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Old April 27th, 2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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Default SPECIAL REPORT: South Lansing Panhandling Group

http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/S...149063045.html

LANSING -- They are dotting intersections across South Lansing.

Many of them are no doubt in great need.

But some of those panhandlers, a News 10 report reveals, are apparently running an operation of sorts, teaming up to maximize profits.

"Shock. Discontent," says South Lansing shop owner Able Jasman, who sees the panhandlers every day. "Like I said, it makes me question the validity of who's homeless? Who's not?

Jasman owns a shop near Edgewood Plaza. He says a couple of panhandlers came into his store about a month ago to order some food.

He couldn't believe what happened next.

"They started pulling money out of each pocket, both the guy and the girl," he says. "And then they started talking about going over to Meijer and buying a flat-screen TV, a brand-new flat-screen TV. And that's where I thought, 'Wait, where's the validity?'"

Jasman says he's thinking of moving his shop, fearing customers are being turned away by aggressive panhandlers.

So we decided to take a closer look and camped out at one of these intersections -- Cedar Street and Edgewood Boulevard.

At 6:15 in the evening, an SUV pulled up, and several of the panhandlers piled inside. We followed that SUV, as it stopped to let each person off at his or her home.

Several days later, we approached one of the panhandlers to ask about it.

One man said he does have a home but simply doesn't have enough money to stay afloat.

"I got a place. I'm not homeless," he said. "I just need a job. So I come down here and try to find work. I got two kids."

His sign reads, "Down on my luck. Need work."

Another woman we spoke to said she is not part of that group. She works the corner of Pennsylvania and the I-96 on-ramp with her friend and boyfriend, and admits it can be a lucrative venture.

"Friday, Saturday and Sunday, me and her made $500 standing right there for nine hours a day," she said.

We asked if she ever uses the money for drugs.

"No, I don't do drugs," she responded. "You can test me anytime you want. Do I look like I do drugs? I'm almost 300 pounds.

"We stand there to pay our room. That's how we survive. If it wasn't for the people out here giving us money, I don't know what we would do."

She lives in a Holt motel, paying $50 a day for the room. She admitted neither she nor her boyfriend is looking for work, as they both suffer from disabilities.

Others worry at least some of the panhandlers are scamming people.

"I think it's unfair, because sometimes people are taking advantage of people's good will," says Mark Criss, director of City Rescue Mission, a Lansing-based homeless charity.

He says most panhandlers aren't operating a scam. Many are in desperate need, some suffering from crippling mental illness. But he says they can make $200-$300 a day -- and giving them that cash might be the worst thing you can do.

"It's probably the majority of those that are seeking to fulfill that daily need for drugs or alcohol," he says.

"Our cost per meal is probably around $2, under $2, so your couple of dollars would've fed at least one person, and usually probably more than that."

Criss recommends dropping off water or food to panhandlers, and forwarding them to shelters like City Rescue, Advent House Ministries, Open House Ministry and Volunteers of America (links are below).

