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NAME: Gary
Age: 34
Place: Streetcorner, 20th St. and Fifth Avenue Area, New York City
Time: 5PM Weekday

NEEDCOM:
 
Tell me about yourself and how you came to be panhandling today.
 
 
GARY:
 
Well, the simple fact of the matter is I am a veteran, I'm getting a non-service connected VA check. With this money, I'm paying my rent.
 
And since I'm non-service connected, I'm [getting less] than someone who is service connected. I'm getting something like six hundred a month. Someone that is service connected is somebody that has a problem occur with them while they were in the service.
 
Someone that's non-service connected, the problem may be caused BY the service. And since I'm non-service connected, after I pay my rent I don't have enough money to live off for the month.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
How long have you been panhandling?
 
 
GARY:
 
On and off since I've been getting my VA check, that's been about maybe ten, fifteen years.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
How much money do you make on a good day of panhandling?
 
 
GARY:
 
It used to be, ten, fifteen years ago I could make seventy dollars on a good day in New York. Nowadays if I have a good day, I make twenty.
 



 
Panhandlers: for the system or against it?

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