Panhandling is most often associated with desperation. The ragged dregs of society put up with scorn and the elements, even hassles from law enforcement, all because they have no other option. But what if they do? Just how lucrative is panhandling? The employees at a Honda dealership in Michigan recently gained some perspective on the matter.
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The panhandler in question was hanging around the Honda dealership in Brighton. Someone there, feeling for the man, decided that they could assist with the man’s needs by offering him gainful employment. How well did their act of altruism go?
“Please do not give anything to this panhandler,” the sign reads. ” We offered him a full-time job at $10 per hour. He said, ‘I make more than any of you,’ and he did not want the job. Please donate to a more worthy cause.”
In all fairness to the vagrant in question, perhaps he has some issues with mental health. If not, maybe he’s too honest. $10 an hour, for full-time work, comes out to just $20,000 a year, give or take. He may well make more than that on handouts. In fact, it is highly likely.
“It’s a scam,” Brighton resident Dan Golem told Click on Detroit. “People like me, people like you, we’re working trying to provide for our families, and they’re just standing there.”
Felicia Tubbs, an employee at a nearby Shell Gas Station, also weighed in. “I don’t like them standing there,” Tubbs said. “No one else does, either. I think it’s great that the dealership put some effort into trying to get rid of them.”
Tubbs said a pair of men had been on the corner, regularly, for six months. People in the area think they are a father and his son. Their signs are simple: “Homeless, please help.”
After the sign at the Honda dealership went viral, the police showed up. The two men were arrested. One of the men, in retaliation against the dealership’s offer, had a sign that read: “You can’t afford a one-bedroom apartment on $10 per hour.” The other man’s sign reportedly read: “The median income in Livingston County is $70,000.”