I am in complete agreement with the letter posted on Wednesday, regarding the pan handling on Bayfield Street off ramp. I too see these pan handlers almost daily ! It makes Barrie look bad, as well is unsettling to those who are stopped on the ramp waiting for the light to change. My 8 year old son gets very unsure with them walking by our vehicle starring in. As was mentioned in the previous story, I also see the kind, good hearted people that hand them money. And God bless them for being so giving and compassionate. I never had /have and a part of me always felt bad. What if it was me, or someone I loved. Wouldn't I want someone to help ? Someone to care ? This regret quickly left about 5 months ago. My husband drives taxi in Barrie, he called me one night to inform me of two customers he had just dropped off. He had picked up two people and while he drove them from their HOME to a "nicer" restaurant. He listened to their conversation about their day, and asked some questions along the way which they answered. They were two pan handlers from Barrie. That is what they did as an occupation. They had their "work" clothes that were not washed and tattered. They would dirty their skin and hair with dirt and such. Than at the end of the day would return to their home. Which was owned. My husband asked if they minded saying how well they did at this ? They said every day was different but that particular day between the two of them and the two locations they went to that day in a 9 hour day, they had made over $420 !!
SERIOUSLY ! That is more than my husband makes in a 14 hour shift most nights. More than I make at my just above minimum wage job, in 3 or 4 days ! He asked if they go out everyday ? They said no ! Just when they want and have nothing else going on. They will go a bunch of days in a row and than take a bunch off. SERIOUSLY !! So please, please STOP feeling bad for them, and supporting them. These people have better lives and luxuries than most of us ! Now don't get me wrong, there are people out there who are honestly down on their luck, and maybe they should have our help. However, like the article before this stated, if they can walk up and down streets or sit all day in one spot. They could be also handing out resumes or seeking help from the different agencies. However, having heard this story first hand from my husband, I am very weary of all pan handlers cause how do you know where they go at the end of the day ? Is it the local shelter., a park, an ally or is is a warm house, an apartment, a condo ? I struggle enough to pay my bills and to pay for the reasonably comfortable life I have. I am not gonna help pay for theirs when they are not having to punch a clock everyday !