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Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

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  • Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

    Is it just me or are the homeless getting more aggressive? Yesterday I was accosted by 2 and found them to be very aggressive. I was driving up 8th Ave around 29th St and I pulled over to park. This homeless guy nearly scared me to death when he knocked on my passenger side window. I rolled it down to see what he wanted just because I was so shocked. Normally I wouldn't have rolled the window down. He was perfectly harmless of course, but very insistent that I give him some money.

    Then walking up 8th over toward 7th another one got right up in my face begging for cash. I said no politely and then he became very insistent. I don't mind them asking, but I got really annoyed yesterday with how aggressive and insistent they were. Anyone else experiencing this?

  • #2
    Re: Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

    Interestingly, I just encountered this today. I was on 23rd Street near The Half King in the afternoon, and a guy was walking down the street, approaching people who passed (including myself) and asking for $50. And he was dead serious about it.

    I do volunteer time and money to organizations that help the homeless, and I do appreciate their difficulties, but I really dislike being hit up for money on the street. My general tactic when I'm approached is to quickly say "sorry, no," and keep walking.

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    • #3
      Re: Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

      Boy oh boy, can I relate to that!

      I've actually had a homeless man once follow my boyfriend and I for 2 blocks begging for money. I was nervous I'll tell you what!

      Finally on the corner of 32nd Street and Eighth Avenue, my boyfriend turned around, and handed this poor guy $10. When we went to cross the street, the homeless guy actually screamed out to us something like IS THAT ALL? or something.

      All my boyfriend and I could do, was just crack up! We couldn't believe our ears. The homeless guy screamed out loud enough for like the whole Avenue to hear.

      I know he was pretty much harmless, but I really don't feel comfortable when something like that happens.

      There was one other time, when my friend and I went out to dinner on 187th Street off of Ft. Washington Avenue. That is a really nice area. It has this one amazing restaurant (whose name escapes me at the moment), which is although trendy, hip, etc. is chock full of antiques and really beautiful inside. This restaurant is notorious for homeless to hang out in front of. Probably because of how "high end" it appears to be (although really moderately priced). One night we were leaving and this homeless man very gently said to us that he was hungry and could we spare him money or food. Either one would be appreciated. Well I damn near fell over when he said that.

      When was the last time a homeless person was satisfied in receiving food instead of money? Honestly, it was really refreshing. So, we stopped and I started to talk to him. He was so nice, polite and really engaging. Very articulate and unfortunate in his circumstances. Used to be someone of means. At least that's what I gathered in speaking with him.

      My friend was getting impatient, but I told her that I wanted to get this guy some fruit or something. And so, I told her to just wait a minute and hang out. She did. I went across the street to the gourmet market and bought this guy a bunch of mini bananas, a hunk of good cheese and a baguette. When I returned, and handed him all of this, I sware, I couldn't believe it, but the guy started crying and thanking me profusely. It really got to me where I actually welled up too. It really broke my heart.

      Now that's the homeless person I am inclined to help!

      "CC"

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      • #4
        Re: Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

        It is really getting tough to tell some of the homeless from just plain bums these days. There is a group, especially a young white guy, who harrass mostly gay people passing by the church on 13th street and 7th avenue. He is really nasty and is trying to get a response so he can physically attack someone. He is totally maxed out on meth or something and is very aggresive and very scary. There are also a couple of guys there that, if you don't give them money, start screaming four letter words at you. And, I'm sorry too, but the guys that hang out in front of the ATMs saying "could you help me out on the way out?" make me pause inside and make sure my cash and ATM card is secure before I open the door. I make it a point to NEVER open my bag and give money on the street. I have bough food on occasion, but my money goes to places like Metropolitan Community Church who runs a very successful homeless lunch program and food pantry for years now.
        roby2000

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        • #5
          Re: Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

          A couple of years ago, near 28th St and 9th Avenue, had a guy walk up to me asking for money, and then he quickly said this was a hold-up. I couldn't tell if the thing in his coat pocket was a gun or his finger and didn't take any chances -- just gave him all the cash I had.

          If someone is approaching me asking for money, I never stop anymore and rarely say anything.

          Once in a while, I will drop change in a bucket someone has if they are sitting down.

          Be careful...you never know when you are going to be a "mark".

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          • #6
            Re: Are the Homeless More Aggressive?

            You know, I am glad you started this thread b/c I noticed this as well and thought it was just me, being overly sensitive or something. I've been staying with a friend on 30th b/w 8th and 9th Ave for the past month and have been really surpised by the aggressiveness of those who solicit money. So much so, that when I first moved in, I started to take a mental notes of how many solicitiations I would get over a period of 5 days. 5 out of the 5 days, I would receive at least one request for $$. 4 out of the 5 days, I would get 2 requests and 3 out of the 5 days I received more than 2 requests. These requests came during in any given outing (ie: to Gristedes, to train/bus stop, to run misc errand in the hood, etc). One solicitation for $ came to me while I was in a cab, on 8th and 29th, when this haggard (young) man came up to the cab and asked the cab driver then me for some $$ and ran with the cab as we turned the corner after the traffic light changed--I mean come on...is running with the cab really necessary?

            Is there anything we can do to stop this pandering? Does anyone have any ideas? I've become numb to much of it, but honestly, should we have to?

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