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 Post subject: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 5:16 pm
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Location: Sunshine State
Our church in Austin regularly had panhandlers drop by, even found them sleeping in the courtyard. Weekdays. On weekends we would get aggressive gypsies. Luckily they only hit once, then move on to another church.

There was one outside where I went to church here. He had a stroller and a four year old and a big sign. When the usher could not get him to wait at the office, the pastor came out and told him he would help him at the office, not there as people were leaving. The guy just ignored the pastor and stayed right there on the curb, right in front of the door.

Is this a problem at your church? How do you deal with it?

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 Post subject: Re: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:14 pm
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we have a little of that - but your situation seems worse.

I do believe that the cops should be called for child endangerment when the man is using a 4 year old in such a way. there's a chance the child isn't even his : (

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 Post subject: Re: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Well, no. Altho' we used to have a guy, not quite homeless, that would come into the church and use the shower or laundry facilities. We found him on a couch sleeping a time or two and, ONCE, he was caught eating soup out of the pot - right out of the ladle! :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:05 pm
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Location: Central TX
No, but we are a small town and I never see any homeless people or panhandlers in our town. I will make sure to avoid the Austin churches, though! I grew up with homeless people sleeping in our yard, sometimes even on our porch, and we knew them by name. They were friendly and reasonable people, though, not pushy.

My mom was just telling me today, that they had a woman go to their church and she said she was homeless and going through some addiction problems. The church paid for her to stay in a hotel for awhile, then they got her in contact with her Aunt who lives on the East coast and she went to live with her.

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 Post subject: Re: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 2483
Briva wrote:
Our church in Austin regularly had panhandlers drop by, even found them sleeping in the courtyard. Weekdays. On weekends we would get aggressive gypsies. Luckily they only hit once, then move on to another church.

There was one outside where I went to church here. He had a stroller and a four year old and a big sign. When the usher could not get him to wait at the office, the pastor came out and told him he would help him at the office, not there as people were leaving. The guy just ignored the pastor and stayed right there on the curb, right in front of the door.

Is this a problem at your church? How do you deal with it?



I have only seen this situation one time at our church. Our service had just let out, and there was a homeless family, kids and all, asking for money. You feel foolish and un-Christian not giving them money, but at the same time, begging right at the church's front door is not the way to go, either. One of our associate pastors asked them to move away from the doors. Later on, I heard our church put them in a hotel and was going to help the dad find a job. I'm not sure what happened after that.

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 Post subject: Re: Panhandlers at church
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:01 am 
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Our Church DOES offer help - specifically a food pantry with scheduled weekday hours. So, if someone really needs help, not just drug money, they can get on the list and come by on a regular schedule for help. Then, our Parish administrator knows each one by name, and has a good idea if someone is pulling something. We have had one pushy lady who comes and tries to get money outside that system - we have caught her telling different lies to different people. That is frustrating.

The Protestant Church I used to go to had an organization of Pastors. When the police found someone in need, they'd bring them to the next Church on the list for help. This way, the "needy" were screened by the police, and we had some assurance that help was being give to the needy rather than to criminals. And, of course, that solved the "pushy" problem : )

I do believe that the Church is the *right* place to beg. It has been done by the poor since ancient times (St. John Chrysostom - 4th century - writes about this situation : ) But, in modern times, with drug issues and all, it is also good to give in a way that does not simply make a drug problem worse.

Whichever way it is done, having some sort of screening system and a single person/office to file through really helps.

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