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This City Is Putting Panhandlers To Work And The Response Has Been Tremendous

By Mustafa Gatollari

Since I went to college in Newark, and spend a lot of time in NYC, I'm very, very used to panhandlers and all the narratives they employ in trying to get money from you. There's the money for a train ticket to go to their mom's funeral. There's the war veteran. There's the guy who's just trying to get something to eat who suddenly isn't hungry when you offer them food, and so on.

I'm not saying that everyone who's begging doesn't actually need the money, or is necessarily a drug addict. I've tried getting clothes, shoes, and toiletries to people to help them try and get work, and I remember one kid I'd see in Port Authority who got a job at at Starbucks after I hooked him up with some interview clothes. I don't know what happened to him, but I was happy to learn that there are panhandlers out there who are willing to work.

And the latest initiative program created in Albuquerque, New Mexico is taking care of those who want to earn a day's wage without asking for a handout.