Times are getting tough economically and while there are some people who truly deserve our help, there are others that are taking advantage of the situation and refuse to help themselves. This is the situation that Ryan Bran of Florida discovered when he stopped to help a panhandler on the side of the road by offering him work with a fair hourly pay of $15. The owner of Bray Remodeling had offered the man asking for money with a sign at an intersection the money for him to help him with some yard work that he was trying to get done. The panhandler refused the offer and continued to ask for money from people who were stopped at the intersection. Bray had noticed the panhandler and the group that he was normally with at in the area before and he was hoping to be able to help them in a more permanent manner. This is when he decided to try to offer him a job instead of just giving him a handout.

When the panhandler approached his car, Bray states that he had reached inside while asking, “Hey, do you have any money?”. When he told him no but offered the man work, he started cursing at him and responded with “Absolutely not.” The irate and unappreciative panhandler then went on to kick Bray’s Jeep before telling him to go away. Bray began to warn other drivers about the man’s unwillingness to help himself and informed them that if everyone stopped giving these people money, they would eventually leave the area. He was tired of these people asking people for money and becoming belligerent when they refused to give them any. It was clear that it was a problem and he wanted the community to come together to solve it. While he was frustrated about his own experience, one of the driving factors for his decision to speak out was that “He(I) can’t have his(my) 13-year-old daughter and his(my) wife driving with their windows up and being berated the entire time if they don’t get money.” Even after the panhandler had cursed and kicked Bray’s Jeep, people continued to give the man money and told him, “You can’t shut me down, brother.”

It was clear that the panhandler had no intention of stopping what he was doing and while he insisted that he wasn’t doing anything wrong by asking drivers for money, he chose to remain anonymous. According to the executive director of Turning Points, Adell Erozer, there are some people that use panhandling to make a living instead of just using it to get through a hard time. It can be difficult to tell the difference which is why it’s important to donate to organizations instead. Bray chose to take action by returning to the intersection with a sign telling everyone that he had offered the panhandler a job and refused to take it. He also used the opportunity to share with the community that they needed to stop giving them money to get them all to leave. This is something that Erozer agrees with and says that it is the best thing to get rid of panhandlers in any neighborhood.