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Old 11-15-2017, 07:14 AM   #1
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many-older-americans-are-living-a-desperate-nomadic- lifestyle

depressing facts:

In her powerful new book, “Nomadland,” award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder reveals the dark, depressing and sometimes physically painful life of a tribe of men and women in their 50s and 60s who are — as the subtitle says — “surviving America in the twenty-first century.” Not quite homeless, they are “houseless,” living in secondhand RVs, trailers and vans and driving from one location to another to pick up seasonal low-wage jobs, if they can get them, with little or no benefits.
http://www.nextavenue.org/new-retire...kamper-couple/

better news here ;
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:33 AM   #2
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I think it is depressing for some people, who may be forced into this as a means of survival, but the reality is that work camping and doing seasonal employment while living out of an RV is a happy choice for many if not most of these folks.

People sell their homes and belongings so they can travel the country, and do seasonal employment to have an income while doing so.

I have come across some folks living in very dilapidated and rundown rigs, donated to them to provide shelter, who are homeless by circumstance... but they are more immobile than traveling because they can’t afford the fuel or cost of maintaining their rigs in order to move around.

It is a sad fact in this country that many older Americans who have worked and been productive all of their lives can’t afford to truly “retire” because of the cost of medical expenses...folks in their 70’s and 80’s, who would seem to have earned the right to more leisure than work.

That said, staying in one place and working, even at a low paying job, is probably less expensive than traveling, isn’t it?

I would say this is another “one size doesn’t fit all” lifestyle, from my experience.

Maggie
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:39 AM   #3
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:04 AM   #4
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I met plenty of both types when we the RV park.

Some were older in age with older RVs, mostly Class Cs. They would stay at the nearby state parks, but come to our place for propane. (I gave them the low rate, not the high rate.)

Others were older full timers, evidently with sufficient cash. If they didn't have some other hobby, they would often work as a way to keep from being bored.


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Old 11-15-2017, 10:20 AM   #5
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I live near a community that literally "opens it's arms" to ....dare I say....welcome transits..protect them, feed them ....you name it. It's also a fact that other communities have been know to bus these people from other cities to this one.

I've lived here for nearly five years and I have watched these folks (as you described in your post quite accurately) closely. Often when we would come to town we always had either gift cards to local fast food restaurants or cash ready to give to them. All you have to do is take any exit off the freeway and there they are. Along the major shopping routes you can find them strategically placed at most "hot intersections". Especially on the exit coming out of Walmart where they can conveniently park their "rv's, cars, van's" etc.

As time has gone by I've noticed that there is an "order" as to who stands where and for "how long". I guess you could call it a system. As to who controls this I have no idea but it exists.

Although, there are exceptions to the rule for many of what some might call " down and out" it is for a fact a "chosen lifestyle" for most. My observation of others stopping to give money to them has to add up to a rather profitable experience for these people. Most appear to be "able bodied" and capable of holding a job. On this note there are many jobs available in most business in the same areas that these people are panhandling. Fact is they really don't want to work when they can stand for a few hours on a street corner and look to the many "softhearted" people that pass by.

The community that I am talking about is a heavy tourist area in the late spring, summer and fall. Consequently, many panhandlers literally flock to this area.

Now it may seem to some that I am coming across as pretty "hardhearted"when in fact I'm really not. My wife and I still give to many of these people but we have come to be really selective in our giving.

Your communities may be completely different and my point is only to state what I perceive to be the case in the area that I in.
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:59 AM   #6
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We've had a problem in our city with panhandlers/transients harassing people, even following them into stores or yelling at them when they didn't give them something. The news programs filmed the "changing of the guard", where different panhandlers worked different corners, sharing the same sign for different hours. They would step into traffic, block cars, knock on peoples' windows and other antics. Witnesses saw some of them arriving in some rather nice cars to work their "shift". The news also showed an organization where someone would pay them to panhandle, they turn over the proceeds and the panhandler would get some food and a bottle of alcohol to pass around.

We had one guy in a wheelchair, passing himself off as handicapped, both physically and mentally. A reporter talked to the guy and found out it was all an act. He had been injured in an accident years before but he didn't need a wheelchair nor was he mentally challenged. He told the reporter that he made about $100K a year as a panhandler. He worked several other cities around central Kentucky, but reporters tracked him down each time. I haven't seen anything recently so maybe he moved on.

The city tried an anti-panhandling ordinance but it was struck down as unconstitutional. Instead, they enacted an ordinance preventing panhandlers from being in the street or on any median. People were encouraged to call 911 if they were threatened in any way.

Ultimately, what turned out to be a pretty good solution, the city used a school bus, painted the sides with something like "work, don't panhandle" (I don't recall the exact wording). The bus would stop at intersections where panhandlers were known to frequent and offer them work for the day. People are encouraged to donate their money to the program and not directly to panhandlers. It's been so successful that they're trying to get more buses.

Where I used to see a panhandler on each corner, now there are none. Of course, it's getting cold, so maybe they have gone south for the winter.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:13 PM   #7
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What do panhandlers taking advantage of people have to do with people who are homeless because they lack the resources to pay for an apartment or home and instead live in cars or trailers ( not their first choice). Certainly all homeless people are not panhandlers - the vast majority are not.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:41 PM   #8
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iexpect if income was an issue for us, we could be happy fulltiming in our airstream icould esily work online. might be fun.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenjude View Post
What do panhandlers taking advantage of people have to do with people who are homeless because they lack the resources to pay for an apartment or home and instead live in cars or trailers ( not their first choice). Certainly all homeless people are not panhandlers - the vast majority are not.
I'm going to assume that your question is directed at me. Saying all homeless are not panhandlers is not correct, many of them are. There are also nomadic people who travel from one job to the next, living in vans, RVs and trailers. I'm not referring to them, they are working and not panhandling. I don't consider them homeless because they have a place to stay and they work.

