Monday, June 18, 2012

Puppies for Panhandlers

Small Dead Animals pointed me to this article in the June 18, 2012 Sacramento Bee that is so crazy that I had to verify it wsn't from The Onion.  It is more proof that drugs are bad for you, especially if you run a city government:
San Francisco hopes a cold nose and a warm heart will help end the problem of panhandling.
In what could be the first program of its kind in the nation, the city beginning in August will offer panhandlers up to $75 a week to stop begging and foster puppies from the city animal shelter until the pups are ready for adoption.
The pilot program, called Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos, or WOOF, is intended to meet panhandlers' need for income while helping more animals avoid being euthanized.
"You can make it difficult for people to panhandle, but ultimately they're just going to go do it somewhere else," Bevan Dufty, the mayor's point person on homelessness, told the San FranciscoChronicle ( "Why not try to meet their needs for income in a way that helps the city and its animals?"
The city has previously tried to reduce panhandling with laws, including one banning sitting on sidewalks, outreach by service providers and an employment program.
Applicants for the WOOF program will be screened to weed out the homeless. Anecdotal evidence suggests that most panhandlers have housing, but beg to supplement their income or pass their time, the Chronicle reported.
I am dumbstruck by the thinking that infests San Francisco city government.  As a number of commenters pointed out, panhandlers make far more than $75 a week.

Read more here:


  1. I know you used to live in CA, so figuring this out should be child's play for you.
    For example, try this: The city is not just going to GIVE helpless puppies to random panhandlers, is it? No, they'll have to be vetted by city employees (or city-funded folk, at least). They'll have to be registered. They'll have to be checked-up on, once a week at least, to make sure the puppies are OK. These employees are going to be making way way more than $75/week, of course.
    Then, of course, the program will have to be managed, reviewed, re-authorized. Investigations into expanding it to include cats and hamsters will be needed.
    It's a WHOLE NEW PUBLIC INDUSTRY in the making!

  2. As far as I know, a lot of panhandlers (the ones who aren't mentally ill or addicts, that is) do it because it's easier - in terms of real effort, not so much time - to make a living doing that than having a real job.

    Do that well, in the right spot, and suckers will give you good money for your claimed inability to support yourself.*

    $75 a week isn't going to make them stop - making panhandling suck will make them stop.

    (And nothing will stop the mentally ill or junkie homeless from being homeless...)

    (* Sound callous? Well, I've seen far too many scammers in my day.

    And everyone but the most strident activist types seem to be willing to admit that there are a whole lot of scammers, even if only to complain about them taking spots and money from "real" panhandlers.)