Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spare Change??

Panhandling is becoming more common in Halifax.  You see the squeegee kids on some street corners, people with empty coffee cups, or the ones with the signs about being a moneyless traveler seeking assistance.  Or like one method that has become more popular in this city is the person looking for a bus ticket and when you don't have bus tickets they ask for change for the bus.  I guess it's at least a bit of creativity.

Back in the day, I shared the same opinion as one of my friends, in relation to panhandlers.  Her opinion was, sure I'll give you money but do something to earn it.  Instead of sitting on the sidewalk begging, pick up a few pieces of trash around you and I'll hand you my spare change.

But something has changed in me in the last couple of years.  It might be age or it might be being a Dad.  Either way I now look at these people and wonder how they got to this place and how alone they must be to have to resort to begging all day and being refused for the large portion of those attempts.

I know there is a large portion of those individuals who are making a lot of easy cash, however what about those individuals who really are in need of that financial support.  What about those kids who had a home life that may have been abusive or unaccepting and they had to run away without any thought as to how they would survive.

For the couple of dollars that they might get out of my pocket (and I should also mention it's rare I actually have cash on me cause I use debit for everything), I over look what a possible scam artist they may be and look at the desperation it would take for me to be begging strangers for money.  And I like to think that the change I provide them will no go to a substance for them to abuse and instead will nourish them for at least part of their day.  They are some one's family member who needs some help and I am in no way going into the poor house for giving them a few quarters.

Just a thought.

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