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Homeless People at Intersections
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Ghoser777
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:11 AM
 
There's one main intersection by my house that always seems to have a single homeless person with a sign asking for money. I give money sometimes, and I usually feel guilty if I don't. What does everyone else do?

Theories I have:
- I don't know whether to give, as some of the people really do need the money and I'd like to help if they have a legitimate need. On the other hand, I know some of them just want the money for drugs or booze. I've almost come to the conclusion that I should carry around small value gift certificates for food so I know they'd use it for "good".
- Do you think some of them work together, taking turns working an intersection and then pooling their money together? I never seem to see the same person, but there's always exactly one homeless person.
     
Laminar
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Ghoser777 View Post
On the other hand, I know some of them just want the money for drugs or booze.
...

There are homeless people everywhere, this homeless guy asked me for money,
the other day, I was about to give it to him, and I thought: he's just
gonna use it on drugs or alcohol. And then I thought: That's what I'm
gonna use it on! Why am I judging this poor bastard? People love to
judge homeless guys. Like, you give him the money and he's just
gonna waste it, he's gonna waste the money. Well he lives in a box!
What do you want him to do with it, save it up and buy a wall unit?
Take a little run to the store for a throw rug and a cd rack? He's
homeless! I walked behind this guy the other day, a homeless guy
asked him for money, he looks right at the homeless guy, he goes:
"Why don't you go out and get a job, you bum?"

People always say that to homeless guys, get a job. Like it's always
that easy. This homeless guy was wearing his underwear outside his
pants. I'm guessing his resume ain't all up to date. I'm predicting
some problems during the interview process. I'm pretty sure
McDonald's has an 'Underwear Goes Inside The Pants' policy Not that
they enforce it very strictly, but technically, I'm sure it's on the books.
     
Dork.
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:20 AM
 
What's wrong with the Homeless spending their money on booze? If I were homeless, you would bet I'd want to stay as drunk as possible, as much of the time as possible, to take my mind off the fact that I'm homeless.

Forget those gift certificates, buy a bunch of those tiny bottles of Jack that you see at the checkout counter at the Liquor store and hand those out! Heck, does anyone even buy them? I bet you could get the local Liquor Store to donate them. After all, it's for a good cause!
     
SpaceMonkey
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:20 AM
 
I just give them booze.

EDIT: Damn, Dork. beat me to the punchline.

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Atheist
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:25 AM
 
Do your research and pick a reputable charity that serves a cause close to your heart. Give your money to them if you feel the need.
     
scaught
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:31 AM
 
I've got credit card debt and a mortgage situation popularly described as "under water". You dont see me standing on the corner of intersections begging for extra money.

1. There are tons of social programs that homeless people can take advantage of. Giving them money does nothing to help the situation.
2. Lots of "homeless" people make a pretty good wage standing there all day, then get in their cars and drive home. I don't know how many "lots" is, but there's been news reports about it and I don't have a lot of faith in people.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:36 AM
 
There's a beggars' mafia that controls begging on the streets of inner-city Hamburg. These aren't homeless people, and they don't pretend to be, but they make good money.
     
Doofy
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:48 AM
 
Give your cash to homeless charities if you want to help. Or go help out in the soup kitchen.

Adding to scaught and Spher's observations...
Back in the day, I used to know a bloke who'd go out and pretend to be homeless, begging for money outside the local mall. Which then got spent on a jolly good time every Saturday night.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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ort888
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Jul 20, 2010, 10:48 AM
 
You can make a staggering amount of money pan handling.

A lot of these people aren't even technically homeless. Not saying that none of them are, but many are not.

My best friends little brother lived off the streets for a long time. You can make several hundred bucks in an hour or two if you are good at it. He would just "work" for an hour a day and spend the rest drinking beer with his friends. He always had a roof over his head.

I used to spend hours and hours debating him on whether or not his actions were a "part of the problem" or not. For some reason he thinks leaching off working people, taking their money and spending it on beer and fast food made by giant corporations was somehow "sticking it to the man". The reality was that he was just lazy and didn't want to work.

Now obviously his situation does not apply to every person you encounter... so don't assume I am saying it does... that said, I no longer give out money. My dollar is not going to make any meaningful difference in the lives of 95% of the people asking... and rather then give 20 people dollars in hopes that one of those will be used well... I just give the $20 to charity.

Well, charity or beer... one of the two.

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downinflames68
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Jul 20, 2010, 12:40 PM
 
I hold a $20 out the window, and when they come to grab it I drive away just fast enough that they can't reach it.

Keep in mind, I HATE homeless pieces of crap.

They murder, steal, and rape. They do NOTHING good for society, and they're such assholes they've burned all bridges to friends or family, or they're just insane. I think they should be open game a few times a year, and we should be allowed to hunt them. It would reduce crime, rape, and help the environment, due to the fact that homeless people flip over trash cans and throw all sorts of crap in our rivers.

