Friday, June 30, 2017

Types of Panhandlers

Types of Panhandlers

Now that our group has reached nearly 2,800 members and our Blessing Bag Program is becoming a reality, funded by you the members of our group, I wanted to switch gears a bit and talk about the various types of panhandlers that you may come across.

Believe it or not, there are a few different types and today I'd like to share them with you.

Traditional Panhandler

This is a person who it truly down on their luck and they have turned to panhandling as a way of being able to support themselves, temporarily.

Usually, a traditional panhandler is a local person that has lost their job, sometimes they are simply looking for a habit fix and they need money to purchase or they truly need assistance.

Unlike the other types of panhandlers, these people will panhandle for a month or two at most before stepping back into society. Sadly however, these are also the rarest type of person on the streets asking for money.

Aggressive Panhandler

An aggressive panhandler is someone whom is seeking your cash but they do it in a way that is literally aggressive. Use of things like children, empty gas cans, animals such as a dog, walking up to your vehicle while stopped, trying to strike up conversations and the like, these panhandlers usually have done this more long term and you will usually see them at a given location for an hour maybe two, them you will see them again at a new location shortly there after.

An aggressive panhandler will usually travel within a city at 3-5 places at any given day.

These are also the most dangerous as they tend to be verbal and they tend to attract more attention to themselves than the other types of panhandlers.

Road Traveler

A road traveler is a panhandler that wants to live a minimal lifestyle while traveling the country. Usually, these are usually educated people or those that tend to have a more open lifestyle than most, they will travel for 6 months or longer, just living one day at a time. 

These types of panhandles will live off of the money you give them, buying food or other needed items while making their way from on area of the United States to another. They rarely do drugs or alcohol and often have a pet with them. 

Road travelers do come through Roanoke usually for a day or two at most, then continue on their way. They are much like a hitchhiker, but they have no true destination until they are ready to return to society. 

Scammer or Skimmer

Mostly called "skimmers", they typically "fly their sign" and are full time regulars. You see them day in, day out, month after month, year after year. 

They scam people into believing they are homeless or in need, but rather they live in a permanent residence, often times living a lifestyle equal to or better than middle class. Some have drug or alcohol habits. 

Some drive new cars, appear to be handicapped but aren't, have smart phones, cable TV, they often times will get government assistance and they have fairly large bank accounts as they can make large sums of tax free cash on any given day.

They trick you into believing they are in need but they actually are not. They tend to be street smart and somewhat educated formally but they also carry an ego, a sense of entitlement for being out there taking peoples cash, almost narcissistic in nature.

Sometimes they can be aggressive but mostly they are just full time professional panhandlers that know how to get money from coming drivers. 


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