Otherwise, you could be, as he puts it, loving them to death.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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I say we take a page from history and offer all of these people some nice hot showers...
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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But he says they can make $200-$300 a day -- and giving them that cash might be the worst thing you can do.
wtf, really? thats 50K-75K per year, not working weekends, and taking 2 weeks off for vacation... tax free of course
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #4
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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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I feel bad for people who are down on their luck. I have been very blessed and I make a lot of money for being a college kid who is only 19. So i try to help out those in need. The other day I walked into a McDonalds in Warren to take a piss and there was a man there just sitting with a small cup of coffee and you could tell that he was homeless. So I asked if he was okay, he replied "im okay, just cold" I could tell that his cup was empty so I took my piss and went and bought him a large coffee and some breakfast. He was really grateful. I simply told him "pay it forward." I feel good helping someone out. I would rather buy a man breakfast then send money to some organization that I dont get to see what the money really goes to!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:49 PM   #6
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I feel bad for people who are down on their luck. I have been very blessed and I make a lot of money for being a college kid who is only 19. So i try to help out those in need. The other day I walked into a McDonalds in Warren to take a piss and there was a man there just sitting with a small cup of coffee and you could tell that he was homeless. So I asked if he was okay, he replied "im okay, just cold" I could tell that his cup was empty so I took my piss and went and bought him a large coffee and some breakfast. He was really grateful. I simply told him "pay it forward." I feel good helping someone out. I would rather buy a man breakfast then send money to some organization that I dont get to see what the money really goes to!
Had me worried for a second...
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Old April 27th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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I feel bad for people who are down on their luck. I have been very blessed and I make a lot of money for being a college kid who is only 19. So i try to help out those in need. The other day I walked into a McDonalds in Warren to take a piss and there was a man there just sitting with a small cup of coffee and you could tell that he was homeless. So I asked if he was okay, he replied "im okay, just cold" I could tell that his cup was empty so I took my piss and went and bought him a large coffee and some breakfast. He was really grateful. I simply told him "pay it forward." I feel good helping someone out. I would rather buy a man breakfast then send money to some organization that I dont get to see what the money really goes to!
Should have pissed on him. That would have warmed him up.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:04 PM   #8
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I was thinkin that's the route he was going with that...proved me wrong haha.
On a side note, I had family that was down and out, scored them a job, and they weren't gratefull, he actually fell asleep at work because one of the guys said "you can go sweep" and he thought he said "you can go to sleep", obviously your employer isn't goin to tell you to sleep on the clock. He just didn't care. Need less to say, he was let go, and I haven't helped anyone one else out like that since. But I do give quarters to the salvation army when they are in front of a store.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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wtf, really? thats 50K-75K per year, not working weekends, and taking 2 weeks off for vacation... tax free of course
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Old April 27th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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Had me worried for a second...
Me too.
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wtf, really? thats 50K-75K per year, not working weekends, and taking 2 weeks off for vacation... tax free of course
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I think his (the person who manages and works with homeless people on a daily basis) opinion was that they dont' use that money wisely. Sure, it's alot of money. But to give them money is not helping them. I've thought that was common sense since I was 12. Go out and buy them food or what ever they need, Just don't give them money because half of them will use it to purchase things that will only further thier condition.

Personally, I try to help people out when I can. Usually if they have a sign that says "I Need $$$ for Diapers" or something I'll ask them what size and go buy them a bundle. Something like that. You're still helping them but you're also being wise with your money and how they are using it.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by silveradoboy View Post
I feel bad for people who are down on their luck. I have been very blessed and I make a lot of money for being a college kid who is only 19. So i try to help out those in need. The other day I walked into a McDonalds in Warren to take a piss and there was a man there just sitting with a small cup of coffee and you could tell that he was homeless. So I asked if he was okay, he replied "im okay, just cold" I could tell that his cup was empty so I took my piss and went and bought him a large coffee and some breakfast. He was really grateful. I simply told him "pay it forward." I feel good helping someone out. I would rather buy a man breakfast then send money to some organization that I dont get to see what the money really goes to!
You have enabled this individual to continue making poor life choices.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:14 PM   #12
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“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime"
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:16 PM   #13
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Fuck panhandlers and anyone else asking for money. I had one run up on me in billings. He met Mr 1911. Anyone who approaches my truck is a potential threat.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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I see those people all the time in South Lansing. You can tell by the way the look it is a scam. If you are trying to look pathetic, it is probably a scam. Real pan handlers will try to make eye contact. These people stand there staring at the ground. Pathetic losers.
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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #15
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Fuck panhandlers and anyone else asking for money. I had one run up on me in billings. He met Mr Penis. Anyone who approaches my truck is potential food.
Wut?
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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #16
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Wut?
English mitherfucker. Do you speak it?
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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:23 PM   #17
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Only guy I have gave money too is the rapping bongo guy on msu campus during tailgates, Ive never laughed so hard before. The other beggars didn't want my new bag of potato chips
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Old April 27th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #18
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You have enabled this individual to continue making poor life choices.
He didnt approach me. He promised he would pay it forward
I coulda chaned his life. We will never know!
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Old April 27th, 2012, 10:20 PM   #19
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“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime"
Lol! What if some one already taught them to be a c0ckstain? You can't teach people shit after about age 10. It's too fucking late.
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Old April 29th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #20
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I see those people all the time in South Lansing. You can tell by the way the look it is a scam. If you are trying to look pathetic, it is probably a scam. Real pan handlers will try to make eye contact. These people stand there staring at the ground. Pathetic losers.
Yep, see them all of the time. If it was once or twice it would be one thing, but they are out there all of the time and more of them are popping up at different intersections.

I've seen them when they are "taking a break" from holding their signs talking on their cell phones...must be pretty hard up to pay their cell bills. I mean every cell company now pretty much requires you to get the data package

On Friday, one of them apparently has upgraded to hands free because he was talking away and wasn't talking to any of the cars nearby.
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