:31 AM)Dom Wrote:  Anything like that ever happen to you?

Sort of, I was the guy on the bench once. That was very kind of you. Thumbsup
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21-01-2016, 12:18 PM
RE: Spare change
There's a guy who routinely stands by an on ramp to the freeway here. He asks for money. He's been around for years. Sometimes he's got a sign but mostly he just stands there looking quite pathetic.

A friend told me that he has an apartment close by and that's how he pays his rent.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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21-01-2016, 12:25 PM
RE: Spare change
I used to give money to people who were panhandling but now I donate things to a domestic abuse shelter instead. I know many women and kids have to leave with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They take clothing, toys, small appliances, household goods, books, etc.

There is an intersection that I go through fairly often that almost always has people asking for money. I feel bad to drive past them but I can't help everyone...so I selected a place to donate fairly regularly.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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