F*ck homeless people.

Did I mention they stole $4k worth of stuff from me last summer? Yeah, neat-o.
     
Laminar
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Jul 20, 2010, 12:51 PM
 
Not that you're biased...
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 20, 2010, 01:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
They murder, steal, and rape.
Well now I see how and why they deserve my/your hate moreso than the rest of humankind
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Shaddim
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Jul 20, 2010, 02:00 PM
 
I donate quite a bit to the local shelter and rescue ministry, usually ~15% of my income. A couple of people on here know how much money that is, it isn't small potatoes. For day-to-day panhandlers I evaluate them real quick, and if they need help I hand them a $5 McDonald's GC with the address and phone number of the local shelter written on the back of it. Sometimes they get pissed off because they only want money for drugs/booze, but others really appreciate a hot meal and directions to a place that can help them. Hell, the shelter I fund will even come to the McDonald's and pick them up during the winter.

You can tell if a person is really undernourished and has fallen on hard times, or if they're just working the area.
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iMOTOR
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Jul 20, 2010, 02:52 PM
 
There’s a supermarket parking lot by my house where people will ask for gas money “because they’re from out of town and need to get home.” I always offer to meet them at the gas station across the street and fill their cars up: and the answer usually is: “uh… actually my friend has my car right now.”

Scam artists.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Jul 20, 2010, 04:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
I hold a $20 out the window, and when they come to grab it I drive away just fast enough that they can't reach it.

Keep in mind, I HATE homeless pieces of crap.

They murder, steal, and rape. They do NOTHING good for society, and they're such assholes they've burned all bridges to friends or family, or they're just insane. I think they should be open game a few times a year, and we should be allowed to hunt them. It would reduce crime, rape, and help the environment, due to the fact that homeless people flip over trash cans and throw all sorts of crap in our rivers.

F*ck homeless people.

Did I mention they stole $4k worth of stuff from me last summer? Yeah, neat-o.
Parts of this sounds familiar for some reason.
     
Phileas
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Jul 20, 2010, 04:39 PM
 
I think the best quote I've ever heard was from a priest - can't remember the denomination.
He was asked why he gave alms to homeless people, considering they would spend it on drugs and booze.

His answer was that he'd wanted to be judged on his actions, not on their actions. I've always remembered that.

And Rob, I fear for your future.
     
downinflames68
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Jul 20, 2010, 07:37 PM
 
I fear the future of the bum that crosses me.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Jul 20, 2010, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
I hold a $20 out the window, and when they come to grab it I drive away just fast enough that they can't reach it.

Keep in mind, I HATE homeless pieces of crap.

They murder, steal, and rape. They do NOTHING good for society, and they're such assholes they've burned all bridges to friends or family, or they're just insane. I think they should be open game a few times a year, and we should be allowed to hunt them. It would reduce crime, rape, and help the environment, due to the fact that homeless people flip over trash cans and throw all sorts of crap in our rivers.

F*ck homeless people.

Did I mention they stole $4k worth of stuff from me last summer? Yeah, neat-o.
The depths of your pathology appear to know no bounds. Seriously, get help Rob. Only a true sociopath would make a post with this amount of hate and venom towards someone.

Hunt them? Do you even give the slightest amount of thought before you post?
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imitchellg5
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Jul 20, 2010, 08:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
I hold a $20 out the window, and when they come to grab it I drive away just fast enough that they can't reach it.

Keep in mind, I HATE homeless pieces of crap.

They murder, steal, and rape. They do NOTHING good for society, and they're such assholes they've burned all bridges to friends or family, or they're just insane. I think they should be open game a few times a year, and we should be allowed to hunt them. It would reduce crime, rape, and help the environment, due to the fact that homeless people flip over trash cans and throw all sorts of crap in our rivers.

F*ck homeless people.

Did I mention they stole $4k worth of stuff from me last summer? Yeah, neat-o.
You know who else steals way more than $4k worth of stuff? The rich. All the time. Every day. As someone who gives his Wednesdays and Thursdays among the homeless, your comment is downright offensive. I know four guys who are homeless because they simply can't work. Why can't they work? Because one of them is deaf. He lost his hearing during the Vietnam War when a grenade exploded less than a foot away. Both eardrums burst, irreparable damage. Another man fought in the Vietnam War, but lost both of his legs below the knee. Yet another lost an arm due to gunshot wounds. In the Vietnam War. And the final man is a firefighter who lost his job here. He never got a degree, or even his GED. He was one of the best firefighters in the city, but since he has no education, he can't do anything. He's a great man and has a wife and two kids, but is now living on the street in his minivan. I know countless others who are homeless simply because they lost their job and can't find work and they are considered "old." Even me, with a very good resumé for my age, took a year to find a decent job. So I encourage you to spend some time with the homeless. I can guarantee that many of them are much better people than the Americans who have plenty.
     
