Perhaps I am wrong, but I think some of the homeless that panhandle feel that is more dignified than being on the public dole - sort of the lost pride of days gone by of avoiding the dole at all costs.
In any event, if you have any real life experiences, how can you pass some of these folks by? I think of dear Andrew, who's usually found at El Cajon Boulevard and Fairmount, as you head south. He has Mobius Syndrome: He has Coke-bottle thick glasses and virtually no fingers on his hands - just a "thumb" and "little" finger that are really stubs. He is out there faithfully.
Pull over and have a chat with Andrew. He's a nice guy. I don't mind helping him out - and I don't care where the money goes. Sometimes these people have to jump through hoops for the dole, and I'm not going to judge them because they may choose not to do that.
So every once in a while I give Andrew a dollar or two or five. It's not much, but there for the Grace of God go I, and I may yet end up that way. These folks are flesh and blood and human and they had parents. Maybe some of them didn't have loving, caring parents and maybe some of them did. They are still PEOPLE. And Andrew is "my" people.
Bart Mendoza 5 a.m., Dec. 8
Susan Luzzaro 5:30 p.m., Dec. 7
Edward Magdaleno 4:49 p.m., Dec. 7
Ian Pike 2 p.m., Dec. 7
Mercy Baron 12:43 p.m., Dec. 7
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