They Probably Make More Than You Do
Atlanta's Homeless Epidemic is getting into the news again. They tried to pass a law against 'aggressive panhandling' but they knuckled under to the ACLU and homeless 'activists' faster than you can say John Steinbeck. The law that was supposed to help, actually made things worse because it codified that the cops had to give two warnings, it limited illegality to the vaguely defined "aggressive panhandling", it made enforcement effectively toothless.
As Michael S. Scott, the director of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, says in his online article "Panhandling":
Estimates vary from a couple of dollars (U.S.) a day on the low end, to $20 to $50 a day in the mid-range, to about $300 a day on the high end.
In a study of Toronto panhandlers conducted by Robit Bose and Stephen Hwang,
a journalist who briefly lived on the street in Toronto working as a panhandler . . . reported that panhandlers can earn more than $200 per day
Louise Stark published a detailed analysis of homeless panhandlers in Phoenix, Arizona in "From Lemons to Lemonade: An Ethnographic Sketch of Late Twentieth-Century Panhandling" (1992). In that article she writes that "the modern panhandler often considers begging a job, in many ways an entrepreneurial enterprise.
A recent news story tells of Jason Pancoast and Elizabeth Johnson, self-described "affluent beggars" from Ashland, Oregon. The couple estimates they can make $30-40,000 per year from panhandling. They boast earnings as high as $300 per day, and assert they once made $800 in one day. Similarly, a former Denver City Council president claimed to know panhandlers who made hundreds of dollars per week, or even per day. City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth said, "I know some people are making $150 to $300 or $400 a day.
COOS BAY, Ore. - A police survey says panhandlers outside Wal-Mart in Coos Bay can make $300 a day. Inside, it takes a clerk a week to make that much.
I think the only solution is an advertising campaign, telling people not to give anything ever. Since the city would never fund such a thing it would have to come from a private donor; someone not afraid to be labeled as evil by the 'activists'.
Labels: Suburban life