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Civic: more beggars and junkies than usual?

By PantsMan 22 January 2013 61

Over the last few weeks I seem to have had more beggars approaching me in Civic wanting money.

Also, there have appeared to be a lot more syringes and empty methadone containers in North Canberra.

Has anyone else noticed more of these adornments to this fine city of late, and can explain why?

What’s Your opinion?


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61 Responses to
Civic: more beggars and junkies than usual?
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Felix the Cat 2:00 pm 25 Feb 13

Sometimes outside Woolies at Dickson there is a couple that beg. The woman is sitting in a wheelchair chain smoking while he is usually texting away/facebooking using his iPhone. Needless to say I’ve no intention of giving them any money.

DrKoresh 1:31 pm 25 Feb 13

obamabinladen said :

One thing that pisses me off is the fact that in oz we have centrelink but we still have beggars.

It’s incredibly difficult to get government assistance if you don’t have a fixed address, which I think is a large part of the problem.

thebrownstreak69 1:19 pm 25 Feb 13

A_Cog said :

Yeah there’s been an upsurge of beggars in Civic, but for me the real pain in the ass is all the backpackers working for outsourced fundraising agencies “on behalf” of charities, taking 80% of all funds raised.

“Hey, hi, how are you going? Do you care about the planet?”
“Yeah, about as much as your boss, which is one-fifth of the time, just like your scam.”

They’re like fu#king seagulls with clip-boards.

I’ve found the most effective way to deal with them is to simply look them in the eye, smile, and say I’m not interested, but good luck with it.

DrKoresh 1:15 pm 25 Feb 13

A_Cog said :

Yeah there’s been an upsurge of beggars in Civic, but for me the real pain in the ass is all the backpackers working for outsourced fundraising agencies “on behalf” of charities, taking 80% of all funds raised.

“Hey, hi, how are you going? Do you care about the planet?”
“Yeah, about as much as your boss, which is one-fifth of the time, just like your scam.”

They’re like fu#king seagulls with clip-boards.

I’ve taken to saying “No,” loudly and clearly, then I tell them to go forth and multiply if they want to press the issue. Seems to work well enough, you just need the presence of mind not to be suckered into talking to one of the pretty young things they use as bait. In fact, judging by chuggers of either gender, attractiveness seems to be a pre-requisite of the job. That makes it easier for me to resent them, at least.

A_Cog 12:54 pm 25 Feb 13

Yeah there’s been an upsurge of beggars in Civic, but for me the real pain in the ass is all the backpackers working for outsourced fundraising agencies “on behalf” of charities, taking 80% of all funds raised.

“Hey, hi, how are you going? Do you care about the planet?”
“Yeah, about as much as your boss, which is one-fifth of the time, just like your scam.”

They’re like fu#king seagulls with clip-boards.

mezza76 8:55 am 23 Jan 13

MWF said :

mezza76 said :

Im equally annoyed that most ATOD services have a tendency to be referral or more on the person affected contacting them. It’s a classic case where there needs to be more outreach services for these guys to help transition them off getting wasted on cheap booze all day.

I don’t understand that first sentence. What did you mean?

Having known many addicts I’ve never seen a single one of them choose to get and stay sober due to any “outreach”. In my opinion they have to really want to do it for themselves. Many remain in total and absolute denial until their addiction or other health complications brought on by their addiction, kills them.

What I mean is that most services, particulaly to those with severe alcohol and mental illness aren’t going to walk up and access traditional services with a shop front. Just as you said – they rarely, if ever admit there is a problem. Some are happy. But what I mean was it’s up to government and the not-for-profit sector to be innovative and look for ways to bring services to the community. That’s what I mean by outreach (see below).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outreach

This is a great example of a outreach program in Melbourne…there are others around the country. Im not aware of the same in the ACT.
http://www.concernaustralia.org.au/steps/

poetix 11:03 pm 22 Jan 13

PBO said :

….

And that is how you get ten dollars worth of entertainment for ten cents, make them work for it.

PBO signing off and wishing you all a very good night. Stay classy Canberra.

This ‘amusing’ story has made me think more carefully about how I judge people who ask for money (Do they really deserve it? Surely he could find a job? Why does she dress like that? Go away, you smell…) so thank you.

Many of us can afford a few dollars here or there, and judging the person asking too much reflects badly on the person with the money, not on the person asking.

Old version (King James, Matthew 7:3): And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Unauthorised version: You’re a plank.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 10:00 pm 22 Jan 13

PBO said :

Feh! You are all failing to see the potential. Make them work for it.

Begger A: Ahhh eeeerrm can i have a dolla mate because my missus has my wallet and we dont get paid till wednesday because i gave my gramdma all my money because she is on methadone and i just want her to get better like me.

PBO: hmmmmm, Your story is interesting. Tell you what, if you go and kick over that empty pram that the lady who couldnt possibly be a mother deals heroin from in Garema Place then I will give you Ten.

Begger A: Huh?!? What?

PBO: You heard me, kick over the pram and I will give you ten. Are you deaf as well as high? Go over and kick the crap out of that pram now or no ten for you. Simple economic trade, my addled friend, I am willing to pay you to provide a service because nothing is free in this world. Now go and kick the pram or I will find someone else to do it cheaper.

Begger A: Ummm, uhhh…….ok?

PBO: ( I noddingly gesture towards Garema Place from my chair at King O’Malleys) And make it noisy and there might be a bonus for you.

Beggar A does as he is told like a good worker because everyone is a good worker when a dollar is riding on it, chaos ensues, shadow junkie army appear out of the surrounding area to go to her aid (in the hope of free stuff for… like helping her and stuff) . The great Smakie Smakdown occurs and the lunchtime crowd falls quiet to witness this sad yet entertaining event, Flannies and fits fly at eachother face first and yelling incoherent battle cries as the Shazza’s and Charlenes are the first to clash in a bloody melee that not even Guns and Roses could supply a sound track for and then one stands above all others like the William Wallace of centrelink ( and because he is just tall ) makes the others stop fighting momentarily to realise that the Civic Beat police would be ther in 25 mins or less and they stop fighting and retreat back to the corners from whence they came. Beggar A looking shocked and sore and possibly now a Hep ABCD etc carrier comes back from his completed mission.

Begger A: Umm…. Can I have that Tenner?

PBO: (I flip him ten cents) Her you go son, I dont want to see you go blowing that on foood and rent and stuff.

Begger A: But you said $10!

PBO: No I did not, if you stayed in school you would know that.

Begger A walks off with the 10 Cents……….

And that is how you get ten dollars worth of entertainment for ten cents, make them work for it.

PBO signing off and wishing you all a very good night. Stay classy Canberra.

Lol

*very slow clap*

LSWCHP 9:29 pm 22 Jan 13

PBO said :

Feh! You are all failing to see the potential. Make them work for it.

…entertaining scenario deletage…

PBO signing off and wishing you all a very good night. Stay classy Canberra.

Funny, but you better watch out for the great big HIV/HepABCD/Herpes infected green-phlegm-streaked gob in the face after you pull that stunt.

PBO 8:32 pm 22 Jan 13

Feh! You are all failing to see the potential. Make them work for it.

Begger A: Ahhh eeeerrm can i have a dolla mate because my missus has my wallet and we dont get paid till wednesday because i gave my gramdma all my money because she is on methadone and i just want her to get better like me.

PBO: hmmmmm, Your story is interesting. Tell you what, if you go and kick over that empty pram that the lady who couldnt possibly be a mother deals heroin from in Garema Place then I will give you Ten.

Begger A: Huh?!? What?

PBO: You heard me, kick over the pram and I will give you ten. Are you deaf as well as high? Go over and kick the crap out of that pram now or no ten for you. Simple economic trade, my addled friend, I am willing to pay you to provide a service because nothing is free in this world. Now go and kick the pram or I will find someone else to do it cheaper.

Begger A: Ummm, uhhh…….ok?

PBO: ( I noddingly gesture towards Garema Place from my chair at King O’Malleys) And make it noisy and there might be a bonus for you.

Beggar A does as he is told like a good worker because everyone is a good worker when a dollar is riding on it, chaos ensues, shadow junkie army appear out of the surrounding area to go to her aid (in the hope of free stuff for… like helping her and stuff) . The great Smakie Smakdown occurs and the lunchtime crowd falls quiet to witness this sad yet entertaining event, Flannies and fits fly at eachother face first and yelling incoherent battle cries as the Shazza’s and Charlenes are the first to clash in a bloody melee that not even Guns and Roses could supply a sound track for and then one stands above all others like the William Wallace of centrelink ( and because he is just tall ) makes the others stop fighting momentarily to realise that the Civic Beat police would be ther in 25 mins or less and they stop fighting and retreat back to the corners from whence they came. Beggar A looking shocked and sore and possibly now a Hep ABCD etc carrier comes back from his completed mission.

Begger A: Umm…. Can I have that Tenner?

PBO: (I flip him ten cents) Her you go son, I dont want to see you go blowing that on foood and rent and stuff.

Begger A: But you said $10!

PBO: No I did not, if you stayed in school you would know that.

Begger A walks off with the 10 Cents……….

And that is how you get ten dollars worth of entertainment for ten cents, make them work for it.

PBO signing off and wishing you all a very good night. Stay classy Canberra.

G.R.R 8:27 pm 22 Jan 13

Man, they’re beggars…what did you want them to spend your ironfisted change on?! They’re not buying news cars or throwing a deck on their cardboard box house!

LSWCHP 7:16 pm 22 Jan 13

schmeah said :

I find that the windscreen scrubs also deliberatly target lone women in cars. I only say this because I can’t count the number of times I’ve been a sole occupant where the scrubber has come up and continued washing my car when I’ve energetically tried to wave him away .. I’ve also happened to notice them walk past cars with male occupants.

My wife says the same thing. In her Corolla she used to get her windscreen washed pretty much every time she crossed Northbourne whether she wanted it or not. She’s now in a bigger, better car and still gets it occasionally, but not as much as before.

I’m a very large bloke, driving a big car, and I’m one of those unfortunate individuals who has a mug that naturally looks a bit cranky unless I’m making a big effort to look happy. I’ve never had one of the window washer brigade come anywhere near me.

milkman 7:05 pm 22 Jan 13

Basilbrush said :

JazzyJess said :

DrKoresh said :

I don’t mind giving a couple of bucks to someone who’s down-and-out. I don’t care if they want to spend it on booze, food or accommodation. I don’t give money to the ones who try and intimidate you into giving up shrapnel, but as long as they’re polite, or at lease, not aggressive i’m more than happy to hand over any shrapnel in my pocket.

Agreed. Once I’ve handed over my change it’s no longer up to me what it’s used for.

Me too.

It’s called ‘caving’. If you’re enabling bad behaviour, you’re not helping.

LSWCHP 7:04 pm 22 Jan 13

johnboy said :

Sunday night some bloke in Dickson asked me for some money for the bus.

Bumped into him in the grog shop 3 minutes later.

Oh well, hope he enjoyed it.

I had a panhandler ask me for a bus fare on the Bridge at the ANU back in the early 80’s. I gave her a few bob, and then a few minutes later I walked up behind her and her friend with their drinks. She was telling her friend what a chump I was and laughing at me.

I haven’t given one of these clowns a penny since.

Basilbrush 6:36 pm 22 Jan 13

JazzyJess said :

DrKoresh said :

I don’t mind giving a couple of bucks to someone who’s down-and-out. I don’t care if they want to spend it on booze, food or accommodation. I don’t give money to the ones who try and intimidate you into giving up shrapnel, but as long as they’re polite, or at lease, not aggressive i’m more than happy to hand over any shrapnel in my pocket.

Agreed. Once I’ve handed over my change it’s no longer up to me what it’s used for.

Me too.

MWF 6:11 pm 22 Jan 13

mezza76 said :

Im equally annoyed that most ATOD services have a tendency to be referral or more on the person affected contacting them. It’s a classic case where there needs to be more outreach services for these guys to help transition them off getting wasted on cheap booze all day.

I don’t understand that first sentence. What did you mean?

Having known many addicts I’ve never seen a single one of them choose to get and stay sober due to any “outreach”. In my opinion they have to really want to do it for themselves. Many remain in total and absolute denial until their addiction or other health complications brought on by their addiction, kills them.

Bad Seed 5:57 pm 22 Jan 13

mezza76 said :

obamabinladen said :

One thing that pisses me off is the fact that in oz we have centrelink but we still have beggars. The thing that makes me angry is seeing a perfectly healthy young man begging.

Don’t get pissed off. There are plenty of people with some serious mental health issues that simply dont access the Centrelink system – some are happy that way. Some access little in terms of social services – the problem is finding a way to reach these people who are not in the system.

This!

I do regular work as a volunteer with Vinnies Night Patrol which goes out into the streets every night with sandwiches, drinks and the like for streeties. Most people who come and see us are seriously mentally ill with various other issues to do with alcohol and drugs. They don’t really come for the food (although sometimes they do), often its just for the human contact, someone to talk to and have a yarn with. They never ask us for money but listening to some of their stories, even if only half are true, would make your hair curl. Its a real chicken and egg situation – did their drug and alcohol taking cause their mental illness or did their pre existing mental condition cause the slide into addiction -its certainly taught me a lot about not being quick to judge

clj 5:27 pm 22 Jan 13

ThisIsAName said :

Recently, some bloke in Civic was hassling people for money, with a story about needing $38 for a bed in the Dickson backpackers and some food. He only wanted $ as charities couldn’t help him for some reason (which he never explained).

Are there any shelters/temporary accomodation about?

There are shelters in Canberra, but the only way to get in is to call FirstPoint central intake (1800 1PO INT) who will most likely tell you that everywhere is full. Still worth a try though – if the guy has a (working) phone they can call him back if a place opens up, or he can try again each day until he gets something.

Some centrally located churches were trying to get a thing called Safe Shelter off the ground where they each opened their hall one night a week through the winter – really basic, just a space out of the cold for the rough sleepers who have no other option. No cost to the government, volunteer run, etc etc – but all they hit was red tape. Hopefully this winter (2 years after they first started trying) they might have more success.

PantsMan 5:23 pm 22 Jan 13

steveu said :

devils_advocate said :

Would be interesting to know if these squeegee-jockeys ever get “cleaned up” themselves by a car or bus.

Agreed. The “bright” idea facilitating this micro cash economy won’t seem that great when someone is run down and/or injured. See what the insurance companies do with it then. I suspect some serious back peddling by the council on this one.

+1

We should have a poll to work out whether to ban the the stupid squidgy guys (given we’ve had to go to the lengths of altering the law to allow them!).

Must make people driving into Canberra for the first time really wounder.

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