I don't plan on being down and out for long. This is very good money. I'm not going to lie, I make good money. Before when I use to panhandle, I made good money, I saved money—because a friend of mine let me stay with her, so I was saving the money that I was making for a place to live. I saved that money, and I use that money and I got an apartment, and I was there for like eight months, and I got burned out. So now I'm back in the same position.

People say there are some panhandlers who make $30,000 a year.
What, $30,000 a year? Well, I don't know about that one. Yeah, I made a lot of money, man. Well, I had a bank account.
Yeah, I had a bank account. $500, living in the street. The guy from New York University started it for me. Let me tell you something. If a black person come into a white person's area, right—and they're not rude and disrespectful, and they're all right—I've noticed that for me, and this is my opinion, they will teach me, and they'll try with me. They will.
They might not ask me into their home, 'cause well, all right. But we spend a lot of time together, though, and they'll be curious. "How you doing, what you doing today? You're all right." Then the conversation get a little deeper, then we sit out one night, a summer night. You don't have to teach me how to read. You don't have to take time out to show me how to do certain things. "Here, let me hold this money for you. Come on, you made enough money today. Come on, don't spend all that money on alcohol." You know? Let me hold it.
A lot of people did that for me, man. I said that to say that panhandlers, kind of like, bring people together. It brought me and a lot of people, that taught me a lot of things, that I could never repay them. Never.

Is panhandling like your job?


New York University


Do you prefer to give your money to charities for the poor, or directly to panhandlers?

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