Getting to Know Local Panhandlers

Getting to Know Local Panhandlers

Having a dog means I get to meet a lot of people. Here I want to concentrate on the panhandlers I have interacted with.

My typical trek (with or without Lula) is down "La Sexta" starting near the Pereferico to at least the Parque Central. There tend to be more panhandlers at the beginning near La Torre and then near the park. Let's look at the people near La Torre as they seem to be the most interesting and I see them the most.

My favorites are a woman with two kids that is usually sitting on a step half a block North of La Torre. She is probably around 40. Her son is around five and her daughter is under a year. What sets them apart is their attitude. They seem very respectful. No harassment -- they are just there and clearly needy.

The boy is always nice to me, thanks me for things I have given them (for example, I brought them a waffle I had made) and plays with Lula. His mother is scared of Lula and thinks she will eat her daughter but watches her son have fun with Lula.

There are two other panhandlers I see regularly: a man in a wheelchair and a middle-aged woman. Both of them smoke -- it is hard for me to want to give things to someone who can "afford" to try and get lung cancer. The guy travels to his sidewalk hangout in a cab and I often see him buying food from a street vendor.

Down near the park I see people who just seem to think they are "entitled". I'll stick to the family.