Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 5:01:07 AM EDT
Panhandling survey: millions given

By Karen Crummy
Denver Post Staff Writer


A survey of panhandling activity in Denver found that more than $4.5 million dollars has been donated in the past year.

The survey, sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver's economic-development office, also found that 42% of Denver residents have given money to a panhandler in the past year.

The survey found that women between 18 and 29 years old are most likely to donate, as are individuals with family incomes below $25,000.

The data indicated that, among those who give to panhandlers, the average annual contribution is $24.58.

A study being released today is expected to show that Denver residents shell out millions of dollars to panhandlers each year.

The survey of city residents and businesses also will reveal why people give to panhandlers, how much and how often they give and where they come into contact with them, according to Melissa Schlote, a spokeswoman for the city's Homeless Coalition.

The percentage of panhandlers who are homeless is also expected to be gauged.

"We will also have a call to action, which will include 'stop giving to panhandlers,"' Schlote said.

The survey was conducted by the Downtown Denver Partnership and Denver's economic-development office.

City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, whose district includes the 16th Street Mall, said she had not seen the study but had heard the results were serious and significant.

"Panhandling is the No. 1 issue concerning downtown," she said. "Businesses are afraid it's going to hurt economic development and impact the convention center and hotels."

The former City Council president noted that she knows of some panhandlers who make hundreds of dollars a week - and even a day.

"I know some people are making $150 to $300 or $400 a day," she said. "There are


some people who are in desperate situations but many who are panhandling for a living."

Wedgeworth has consulted with the city attorney's office to potentially draft a stricter panhandling ordinance. Instead of just prohibitions against lying down in front of businesses or aggressively panhandling, which are on the books now, Wedgeworth wants to find a way to keep people moving so they do not loiter in the business area.

"We don't want to lock people up," she said. "But we do need to come up with a strategy."

More and more cities across the country are trying to crack down on beggars, especially when they aggressively panhandle. Like Denver, most have had problems with downtown panhandling and have argued that it deters business, conventioneers and tourists.

However, First Amendment concerns have led courts to strike down some cities' ordinances. Additionally, in places like Denver where aggressive panhandling bans are in place, the effectiveness of the law has been questioned because of the inability to consistently enforce it.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:11:31 AM EDT
how is it that the votes are equal for no and scammers yet the bars are grossly different?

btw I voted no.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:17:52 AM EDT
Like pigeons, if you give them money, they'll only breed faster. One way tickets work as well as incarceration (if they're druggies).
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:19:12 AM EDT
I'll drop a dollar in the guitar case of a street musician now and then, if they have any talent. At least they provide entertainment.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:24:02 AM EDT
It's a scam. Some of them can make $70k/yr and don't pay taxes since it's all cash. I think it was Dateline that looked into it a few years ago and followed one woman who was making that much and when she was done panhandling for the day, she'd walk a couple of blocks and get into her Mercedes. That's not an anomaly, a lot of them are making serious money doing that. Think about that if you ever feel like "helping" these con artists.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:25:31 AM EDT
I had a friend, a state trooper, hand his lunch out the window to a homeless guy who was begging at an intersection. As he pulled away, the saw the homeless guy toss the lunch over his shoulder into the bushes.

On the other hand, sometimes they really do appreciate the gift.

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:30:30 AM EDT
I give bums food or drink. Never any $$.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:50:28 AM EDT
I don't know about other places, but here in Indianapolis it has become quite common for people to stand and beg on offramps. Since I live in the big city now, I have to take the interstate to work and back home again. There are about five people who have a regular rotation. Three or four days a week, one of those same five people are standing there with their cardboard sign. I have to assume they have a rotation they go thru at different off ramps in the area. After months, they obviously aren't "stranded" or "Out of gas and hungry" They are just scammers (my vote).

Just the other day my wife and I were talking about them, since we see them so often. I started wondering, if all the sudden I had nothing, what would I be able to accomplish in 3 months? I bet I would not be standing on the same corner with the same cardboard sign three months from now! How could you not have a job, an apartment, a few changes of clothes... the basic necessities after that period of time?
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:50:39 AM EDT
I've offered them food before, but they don't want that. They want the money so to hell with 'em.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:10:19 PM EDT
No way in hell! There have been too many investigative reports about beggars running scams. They range from buying beer instead of food to medical scams. One of my co-workers said she saw a beggar walk out of a nice condo with a dog he uses for sympathy.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:19:19 PM EDT
anytime I go downtown I carry with me several BURGER KING applications if a bum comes up and ask for money, I had him one
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:25:52 PM EDT

I have bought a few meals, but won't give cash.

We used to give a bum leftover alcohol at the fraternity house ever so often so he would promise to stop digging in the trash.

A friend used to throw empty beer cans out of his truck. "Not littering, just doing my part to employ the homeless".

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:27:24 PM EDT
I sometimes toss money to musicians.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:28:16 PM EDT
Thinking about it, I probably hand out less than $5 a year.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:38:05 PM EDT
My mom's strategy is to drop $20 on each one. It's absolutely nuts. She says something like, "that $20 will make a difference in their life more than mine."
"No shit. They drink rubbing alcohol and Listerine, they'll get drunk a lot faster than you will on $20 of fine wine.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 5:41:25 PM EDT

I give enough through te damn govenrment already
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 7:12:54 PM EDT
wow. not too much sympathy on this board (me either)
Top Top