Intersection panhandlers - needy or greedy?

Panhandling - is it a job or charity and does it matter when you choose to give - how people spend the money.

Panhandlers can be found all over metro Detroit.

But do you really know who these people are and how they are spending their money you give them.

It's a sinking feeling in your gut when you realize you've been played. You can hear it in a man's voice in a popular video posted to Facebook.

The man who shot the video says he had been giving a woman money standing off I-94 at Rawsonville Road.

"She's been putting ice cream, tissue, in probably a 2014 F-150," he said. "And she's been standing on the corner off I-94 like she's broke."

It brought FOX 2 out to the Rawsonville exit off I-94 to investigate it.
There was a blonde woman at the corner flying a sign.

"I'm not the lady in the video," she said.

But she's well aware of the video making it's rounds on social media and claims she's been harassed because of it.

She claims she really is in need and says she's been harassed for it.

Others say they see the same people day after day and they not are buying what the signs are selling.

"People leave them fruits, vegetables in a bag, they don't take them," one man said. "They want the cash. It's easy money - tax free."

Police say they've gotten the same complaints but say it doesn't matter if they get into a Ferrari after a day of begging. As long as they aren't doing it on private property it is all legal, adding they wouldn't be out there if it wasn't working.

Another bystander spoke about being homeless.

"When I was living homeless on my own, the street they would bring home $100 or $200 a week," the man said. "That was because they were really good at it and we were really homeless."

One person said that he usually gives.

"In a snap you have to make a decision," he said. "My first inclination is to give. I'm a kind hearted person."

This perceived deception raises a larger issue. Panhandling - is it a job or charity and does it matter when you choose to give -  how people spend the money.

It's a question FOX 2 stood on the corner and asked of people passing by.

Dave Spencer stood on the corner for mere seconds and his questioning sign was able to garnish some charity gettiing a variety of opinions.
The best advice from police and charitable organizations is if you feel like giving, it is always best to give to a shelter or charitable organization if you want a better idea of where the money is going.

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