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NAME: Yvette Comontile
Age: 32
Place: St. Mark's Place and Second Ave, by The Gap clothing store, New York City
Time: 11PM Saturday

NEEDCOM:
 
Tell me about yourself, and how you came to be panhandling today.
 
 
YVETTE:
 
Well, what happened to me was I was living in the Village, at my address. Okay? And what happened to me—we were under rent control, very poor. And I winded up losing my apartment, because the court would not let us keep the apartment. We were there too long, and I was not a relative, and I had to leave the apartment.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
So you don't have housing right now.
 
 
YVETTE:
 
Not at this moment.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
How long have you been panhandling?
 
 
YVETTE:
 
Now it's been about two months.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Is this the usual place you work?
 
 
YVETTE:
 
Yes, it is. Right over there, that's my spot, where you got me. Right by the Gap.
 
 
NEEDCOM:
 
Tell me how much money you collect on a good day.
 
 
YVETTE:
 
Oh, how much money? I would say, for me, on a good day, about 50 dollars. For me. That's how much I make, and from what I've heard, though, other panhandlers make hundreds in one day. I make 50 a day.
 
I make half of what a good panhandler, or maybe a quarter of what another panhandler would probably make. 'Cause I guess I'm a woman, and I'm not working, and I'm a little more honest. I'm more honest than some of the other panhandlers.
 



 
Woman vs. man?

Featuring Yvette

Hustle

Welfare



Which statement do you agree with more?
Panhandling is like being on welfare.Panhandlers are like entrepreneurs.

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All content copyright 1999, Cathy Davies.
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