Are Area Pandhandlers Really Broke, or Working System?
Some comments and feedback on various social media sites in the MId-Columbia seem to indicate many people believe a lot of those pandhandlers and beggars are not as bad off as they would want us to believe.
Now, there is an increase in the homeless population, especially spillover from Seattle's effort to welcome every homeless individual from all over the nation. But increasing reports seem to indicate some of these people are not really destitute.
Several posters on Reddit say they're seen more and more well dressed beggars on street corners wearing nice shoes and backpacks. Another commented that they install TV service for a living, and they recently did an install for a group of people sharing a home. Inside the home were an organized stack of "homeless" signs, and they kept their money in various empty Pringle's potato chip cans.
Others mention seeing a beggar on a street corner, then a nice vehicle pulls up, the beggar hands off their sign to the driver, they switch, and the 'new' person takes over.
Still others point out there seems to be patterns where groups of people congregate in one area, work it, then move from Kennewick to Pasco or vice-versa. It appears to be a well organized 'group' of people looking for handouts.
Most of these people indicate they can tell truly homeless folks, as they appear to be packing all their belongings with them. But like ourselves, we often doubt if that person holding the sign is really destitute, or just working us for our money. That can make it difficult for citizens to decide if they wish to give something to that person, or not.