A group of employees became fed-up with a panhandler who constantly begged for money along the street in front of their business. Shockingly, they launched a very public attack on the man and his son — but when you read the sign, you’ll understand why.
Brett Paulson and his fellow employees at the Brighton, Michigan, Honda dealership noticed an older man and a boy, thought to be his son, on the road near their place of business begging for money from passersby quite often. Every day for roughly a year, the duo was on the same street with a sign that read, “Homeless, please help.” So, the employees decided to do something about it.
Initially, those at the dealership attempted kindness and compassion, with management offering the “homeless” man a full-time job that paid $10 per hour, AOL News reported. However, they got a reaction they never expected as the man scoffed at them and said, “I make more than any of you.” That’s when the staff at the Honda dealership had enough and decided to come up with a sign of their own.
“Please do not give anything to this panhandler. We offered him a full-time job at $10 per hour. He said, ‘I make more than any of you,’ and he did not want the job. Please donate to a more worthy cause,” the sign, appearing under the raised hood of a car next to the road where the panhandler stands, read. It wasn’t long before the public service announcement garnered a lot of attention.
After Brett Paulson snapped a photo of the sign and posted it on social media, it went viral. “This guy walks in front of where I work and yells profanities at employees, customers, and people driving by,” Paulson wrote alongside the image. “He’s been offered a job here. He denied the job. His wife has also died twice….that’s tricky,” he added. “She died last fall which he said caused him to be a bum because she ‘took it all to her grave.’ Now today he said she died 2 days ago.”
Eventually, the dealership began to get too much attention and took the sign down. Allegedly, the panhandler is still begging on the corner, though. And, he’s still irritating the hard-working locals who know his real story. “It’s a scam,” Dan Golem, a resident of the area, said. “People like me, people like you, we’re working trying to provide for our families, and they’re just standing there.”
“I don’t like them standing there. No one else does, either. I think it’s great that the dealership put some effort into trying to get rid of them,” Felicia Tubbs, who works across the street at the Shell Gas Station and noticed the dealership’s sign, said. “I think it’s great that the dealership put some effort into trying to get rid of them,” Tubbs added. To show her gratitude, she took pizza to the employees at the Honda dealership.
Police finally showed up and arrested the panhandlers for vagrancy and disorderly conduct. The older man had been drinking, spotted the sign, and was furious over it. However, a short time after they were arrested, the two were back on the same corner asking for money again.
This time, the men had new signs, though. “You can’t afford a one-bedroom apartment on $10 per hour,” one read, while another added, “The median income in Livingston County is $70,000.”
Some argue that the “wealthy panhandler” rumors are mostly just that — rumors. And, they claim that the majority of panhandlers are down on their luck and struggling to survive. However, fraudulent panhandlers have been getting busted left and right thanks to social media and the fact that everyone has a camera these days.
One pregnant panhandler, who drew big cash while getting sympathy outside shopping centers in California, was spotted driving off in a Mercedes Benz. When she saw the person with the camera filming her, she attacked them with a large rock, WGN9 reported.
In New York City, a panhandler, who spends his days outside Grand Central Terminal with his dog, boasted about making $200 per hour, according to the New York Post. In addition, News 9 reported on an Arkansas man who was arrested in Oklahoma City and told police it would be ridiculous for him to get a job because he made $60,000 a year begging on corners with a sign — and that’s all tax-free, unreported cash.
So, there are indeed those people out there who are trying to milk the system. And, the next time you hand a stranger money, you should keep in mind that they might just be milking you. However, there are those who are legitimately down on their luck and in need. Sadly, the worst thing these greedy panhandlers are doing is hurting those who are in a bad spot and actually in desperate need of a little help.