South Side Guide To Deflecting The "Can-I-Have-A-Dollar" Disease: Shooting Down The Hopes of Fake Beggars Everywhere!

C’mon, the only reason you clicked here was to rip me a new one.

You thought I would be bashing people in need. Wrong!

I am only helping you fight a common enemy we share: Fake Beggars. These people make the real poor look bad.

They are the reason you roll up your window when a guy comes by with a cardboard sign looking for spare change. You have no way of knowing if the need is legit or a farce.

People throw away their money every year on scams.

Stop this insanity!

I am here to help you with my guide:

Pay attention, grasshopper.

I. Conquering the “My Car Has Run Out Of Gas” Monster:
It’s happened to all of us; You are approached by someone who claims that their car is stranded with a wife, kids and 112 year old grandparents inside. They need gas money, your money, making you the savior of all wives, kids and old people in the world. In my experience, I have found that there is never a case of this being true if the person turns down you offering to fill up a gas can for them.

I always ask, “Where is the car?” A young man turned to point at a white Kia parked across the street. While he was explaining his story, I watched the real owner of the Kia hop in the car, start it up and pull off. I stopped him in mid-sentence, “Looks like your biggest issue isn’t gas, someone stole your car.” He could do nothing but walk away, defeated.

II. Slaying the “I need a transit card.” Demon:
I don’t like liars and I don’t like people who cry on demand. This woman comes up to the side of my car as I am pulling out of driveway:

Mind you, she almost got her ass handed to her Shaft-style because she caught me off guard.
Yet, I saw the tears and those tears had me believing that there was a problem…until…she opened her mouth;

“Ma’am, it’s cold out here (75 degrees), I want to get on the green line and I need 85 cents.”

Here is where I throw in my answer, “I have a transit card with $2, you want it?” I really DID have a transit card with money on it. Yet, she replied, “Well, I already have a card and I wanted to add money to that one.” My response was, “Why does it matter?” Hearing that, she walked away. Turns out it she didn’t want to use 85 cents for a transit card. She wanted me to give her a dollar (because that’s easier than finding 85 cents) for God knows. I refuse to keep throwing money away, you should stop it too.

III. Stopping the “I am Hungry, I need to eat.” Goblin:
I know this is a tough one. I NEVER want to deny someone food. Whenever I see someone asking for food, I offer them FOOD. If they accept FOOD, they were truly hungry. If they prefer CASH, then they didn’t want FOOD. So, instead of saying, “I need FOOD.” They should say,”I need CASH.”

I’ll never forget the guy posted at the McDonald’s drive up asking motorists for money at the location at 47th and Bishop. I just grabbed my egg McMuffin meal and was pulling off and this man asked, “Can I have a dollar? Ma’am, I am so hungry and I need FOOD.” I handed the bag with my meal inside to him out the car window, and he said, “What’s this?” I replied, “Food”.

He said, “Oh, no, I don’t eat McDonald’s.”

Are you friggin’ serious?

I pulled off so fast my tires screeched..

I never give blindly anymore.

My brother-in-law works at a hospital and EMS there brought in a “homeless” man that needed treatment for a minor injury. This man placed his belongings in a hospital locker and among those belongings was $2,367 in singles. He was, as he described it, “A Professional Panhandler.” He made that figure in two days. That’s more than what the doctor treating him makes in two days and he’s saving lives and Sh#t.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Please use my tactics and steer clear of the fakes. IF you want to give, your money will go further at the mission or a food pantry. Pacific Gardens or Chicago Greater Food Depository are my favorites.

I am not a bad person for not wanting to throw my money away. I have just reached a point in my life that I want to stop enabling people who can be finding better ways to make cash. I work hard and I know you do too..

Let’s unite!

Please let me know of your experiences in the comments and while you’re at it, follow me on Twitter @TheRealJoyRene’re welcome!


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  • Awesome post! Although I think Dr's make more than $2,000/yr. I've had every single one of those types approach me in the past. I gave to a guy that I found out was my neighbor in my building in the Gold Coast.

    I will also call out one guy in particular. He walks around the Water Tower with no shoes and really bloody feet. I call him Shoeless Joe Jackson (not funny in the big picture), however he not only is a pro panhandler, he also drives a car.

    It's sad that this is something one has to think about before doing a good Samaritan deed.

  • In reply to Curtis Shaw Flagg:

    Yes, Doctors do make more..I meant in 2 days..I changed it. LOL.

    Are you sure that it's blood, or ketchup packets on Shoeless Joe Jackson's feet? You never can tell. It is sad because people who really need help don't get it because everyone thinks it's a scam.

  • I actually wrote a post about this not too long ago because I saw my neighbor's son standing on the corner begging for money! Makes me crazy!

  • In reply to siblingless:

    @siblingless, how can I ever take you seriously again?

  • Good post. I've encountered these types so often, I've thought about creating a Bingo Card or something. Each time you run into one of these types, you punch the card. If you get three in a row or a full house, you should be able to turn your card into the Culteral Center for a prize or something.

  • Yeah, you could do that Dark Angel or, you can ask for their social and tell them you will start claiming them on your tax return. LOL

  • Absolutely great post. I have offered food to many people in my neighborhood when they have asked for money because they are hungry and one woman actually yelled at me when I tried to do so. Very, very true, all of these.

  • In reply to Amy:

    Amy, how dare you give food to a hungry person? Lol They aren't that hungry, right? Smh

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    I ran into a man and a woman downtown who said that they needed bus fare to get home. I looked them up and down as they started to go into their story, but stopped them. My reply was "You BOTH came down here without enough money to get home? How stupid are you?" One day my sarcastic mouth is going to get me in trouble.

  • In reply to Keith Bufkin:

    Keith, maybe you forced them to rethink their game plan. At least make it believable!

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    There used to be a guy hanging around Ogilvie Train Station who would ask for some odd cents for train fare from people carrying packages, anybody that put down the packages to fish out change he would grab their packages and run off with it.

  • Oh Goodness, I could see myself chasing him down and tackling him. Lol

  • There are a few of regulars outside Union Station, I use the Madison St. entrance, any idea if the little woman with the cardboard sign, usually at the light post across from the CVS is legit? She is there all day every day.
    And the guys on the bridge playing the buckets? Yikes, learn how to play something that resembles music!

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