Some statistics
  • Only 3% of homeless prefer to stay homeless
  • 82% of panhandlers ARE homeless
  • 44% of panhandlers admit to using part of what they collect for drugs or alcohol
  • 1 in 4 is clinically dependent on alcohol
  • 60% are disabled in some way
  • Almost 80% have spent some time in jail, over 20% in a state prison
https://brandongaille.com/21-amazing...ng-statistics/

The people who are living in their cars/vans in various shopping center parking lots are usually the ones who are doing the panhandling as a source of income. There is a large shopping center near my home, right off the Interstate. The news report showed these people living in cars/vans standing on the various corners of the main roads with cardboard signs. They developed their own system, swapping corners, taking shifts, sharing the same signs.

If someone is homeless they can get a PO box, get mail, continue/get a job. Some people are evicted for non-payment and their only choice is living on the street. There are multiple places within a city where they can get shelter, food and find work.

If someone is homeless and just traveling around the country living in parking lots, panhandling has to be a primary source of income for them. Since my city started the bus program to offer people to work for the day instead of panhandling, the effect has been a win for both them and the city.

Our city has found at least something to offer the homeless panhandlers that choose not to accept help from known sources, instead, choosing to beg. The program has been working. That's all I'm saying.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:46 PM   #10
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Thank-you for your response Rich. I am in agreement with the section labeled Takeaway from the website you noted:

Takeaway: There will always be people who try to take advantage of others and panhandling is no different. The problem is that an uncaring attitude toward all panhandlers because of the actions of a few creates future problems that will ultimately create even more panhandlers. When more than 60% of panhandlers make less than $25 per day and when more than 60% of them are disabled in some way, that is not a life that anyone would wish on their greatest enemy… yet there is an expectation that panhandlers should crawl up out of the mess unassisted and contribute to society because a few take advantage of others.

One other comment. You stated that many homeless are panhandlers and cite and underlined this statistic : “82% of panhandlers are homeless”. This says nothing about how many homeless are panhandlers, just how many panhandlers are homeless.
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Old 11-16-2017, 02:28 PM   #11
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I think it's interesting that the author of the book is a Millennial who admits she only spent one week living the life.

There have to be more Boomers with the skills to live this life and write a book.
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Old 11-17-2017, 10:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenjude View Post
One other comment. You stated that many homeless are panhandlers and cite and underlined this statistic : “82% of panhandlers are homeless”. This says nothing about how many homeless are panhandlers, just how many panhandlers are homeless.
That's what I started my search with, but I couldn't find anything regarding how many homeless are panhandlers. It appears that being homeless and being a panhandler are synonymous, at least as far as statistics go. I found an article that says "some" prefer the larger sums that come from selling drugs or prostitution. Some will sell their food stamp card for 50% cash of its value. Others sell their blood, or collect bottles and cans to sell to recyclers.
http://www.opb.org/news/article/home...-variety-ways/

Logic says that if you're homeless, you need an income of some sort and with no permanent address, except for "day" jobs, permanent employment would be unlikely. I know that some people lose their home temporarily and are able to continue to work while being homeless, but I would think that would be a temporary situation. Panhandling, at least in the short term, would be the most likely source for a meal if you choose not to use one of the available charities.

Several of the articles I researched say that it's much better to donate to the organizations that help the homeless. Your donation goes much further when you do this rather than giving it directly to someone on a street corner or parking lot.

How about your research? Were you able to find anything that confirmed your statement that "Certainly all homeless people are not panhandlers - the vast majority are not"? Where did you derive that information?
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:12 AM   #13
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Look for a big uptick in full timers when this administration cuts social security
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Old 11-17-2017, 11:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
That's what I started my search with, but I couldn't find anything regarding how many homeless are panhandlers. It appears that being homeless and being a panhandler are synonymous, at least as far as statistics go. I found an article that says "some" prefer the larger sums that come from selling drugs or prostitution. Some will sell their food stamp card for 50% cash of its value. Others sell their blood, or collect bottles and cans to sell to recyclers.
http://www.opb.org/news/article/home...-variety-ways/

Logic says that if you're homeless, you need an income of some sort and with no permanent address, except for "day" jobs, permanent employment would be unlikely. I know that some people lose their home temporarily and are able to continue to work while being homeless, but I would think that would be a temporary situation. Panhandling, at least in the short term, would be the most likely source for a meal if you choose not to use one of the available charities.

Several of the articles I researched say that it's much better to donate to the organizations that help the homeless. Your donation goes much further when you do this rather than giving it directly to someone on a street corner or parking lot.

How about your research? Were you able to find anything that confirmed your statement that "Certainly all homeless people are not panhandlers - the vast majority are not"? Where did you derive that information?
I believe that most homeless people are not standing on street corners, at busy intersections, etc., asking for cash, which is what I consider “panhandling”.

That opinion is based on direct experience with the homeless, and on personal observation.

I also wouldn’t categorize as “homeless” those people who have sold their homes and belongings so they can travel in an RV and work from the road.

We’ve beaten the homeless issue about here before, and the truth is it is a complicated issue.

Maggie
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