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Valued Contributor
Posts: 531
Registered: ‎04-13-2010

Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

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I live in a rather small town and drive by 2 off ramps daily going to and coming from work - there are almost always men begging for money there. (usually the same 2 men for years) Today I was with a friend who told me that she usually either gives them money or offers food and has even bought food and eaten with one because he didn't want "to eat alone"!!!! I became alarmed and she had all these excuses for him: he was from out of town, didn't know where Salvation Army was on and on and on. I told her i am horrified. Do any of you donate or get involved with people who beg on the highway? I fear for her safety if she did this.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 35,112
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

Seems like cars stopping at an off-ramp to give donations would create a hazardous safety situation.  Here they do it when cars are stopped for lights at major intersections.  They've passed ordinances forbidding this practice but the ACLU always files a lawsuit claiming its unconstitutional.  I never give money to beggars, including those online. 

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,808
Registered: ‎09-18-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

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I have before, but I don't anymore. We have a charity in this area that truly does help the homeless and down and out. I give to them.

For one thing, where they stand here, is on the interstate off ramp and honestly there is usually a lot of traffic at this certain one. Which I'm sure is why they stand there. I think they are a distraction and make an that can be treacherous at times even worse.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,539
Registered: ‎06-03-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

@Staciesmom I've given small amounts of cash (usually a couple of dollars) to some, but it's not the ones that stand in the same spot day over day with a sign.

 

The last one was a woman who obviously was in bad shape and living on the streets.  I've dropped off an "in-and-out" burger lunch for another, I told a teenager to meet me at the pizza restaurant and I bought him lunch, as well as telling a guy pushing a shopping cart in the rain to meet me at the gas station up the street and I would buy him breakfast and a coffee.

 

My mom once offered to buy one person a sandwich and he told her he was "over" sandwiches and if she had cash.

 

There was a man in town a few years back who stood by a busy intersection asking for money and then when he felt he had enough he walked back to his two story house around the corner.

 

Once, when it was really hot outside (around 110 degrees), while I was going to UPS to pick up a package, I picked it up, and then dropped of several cold bottles of gatorade and water for him.  You could tell by how dirty he was and the ripped jeans barely hanging on that he was living on the streets.   I had one of my employees with me just in case.

 

I did learn my lesson once, as I was driving by the local mall, there was another homeless man who had worn out shoes (holes on top and just threads for shoes) I stopped and got out of my car with intent to ask him his size and go to the mall and get him a new pair of shoes, but he appeared scared of me and wouldn't stop, so he probably had mental issues or was on drugs and I could have been in a bad situation if I hadn't left. 

 

It's really a case-by-case for me but you always have to remember to error on the side of safety. 



......You look like I need a drink.....
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,503
Registered: ‎08-19-2014

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

   DH & I nearly always roll down the car window & hand the person,man or woman, a few bucks.We don’t know their stories or their backgrounds.But if they’re in a position where they need to hang out on the side of the road & ask for money we feel that’s the least we can do.

  They have always appeared grateful thanking us for the help.”There but for the grace of god go I”.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,739
Registered: ‎07-03-2013

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

I haven't given to those collecting at the exits.  The local paper ran a series of articles basically saying they were frauds.  After the articles came out, the people at the highway ramps disappeared.  I don't believe they are all frauds, but I would still not give money.

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Contributor
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎09-23-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

Homelessness can happen to anyone. Job loss, serious illness, and natural disasters can happen to anyone at anytime. Your friend knows this and empathize with these two men. For all anyone knows, they had homes and nice cars--and then something happened.

 

It's easier to judge other people than to acknowledge the fear that it can happen to us.

 

You're criticizing a friend that bought food for hungry people and had dinner with them to show some compassion and make them feel included again. What do you think is going to happen to her? The crime is that we allow homelessness and hunger in our supposedly richest country on earth. It just shows the poor have no one to lobby congress for them and that's just disgusting. People and businesses with money get more money; those without continue to go without because we'd rather turn our heads than acknowledge the problem.

 

I think your friend is a kind person. Follow her example and help someone. It starts with one person then more and more help, and, together, maybe we can solve this problem that is a result of the rampant greed gripping our nation.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,535
Registered: ‎12-10-2016

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

In Springfield, Missouri they found out that most of these people were not homeless or in need of money. There was one area when you first came into Springfield where many people would stand and beg for money.

 

Come to find out, that they were driving very nice cars parked in the Walmart parking lot.

 

I would never roll down my window and give money. But I have offered to buy some food for a man on the sideawalk. He said no, he wanted money.

 

When you give with your heart, that is what matters. But I wouldn't take the chance of giving money from my car. If it was a scam, the person could pull a gun or knife. Just isn't safe.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 83
Registered: ‎10-24-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps

@Nicksmom 

I'm know you mean well, but, there's other ways to give to these unfortunate souls.

 

Years ago an aasociate I worked with, stopped in a left hand lane (red light) and there was one man (so she thought) who had a sign up asking for money. She rolled down her window and started to get her wallet out and immediately three men came at her, they pulled her out of the car and beat her sensless, they stole her valuables,  and took off on foot. She was in the hospital for three days.

By the way, this light was the entrance to our work place parking lot, in the Bay Area (San Jose, CA).

Thankfully most homeless people aren't like this.

Once her window was down and they had her by surprise, it was easy to unlock the door.

One of our co workers found her in the intersection.

One has to be very careful, be generous but, in a safe place with others around you. 

Better yet, give to your local charity, or go into a store and buy a meal and give to them. 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 35,112
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Men Begging For Money at Highway Off Ramps


@Nicksmom wrote:

   DH & I nearly always roll down the car window & hand the person,man or woman, a few bucks.We don’t know their stories or their backgrounds.But if they’re in a position where they need to hang out on the side of the road & ask for money we feel that’s the least we can do.

  They have always appeared grateful thanking us for the help.”There but for the grace of god go I”.


@Nicksmom   You realize, I hope, that although you consider your action a kindness, you are probably subsidizing a drug habit?

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment