Panhandlers Feeling Effects Of Staggering Economy

A great article and video of many of our homeless friends panhandling and the impact of the current downward economic trend. From that article, they interviewed and photographed our good friend Terry, busking on Queen:

Source: citynews.ca – “Huddled in an abandoned store front stoop on Queen West, Terry is playing the guitar with gusto when I approach him.  He isn’t a panhandler, he stresses, and never begs for money.  But he does rely on the generosity of others to get by.  He’s been busking for 12 years and admits he’s noticed a slow down lately.

“It affects everybody, from the guy who’s making the most money to the guy who’s making the least money.  It’s like a trickle down type thing.  If they’re not making as much money they’re not dropping as much money.  People are depressed, angry, you can literally see it, like when it went downhill with the U.S. stocks, you could literally see it.  People look tired, people look fed up, worried, concerned.

Terry and friend...

“There’s no security anymore.  Those people work really hard and they lose it all.  They invest in stocks and think that it’s going to be good, and it ends up falling through.” [end of excerpt]

I also have a great video of Terry and friends busking in the same spot two summers ago. Click here to see the YouTube video. I used to busk with them myself, and jam at the Knox Out-of-the-Cold youth dinner too – The Knox program (founded by Joe at Project417) starts up again next Tuesday to run through the winter: a great home-cooked hot meal, foodbank, clothing, haircuts and dye-jobs, open mic and more – all for street youth 25 (ish) and under. And don’t forget our Wednesday nite Community Dinner, free to all, over at Bloor Lansdowne. If panhandling takes are down, I expect we’ll see more of our friends at those meals. I know we’re not seeing too much of a decrease in our street friends when we go out distribute bag lunches. We have a team out tonite taking sixty meals and I’ll post an update.

There’s quite a few of us here at Project417 who are involved as volunteers in trying to get an alternative to the current “street” newspapers our homeless friends can sell. It should improve the take, and provide a dignified alternative to panhandling. Hopefully, and here’s the tough part, it will be a real community effort, with top down involvement from our street friends. Come back and check out the Mission Log for updates.
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2 Responses

  1. You are quite welcome Andy.

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