MyHalifaxCa – Panhandlers

Its time to deal with the problem

The reality of life in Halifax

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Following is an example of what a pedestrian faces when traveling through the Downtown of Halifax.

I frequently arrive in downtown by the good graces of Metro Transit [Rout 17 or 18] and exit the bus on the corner of South Park St and Spring Garden Road.

Ø I typically cross Spring Garden to the Public Gardens Entrance where I’m greeted by two professional paid panhandlers [PPP]

Ø I turn and cross South Park and I’m greeted by a Squeegee Kid sitting against the corner of the Lord Nelson Building using a fishing stick to reach for contributions

Ø As I proceed down that side of Spring Garden I’m greeted by another Squeegee Kid fishing for contributions in front of Lawton’s

Ø In front of Park Lane there is a gentleman in a wheel chair asking for assistance with his health costs

Ø In front of Tim Horton’s there is another gentleman asking for assistance with his housing costs

Ø Between the doors of the CIBC & HMV stands a lady with a sign on a cup asking for spare change

Ø Across in front of Shoppers Drug Mart is the morning shift… a gentleman who shares this spot with the afternoon guy .

Ø Back on the north side of Spring Garden in front of the old Betty’s Cards stands another gentleman looking for assistance with his housing

Ø At the Atlantic Photo corner sits a new to me panhandler.

Ø On the opposite side in front of Duggers / Starbucks is another team of PPP

Ø At the corner of Spring Garden & Queen in front of Rouge’s Roust is another looking for help

Ø At the Second Cup’s entrance close to the TD Bank stands a gentleman selling “Street Feet’

Ø Crossing Brunswick Street I’m met by Ray, sitting on the wall asking for spare change

Ø The walkway that runs in front of the library has two more PPP teams one at each end & a guitar playing busker at the mid point

Ø Through Pizza Corner & down to Argyle… I meet ‘Crazy Mike’ looking for help & being very vocal at the lack of support he is getting from you rich people.

Ø I proceed across Argyle Street and sitting with her back against Neptune Theatre is Alison asking for help in her fight with the Minister of Community Services because he stole her kids…. ‘Remember the Butter Box Babies’ upon seeing me she offers her profane opinion as to my position in life.

Ø Further along Argyle in front of the Economy Shoe Shop stands another gentleman asking for assistance

Ø As I cross Prince Street a squeegee kid under a sleeping bag looking for help feeding his rather large Irish Wolf Hound yells at me from across the corner.

Ø As I cut across the Parade Square to Barrington Street there are four more Squeegee Kids resting under the trees by St Paul’s Church looking for assistance feeding their three dogs.

Ø I cross [j-walk] Barrington and I’m greeted by Bobby [ I love you] with his out stretched cap looking for contributions to his drinking funds

Ø At the next corner is another team of PPP

I enter the TD Bank building to do some business.

Have you been counting?

So far, that is 28 individuals [+ 4 dogs] with requests for assistance in a walk that took less than 15 minutes and covered 10 blocks.

I am not going to continue with the detailed description of the rest of my walk but after doing my banking I met a friend at Perks then walked the waterfront as far as Pier 21 and back to Tim Horton’s at Barrington & Sackville Streets and then returned to meet with Mr. McKay in his store on Spring Garden. During this second part of my walk another 20 individuals looking for my assistance approached me.

Total walking time = 45 minutes

Total requests for assistance = 48

That is 1 request every 60 seconds… its like the old Chinese Water torture.. one request alone is not bad but one every 60 seconds is harassment.

For the full months of July and August as part of my research for this report I made that walk at least 4 times per week, on random days at random times.

The lowest number of requests was 18 [in pouring rain] and the highest was 64.

In my opinion, we have a problem. Some people would go as far as to suggest that the descriptions put forward on the previously mentioned web sites are inaccurate and misleading.

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Written by lesmuise

October 27, 2008 at 11:47 pm

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