I don’t avoid panhandlers but it’s been a long while since I’ve engaged.
99% of the time, I don’t have cash on me so when I say that I don’t have any change/money, it’s the truth. I pay for everything on credit to accumulate loyalty points because I’m frugal like that.
And being in the suburbs full-time, there are not a lot of panhandlers.
Back when I was used to be downtown all the time, I engaged more by offering to buy a meal and/or coffee. But usually I would get turned down and sometimes cursed out.
After a while, I simply stopped offering.
Instead, I make financial donations to local charities, including those that help the homeless and women’s shelters. And before discarding any items, my first reflex is donate it where it would be useful.
How do you engage with panhandlers on the street?