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Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 4:54 PM
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PhilliesPhan PhilliesPhan is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: West Philly
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I live in Philadelphia, so I often see them in Center City and occasionally on SEPTA (more so on the El than on the BSL). I also grew up here, so I've been exposed to them throughout my life.

While I do occasionally give money or buy food, I mostly don't give them anything. First of all, I'm 24. Most people my age don't carry cash to begin with. Having cash available in my wallet is a rarity for me. I'll tell them that I don't have cash on me. Otherwise, I'll avoid direct eye contact and keep it moving. I'm not afraid of garnering an aggressive reaction either, as I'm a 6'2", 230 pound man with a slightly muscular build. They would regret trying me.

Back when I was a student at Temple University, two encounters with homeless individuals significantly reduced my willingness to give out money:

1.) During the second semester of my junior year (Spring 2017), I spotted a man sweeping the sidewalks near 16th and Oxford. He appeared to be homeless, which was confirmed as I grew closer to him. As a native Philadelphian, I appreciate when people put in the effort to keep the city clean; therefore, I decided to buy him some food. At the time, I was working an $8.50/hr cashier gig, so I had very little money to give.

After seeing that 7-Eleven was having a 2 slices of pizza for $2 deal, I went in and bought him two slices. Once I presented him the food, he said "I wanted Chinese food, not this" in a disappointed voice. Furious, I walked away and went to class.

2.) During the first semester of my senior year (Fall 2017), I was walking on N. Carlisle Street, near Broad and Susquehanna. Out of nowhere, a homeless man approached me and asked me for money, informing me that he was HIV positive. I proceeded to tell him where he could receive a meal, but he insisted that I give him cash. As I began to walk south towards Diamond Street, I noticed that he was following me. In my mind, I was preparing for a fight; however, I did not want to get any of his bodily fluids on me. He eventually gave up, but my brain was on fight mode until I arrived at class.
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