MyHalifaxCa – Panhandlers

Its time to deal with the problem


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It’s Getting cold….. now what?

I have to admit that this opinion piece has taken much longer than I could have ever predicted, partially because I’ve been struggling with finding a suitable conclusion and partially because I’ve wanted to see how the end of the summer would effect the panhandlers.

As mentioned, there is a definite seasonality to the population of this demographic. By mid October we’re down to the hard core ‘regular’ faces that have been seen for years on the street corners of our city. There is the crux of the issue, in the year 2008, in Halifax, in one of the richest countries in the world, how is it that there are 50- 75 hard core panhandlers who have existed year in and year out on out street corners surviving on change from strangers.

The only rationalization is that the chronically marginalized few have fallen through the cracks in our so called social safety net. It’s time that we change that… we have no choice, we have to do better. We have to innovate the way that we deal with poverty in this city, province and country.

I have a reputation for using two philosophies: ‘Never say never…” and “Attitude is everything, with the right attitude miracles happen”

The issue of poverty and its symptom of panhandling is a topic where I feel both of those philosophies are important components in how to find a cure. I don’t think anyone has the security to say “I’d never panhandle” I can point to far too many situations where chance and circumstance are the only factors that determine weather you are sitting in the nice warm coffee shop or outside on the sidewalk holding a cup soliciting change for your next meal.

I look forward to your suggestions and participation in finding a method to change lives.


Written by lesmuise

October 28, 2008 at 12:16 am

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