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February 28, 2014 - Heather Ziegler
Anyone traveling about the Ohio Valley has to have noticed the men, and on occasion, the women, standing along interstate ramps seeking money. Even in these bitterly cold days, you can find a guy with a sign seeking "any amount." Most of the signs indicate the
person is homeless, sometime a veteran, too.
On occasion, they will have a dog with them which adds to the tug of heartstrings. I know people have very specific opinions when encountering the panhandlers. Some refuse to acknowledge they even see them standing next to their cars while waiting for the light to
change. I've even heard people yell at them to "get a job!"
Others make a point to pass a few dollars into the hands of the man or woman with the sign. I asked one man in particular if he had a
place to sleep because it was a really cold night even if he was dressed warmly. He said he has been sleeping at the YSS Sleep Shelter in
Wheeling but it doesn't open until 10 p.m. each night. If you've ever driven past the Sleep Shelter entrance in the early evening, you will
find several men huddled there, waiting to be allowed in.
The homeless man said he is fed at the soup kitchen and often finds comfort and warmth by day at the Catholic Diocese's 18th Street
Center. He is a veteran down on his luck but did not care to go into details.
Whatever reason brings these people to the corners of our lives, it's a personal decision whether to provide them with money.
How do you handle the situation?
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