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Jul 20, 2010, 09:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Do your research and pick a reputable charity that serves a cause close to your heart. Give your money to them if you feel the need.
Salvation Army, as long as they're local to you. They're amazing people.

The key to charity is keeping it local. Local folks, local help, local values. Too much bureaucracy gets in the way.
     
finboy
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Jul 20, 2010, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
So I encourage you to spend some time with the homeless. I can guarantee that many of them are much better people than the Americans who have plenty.
You should encourage them to move someplace warmer. Colorado is no place to be living in your minivan.

I too have known many homeless folks over the years, most of them younger. All of them homeless by choice. Older vets, though, may not have any alternative but to live on the street, although there are some VA programs for them, just not maybe in THAT neighborhood or town.
     
finboy
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Jul 20, 2010, 09:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
Sometimes they get pissed off because they only want money for drugs/booze, but others really appreciate a hot meal and directions to a place that can help them.
You're lucky you haven't gotten cut yet.

Sounds noble, and I commend you. I will say, though, that I've seen plenty of folks live on the street because it was easy pickings and they didn't have to do anything all day. Not always the case, of course, but some of the LIVE for folks like you to pick up the tab.
     
OldManMac
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Jul 20, 2010, 11:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
I hold a $20 out the window, and when they come to grab it I drive away just fast enough that they can't reach it.

Keep in mind, I HATE homeless pieces of crap.

They murder, steal, and rape. They do NOTHING good for society, and they're such assholes they've burned all bridges to friends or family, or they're just insane. I think they should be open game a few times a year, and we should be allowed to hunt them. It would reduce crime, rape, and help the environment, due to the fact that homeless people flip over trash cans and throw all sorts of crap in our rivers.

F*ck homeless people.

Did I mention they stole $4k worth of stuff from me last summer? Yeah, neat-o.
You just don't get it, do you? You've got to be close to 30 by now; what a tragedy.
     
olePigeon
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Jul 21, 2010, 02:27 AM
 
My neighbor gets up in the morning, rides his bicycle to an intersection, then asks for money. He makes enough money to rent a decent 2 bedroom apartment. He's far from homeless. I've stopped giving them money.

There are tons of government handout programs and non-profit organizations out there for truly homeless people to take advantage of.
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Buckaroo
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Jul 21, 2010, 02:50 AM
 
The only time I have ever given money to a bum is when I parked my car near one. Just gave him enough to keep him from damaging my car. Otherwise, I never give a penny.
     
PB2K
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Jul 21, 2010, 05:23 AM
 
I always regret handing out free gifts to beggars. They are lazy and have a mental disorder that I cannot fix.
beggars
10 years ago I gave money to a beggar woman who asked for money to sleep in a shelter..yesterday I saw her again, asking for money for shelter. She asks every person for money. People who don't give (again) are always cursed by her.

magazine sellers
Unemployed and homeless can make an extra € by selling a homeless magazine. They buy it for 1€ and can sell it for 2€. Most clients give the 2€ coin and tell them to keep the magazine. I quitted buying those magazines too.

third world
Beggars in the 3rd world are divided between strong and weak. The obvious beggars, meaning the disfigured and young make the most money. The really weak are those you rarely meet because of the country's culture, like the despised women who have a baby but are unmarried. They have a very difficult life taking care of themselves and their family and I am happy to give them a handful.
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Phileas
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Jul 21, 2010, 10:51 AM
 
The vast majority of homeless people com from a background of abuse and mental illness. They neither make a fortune begging nor live in a two bedroom apartment. Go work in a shelter for a week, then come back here and judge again.
     
Laminar
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Jul 21, 2010, 11:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by Phileas View Post
The vast majority of homeless people com from a background of abuse and mental illness. They neither make a fortune begging nor live in a two bedroom apartment. Go work in a shelter for a week, then come back here and judge again.
But homeless people at a shelter and people panhandling for money at intersections can be from very different groups.
     
ShortcutToMoncton
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Jul 21, 2010, 11:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by PB2K View Post
beggars
10 years ago I gave money to a beggar woman who asked for money to sleep in a shelter..yesterday I saw her again, asking for money for shelter. She asks every person for money. People who don't give (again) are always cursed by her.
I'm trying to figure out if you think the money you gave her 10 years ago should should still allow her to sleep in the shelter.

Was it a lot of money? Like, did you give her $10 grand and say "here, hope this pays your shelter costs for the next 10 years - I know you can't get a bank account so always put the rest somewhere safe like under a rock underneath a bridge."

Or did you give her a $5 bill and figure that because you paid for her shelter for the night, she would thus never have to need money for the shelter again?

So many questions
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PB2K
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Jul 21, 2010, 11:50 AM
 
I take into account that she obviously has a heroin addiction that either 5€ or 1000€ won't cure.
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turtle777
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Jul 21, 2010, 12:04 PM
 
I'm always glad to see that some homeless people can even afford cell phones.

I can't wait seeing homeless with an iPad, surfing while begging

-t
     
Doofy
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Jul 21, 2010, 12:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm always glad to see that some homeless people can even afford cell phones.
Does one not need a home address in order to buy/register a cell phone in this post-terrorism world?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Mrjinglesusa
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Jul 21, 2010, 01:12 PM
 
I love how judgemental people are of a group as a whole based on isolated experiences/incidents with individuals from said group. Well done MacNNers! Stereotyping at its best!
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turtle777
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Jul 21, 2010, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mrjinglesusa View Post
I love how judgemental people are of a group as a whole based on isolated experiences/incidents with individuals from said group. Well done MacNNers! Stereotyping at its best!
Same to you. Stereotyping at its best

-t
     
finboy
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Jul 21, 2010, 01:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
But homeless people at a shelter and people panhandling for money at intersections can be from very different groups.
They ARE from different groups. If they've made it to a shelter, they obviously don't care about scrutiny or hiding anything (they aren't likely to be pros).

The key to the homeless issue (and there will always be homeless among us) is local involvement. Being on top of the situation. Volunteering or contributing to a local group might work to help things, as long as they have their head on straight. Those groups have a consistent presence, and can make sure that people get help.

There's a homeless guy who "lives" under a tree near the Mexican consulate here in Houston, and I see people sitting with him all the time. Some of those folks probably have some success, but he's still under that tree, day in and day out. Not begging, just sitting and reading a book all day or talking to himself. He's usually dressed OK, and I'm sure he has a place to sleep at night (if not right there). But regardless of all of the services available, and people who stop to talk with him, he's always there.

When he's not there when I pass by, I get worried. Thankfully, he's never gone for more than a couple of days.

It's been that way in every city I've lived. And I've seen pros who hang out on freeway ramps with the "Will Work for Food" signs (there are a couple around the corner from Tree Guy). Year after year.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The important thing is that people still have enough compassion, in the face of the exploiters, to be ready to help the people out there who truly deserve it and need it. Good for us.
     
andi*pandi
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Jul 21, 2010, 02:22 PM
 
The people in the intersections I don't trust, I too have heard the stories about making a real living that way. I have given to people in the street, but not the ones who block the Harvard Square CVS doors like a toll bridge. We also give to shelters and food banks.

The truly homeless, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Jul 21, 2010, 05:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The people in the intersections I don't trust, I too have heard the stories about making a real living that way. I have given to people in the street, but not the ones who block the Harvard Square CVS doors like a toll bridge. We also give to shelters and food banks.

The truly homeless, I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.
There’s a short african american guy who tries selling magazine subscriptions, and raises money for one charity or another in between the starbucks and newbury comics by Berklee who always call white folks racist if they don’t donate.

I stopped and talked with him once about what he wanted to know for the magazine subscriptions. CC number, phone number, address ect… total scam artist.

Hopefully you won’t run into him. I’ve seen him chase down people who just walk by, and start yelling at them.
     
sek929
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Jul 21, 2010, 05:39 PM
 
If I've got change or a buck, they why the **** not. If somebody is sitting on a cardboard mat asking for one dollar then they need it more than me.

I've encountered really aggressive bums in the past, but usually a 'get the **** outta my face' comment sends them on their way.

I know not all bums are real bums, but that doesn't concern me. I'm not bankrupting myself giving these poor SOBs 65 cents , if they save that up all day to get nice and loaded good for them.
     
downinflames68
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Jul 22, 2010, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
I know four guys who are homeless because they simply can't work.
Really?

Because one of them is deaf.
Welcome to Deaf Jobs

Another man fought in the Vietnam War, but lost both of his legs below the knee.
I know plenty of people in wheelchairs that have jobs. That excuse = FAIL.

Yet another lost an arm due to gunshot wounds.
Geez a whole arm? I guess he can't do anything. I mean, when I broke my arm I couldn't do any of my jobs. Oh wait... shit.. I did all of them.

And the final man is a firefighter who lost his job here. He never got a degree, or even his GED.
Gee.. um.. maybe he should... I don't know... GET A ****ING GED.

You're homeless friends sure like making excuses for themselves.
     
brassplayersrock²
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Jul 22, 2010, 01:19 AM
 
….not everyone is the same….
     
imitchellg5
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Jul 22, 2010, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
You're homeless friends sure like making excuses for themselves.
Everything you said may apply if this weren't a town with 25% unemployment. But it's pretty much nearly impossible to find a job without knowing anybody, and these people don't have any contacts outside of each other. I'll keep an eye out on that website, but it says "Coming soon." Not entirely helpful...
     
   
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